Questions tagged [plato]

Plato (424/423 BC – 348/347 BC) was a Classical Greek philosopher, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Plato is considered to be the founder of Western philosophy.

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Plato's method for reaching the truth?

I wonder about Plato and, in particular, about his method of reaching the truth. One can suppose that the method is based on the practice of his dualistic philosophy, which would aim to free the soul ...
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Why most Plato scholars think that Minos is not good enough to have come from Plato?

What exactly is "not good enough"? Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University. 2017 4 edn. p 361. Letter 1. What is law? Law as a conversation. This section is heavily ...
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Where in the Republic Plato says that disabled people should be put away in some mysterious places?

I'm looking for the quote/quotes in which Plato regards the disabled people as if they were "non-human." And - how did he justify his view?
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The index finger of Socrates and Plato

Why do we see Socrates in Jacques-Louis David's The Death of Socrates, and Plato in Raphael's School of Athens pointing up with their index finger? What does this gesture symbolize? My initial ...
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lacking subject

Does "a lacking subject" for Lacan, that is mentioned in the following texts, mean "an incomplete subject"? Context #1: According to Lacan, it is this misrecognition that dominates our relation ...
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A Kantian Platonist view of mathematics

So my question, essentially, is this: is there any reasonable way in which one can say that mathematical Platonism is compatible with Kantian constructivism? For the sake of context, I was asked to ...
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Sets of Five in Plato

Numbers are abundantly found in Plato's works but it seems (to me at least) that 5 plays a rather important role. The platonic solids are five, of course, even if they come rather later, the Timaeus ...
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Is Heraclitus really a Mobilist?

I learned that Heraclitus stressed the importance of change and the ephemeral nature of things in the cosmos. However, it seems that Heraclitus refers to a "logos": The opening of Heraclitus' book ...
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What does Plato think of human nature in the Republic?

In his Republic, Socrates describes the basic principle of the ideal society to be the separation, classification, and employment of men according to their natural abilities: a man is born with a ...
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What philosophers believed marriage is man's ultimate perfection?

It seems Plato believed this when he says, through Aristophanes in the Symposium: After the division [by Zeus,] the two parts of man, each desiring his other half, came together, and throwing their ...
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Do you know of a book on Greek philosophy with a Corinthian helmet on the cover?

I read it years ago, and it seems I have lost it. The biggest thing I can remember is that it had a Corinthian helmet on the front cover. Also that it was translated by multiple authors and it had ...
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Marriage, age and temperance in Plato's Republic

Temperance is one of the four cardinal virtues discussed in Plato's Republic. I understand temperance as restraint from excesses where 'excesses' refer to things that are not necessary or useful ...
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The concept of eudaimonia

The usual definitions of eudaimonia as "happiness" or "flourishing" or the like, don't seem to fit the actual translation of the word. The word means "a good spirit," where "spirit" has semi-mystical ...
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Where might I find the Socratic dialogue on the mythical story of private property/homesteading?

I read a great story awhile back about a group of philosophers who approached Socrates with a question regarding the rights of private property and if a man could rightly own land on a world that ...
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Plato and the knowledge of the forms

Suppose Plato finally has knowledge of the "forms"* he set out to find after some time (remember knowledge). One day his soul departs to for the soul realm. When he reaches, the "forms" welcome his ...
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What if Euthyphro gave the opposite answer?

As part of a course I am taking, I was asked to continue the dialogue Euthyphro as if Euthyphro had given the opposite response to Plato's famous question: Is the pious loved by the gods because it ...
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Why is Plato's visible world said to be Heraclitean and Plato's intelligible world said to be Parmenidean?

I have been learning about Plato's Theory of Forms, and I have read that Plato's visible world is Heraclitean, and Plato's intelligible world is Parmenidean. I think I understand the parallel between ...
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What are some arguments against the third man argument?

I'm working on a paper concerning the third argument. I have my own solution in mind but I need other arguments to refute so that I can then move onto my argument. I found another thread on this topic ...
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Parmenides' objections to Plato's theory of the forms?

What is being argued against Plato's theory of the forms in this passage (this is a dialogue): Well, said Parmenides, and what do you say of another question? What question? I imagine that the way ...
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When did the idea of free will begin? Same for determinism

Hey so I'm doing this free will v determinism thing for class and I've tried but I can't seem to find when the separate beliefs came about. I know Socrates and Aristotle had something to do with them ...
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Plato - against teaching philosophy to children

I'm trying to hunt down a half-remembered quote from Plato, possibly from the Republic, where he actually argues AGAINST teaching children philosophy too early, in the fears it will confuse them and ...
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What were Plato's views on substance?

Forms are Plato’s substances, for everything derives its existence from Forms. In this sense of ‘substance’ any realist philosophical system acknowledges the existence of substances. Probably the ...
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Does Plato relatively upgrade democracy between the Republic and the Laws?

Does Plato actually lean more towards democracy in the Laws? III.693d ff. suggest an upgrading of democracy's relative position from its low status in the Republic.
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Plato's Phaedo : Why does the soul stay separate from the body?

In Plato's Phaedo, Socrates established that death is the separation of soul and body. But he did not give any clue for this separation. What are the factors that lead to this separation? Physical ...
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From dialogue to monologue : Why (Platonic) Socrates claims to know nothing but manages to give book-length speeches all the time?

This inconsistency is very confusing to me. Socrates takes pride in knowing that he knows nothing. But if that is the case, how is he able to, as he often does, give book-length of "truth" (as opposed ...
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Role of death in literal interpretation of recurrent dream in Plato's Phaedo

What is the role of perception of death that Socrates soon had to face in his new literal interpretation of this dream? Why not throughout his life he did not take the instruction of making and ...
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How does Socrates's acting on a dream in Plato's Phaedo square with his rationality?

Socrates is a symbol of rational thinking. He called himself a lover of wisdom. But, on the other hand, he started to make music (poetry/composing) just on the direction of a voice that he heard in ...
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Plato's sunlight and firelight: the philosophical metaphor of light in the allegory of the Cave

Plato refers to two kinds of light: sunlight outside the cave and firelight inside. Does sunlight represent truth ? What of firelight ? The prisoners only see shadows that are cast by light but are ...
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Plato's cave in reality

Does anyone know the system we live in? Is it something abstract like that described in the movie The Matrix? It exists. Why does it cost others their lives like Socrates? Lastly, do philosophers ...
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Plato or Aristotle on trading lives

I am sure I remember either Plato or Aristotle saying that most people, if a god approached them with an offer to trade their life for someone else's, would run away. But I have been wrong before ...
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Help with philosophical interpretation of the movie Cloud Atlas

I feel very sorry to ask for this but I really need help, I have a hard time getting an answer to what I need for my metaphysical essay related to the movie "Cloud Atlas", I have seen it several times ...
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Is there an example of an innate idea?

I don't see any justification to argue a person has an idea or knowledge that is not derived from its environment. How come Plato raised this question at all: How is it that we have certain ideas ...
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Why is Plato's Idealism and German Idealism so different?

Plato's Idealism seems to imply an objectivity and an anti-pluralism, instead rationalizing forms into main groups yet German Idealism seems to do just the opposite. I was wondering why the use of the ...
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Question about the Argument of Recollection from Plato's Phaedo

Under the argument of recollection, what would the answer to the following scenario? A young child has not learned a single thing about geometrical shapes. If a person were to draw a triangle and ...
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Are Platonic Forms alive?

Reading Dominic J. O'Meara's Plotinus, I noticed that he seems to be claiming that Plotinus looked at the Soul, Forms and the One as active and in some sense alive. However, I am trying to get a ...
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In the socratic dialogues, what figure argues in bad faith against Socrates?

If I remember correctly, one of Socrates' interlocutors challenged the Socratic method not directly but indirectly. They did so by not participating in the argument fully. In the literary context of ...
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What is the connection between Schopenhauer’s “steam valve” and Plato’s “cave”?

Schopenhauer speaks of the media as a “steam valve”, ”freedom of the press is to the machinery of the state what the safety valve is to the steam engine: every discontent is by means of it ...
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Is the Timaeus philosophically relevant?

The reason I ask is that an overwhelming majority of the book is (understandably) baseless scientific claims about the origin of the universe. Not in the same way that, say, he defines the soul, which ...
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Does Philosophy benefit from parsimony?

It is well established doctrine to apply Occam's razor to scientific theoretical development. The basis for which may range over the demonstrated practical success of the principle, to a vocational/...
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Allegory of the cave and Forms?

In my philosophy class, the professor told us about the allegory of the cave and how it relates to the Forms. From what I understood, regular people only see shadows of the Forms; but by doing ...
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Dynamic concept of “truth”

I've recently read a book in which a certain sentence sparked a question in my mind: "the Platonic philosophy is a search for truth, the certain truth. Such truth... is necessarily static" (...
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Concept Formation

I would like some suggestions about Concept Formation. Especially if there is a reference to Plato's Theory of Forms. I believe the two are linked but cannot find appropriate material. Thank you.
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Did Plato not believe in institution of marriage?

From this link, I've found this “all these women shall be wives in common to all the men, and not one of them shall live privately with any man; the children too should be held in common so that no ...
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Is Plato contradicting himself in the Republic?

In Book VII of the Republic, Plato claims that geometry and arithmetic will lead to eternal/pure truth. However, as we know the eternal/pure truth are Forms. Knowing the forms is knowing the pure ...
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Why was music such a fascination for philosophers and mathematicians alike?

Why were ancient philosophers and mathematicians so intrigued by music? Why did philosophers like Plato, Arthur Schopenhaur, Neitsche and etc perceive it differently than other forms of art? P. S it ...
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Does Plato think there is a anti-social/non-pragmatic danger in the study of mathematics?

In the Theaetetus we see Socrates interacting with an up-and-coming mathematician Theaetetus with his mentor Theodorus. It's noteworthy that Plato places his dialogue about the nature of knowledge in ...
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How did Plato believe that our senses aren't to be trusted?

Plato, believed that we can't trust our senses to show us the true form of an object. It didn't make any sense to me, because after all, science hasn't yet proven if you see something after your ...
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What was Plato's purpose behind Atlantis?

I've heard that Atlantis is simply a story about hubris. But since Plato was interested in political philosophy I would be surprised if there weren't anything along those lines to Atlantis. So my ...
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What does this excerpt from Plato's Republic mean?

This excerpt is from Book II, concerning Plato's reasoning for censoring a certain story of Hesiod's: The doings of Cronus, and the sufferings which in turn his son inflicted upon him, even if they ...
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Did Plato believe in reincarnation?

I have read in some philosophy forums that Plato believed that death was not the end and he most likely believed in reincarnation. Are there any texts that confirm that Plato actually believed in ...

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