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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What does Plato mean by kingly arts?

In Euthydemus, Plato says that "the politician’s art and the kingly art were the same" (ἔδοξε γὰρ δὴ ἡμῖν ἡ πολιτική καὶ ἡ βασιλική τέχνη ἡ αὐτὴ εἶναι, 291 c 4–5). I have difficulty ...
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In Plato's Symposium, why is Diotima a woman?

Excuse the odd title - what I mean is: Diotima is the sole woman that has her say in Plato's dialogues. There are a multitude of opportunities in which he could've let a woman speak, but it never ...
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Was Socrates hypocritical about Eros?

Taken at face value, in the Symposium and Phaedrus gay love that remains unconsummated is regarded as the highest form of love between humans men. It makes the soul rise upward to the form of beauty, ...
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The Third Man argument in the history of Platonism

Plato lived from 428-7 BCE to 348-7 BCE, but Platonism surpassed him for hundreds or thousands of years. Neoplatonism was the dominant philosophical school of late antiquity and exerted strong ...
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Why does Hestia stay at home in Plato's Phaedrus?

In Plato's Phaedrus we find a description of the divine procession to the realm beyond heaven. Zeus, the mighty lord, holding the reins of a winged chariot, leads the way in heaven, ordering all and ...
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Gnosis vs. Episteme - Is there a change over time periods in Ancient Greek Philosophy?

"Episteme" is the word of choice in Plato, generally (although there are a few instances of "Gnosis" here and there) By contrast, "Gnosis" is far more frequent among ...
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What is the distinction between Ancient Philosophy and Religion?

I'm currently reading Pierre Hadot book What is "Ancient Philosophy?" (Qu'est-ce que la philosophie antique?) and as I reach the third part of the book i can't stop thinking about, how ...
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Where did Socrates describe the tripartite of the soul in the Republic?

Reading through the books I to V, I couldn't a real explanation about the tripartite of the soul as I could find in the Phaedo. Reading in some analysis of the books[1], and the wikipedia article ...
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Should happiness be attained by reforming the world around us for the better or by accepting it as it is?

Two of the most influent philosophers in the antiquity proposed different perspectives on how we should attain happiness: Plato and Epictetus. Plato points out that our civilization contains ...
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Aristotle on Plato's realm of forms

I am familiar with Plato's realm of forms. However, I have not read much of Aristotle except for the Nicomachean Ethics. In a nutshell, how does Aristotle pick up on Plato's forms and where would I ...
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Plato's Forms and Determinism

Plato holds that the being of an object is determined by its participation in the Form of which the notion it the quality that determines that being insofar as it is "beautiful", "large&...
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Physical location of abstract objects

I was reading about the idea of a specific colour as an abstract object as defined by Plato, and how in 'Parmenides' he struggled with the fact that the type cannot be single and exist in multiple ...
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What do contemporary philosophy schools say about the Platonic theory of forms?

What do different schools of contemporary philosophy think about the Platonic Theory of forms? Is it approved by any philosophers today? What are the different thoughts towards it?
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What does Plato think about blindness and knowledge?

Does Plato though similar to that of Aristotle about blindness? Does he think blindness and memory and knowledge are linked? What kind of knowledge? If not, why? How blindness is used in Plato’s work ...
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What does it mean to say "I am the game"? [closed]

Do people mean this as flow state? Where you lose sense of time and become immensely engaged with an activity? (e.g. playing an instrument). To say "I am the game" when the person is a chess ...
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In the Doctrine of Virtue, does Kant accidentally encode a solution to the redemption problem from his theory of radical evil?

The set-up. Having identified original sin as an inversion of our maxims vs. their intended order of priority, Kant goes on to note that the nature of radical evil makes it empirically impossible to ...
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Is there an “algorithm” philosophy? Perhaps between relativism and pragmatism?

I’m looking for philosophy that has the agent as central in characterizing knowledge, but is not as relative as relativism as knowledge will come from algorithms, and before pragmatism. I don’t think ...
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Why does Plato rank numbers fundamentally below certain other ideas?

As discussed in the analogy of the divided line in The Republic (509d–511e): mathematical knowledge does not achieve the height of knowledge about ideas that are given existence by the Good itself, ...
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Did Plato have a utilitarian view of religion?

I seem to remember while reading, from what I believe was the Republic, that Plato saw what could be interpreted a utilitarian role for Religion in society. Am I misremembering? Not asking what he ...
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Is infinity an imperfect and unsubstantial epiphenomenon of the finite?

To my mind the concepts of the finite and the infinite are equally mysterious. But recently I was surprised to encounter the view that infinity may be something different from what I have ...
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Does he or doesn't he? (Plato and the Form of Evil)

Some of my favorite books are the Thomas Covenant novels of Stephen R. Donaldson. For some reason, for a long time I thought the entities and forces in the "other world" of the story were ...
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What did Aristotle think of the job of Salesman?

Did Aristotle think the job of "Salesman" was the "lowest" perhaps least virtuous job a man could have?
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If Socrates time travelled to the 21st century, would he still face the same fate?

I believe that the Athenian community and authority did not appreciate his philosophy and political view. Sometimes, I tell himself that they just didn't know his worth as he was way ahead of his time....
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Plato, the Tao, and the "first number"

My understanding of Benacerraf's identification problem breaks this problem into two subquestions. There is the format issue (the one that leads to the possible "junk theorems") and then ...
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How does idealism deal with 'discovery'?

I just responded to a comment on an old post. At the time I was thinking about Richard Dawkins and his concept of a 'meme'. That is any concept which lives rent free in the minds of humans, and ...
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What does sensible images being "not material but spatial" mean in Plato's theory?

I'm reading W. T. Jones' "A History of Western Philosophy Vol 1: The Classical Mind". In page 152 there is a passage that says (in explaining Plato's theory of Physics): It is also ...
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Plato's Ion - Can a god inspire a wrong thing?

Let's suppose that Socrates does not mock Ion in the dialogue. Socrates states that in every topic which Homer talks about, the master of that topic have the authority to judge whether Homer is right ...
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Did Aristotle accuse Plato of distorting Socrates?

It is always said that Plato sometimes put his words in the Socrates's mouth. Aristotle is the contemporary and critic of Plato. If Plato misattributed some Platonian notions to Socrates, Aristotle ...
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Mathematical style and ethical fictionalism

The SEP article on mathematical style got me thinking: what is the relationship between mathematical style, mathematical fictionalism, and ethical style/fictionalism? There seem to be at least three ...
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How to understand that "It is fear and terror that make all men brave, except the philosophers"?

In Phaedo, plato writes the following: And the brave among them face death, when they do, for fear of greater evils? That is so. Therefore, it is fear and terror that make all men brave, except the ...
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What is Plotinus' theory (of graduationism) that inspired Augustine about?

I want to know what Plotinus' gradualism is exactly about. I've heard in a lecture about Augustine being inspired by that theory, but can't seem to find anything about this. Is this gradualism just ...
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Eternal uncreated things besides God

There is a big debate in the Philosophy of Rellgion as to whether or not there are things that are uncreated eternal things besides God, like abstract objects. Some say that claiming there are ...
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What does Vlastov’s 1954 paper really mean

I’m Attempting to find out the counter arguments to the Third man argument. And while researching came across Vlastov’s 1954 Paper ‘The third man argument in Parmenides’ (The Philosophical Review 63, ...
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Plato's Republic education system

What is the education system that Plato proposed? E.g. the United States education system might be: 3-4 basic counting and communication 5-6 basic math, reading, writing, shapes, and time 7-11 deeper ...
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What arguments does Plato's Lysis put forth from 216 to 223?

I don't understand this part. He seems to go back and forth on whether they support one another and whether they are actually successful. Some serious clarification is needed.
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In Plato's Republic, why would a musical, medical, or knowledgeable man NOT try to get the better of another like man?

Book I, 349e, Socrates confirming the position of Thrasymachus: "...is any musical man who is tuning a lyre in your opinion willing to get the better of another musical man in tightening and ...
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Why are there 8 Deductions, and not 6, in Plato's Parmenides?

In Plato's Parmenides, we have the 8 Deductions that go something like this (this applies, as best as I can see, to both the standard and non-standard models that the SEoP describes. All this is ...
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How do we know which dialogues Plato didn't write?

I understand that there are dialogues of Plato for which the authorship is contested, with some more than others. How are the dialogues determined to be spurious? Is it a different process for ...
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Plato's influence on Christianity

Is Christianity influenced by some of Plato's ideas? In particular, I thought that the notion in Christianity of God creating man in his own image was heavily reminiscent of Plato's forms, where God ...
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Did Plato say “Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow”?

“Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” is a phrase popularly attributed to Plato on the internet, but after extensive googling, I can't see any reference to any ...
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Is Plato's ideal world comparable to heaven?

Plato thought there was an ideal world where ideas live. Independently of people. These ideas throw a shadow on the material world we live in. By examining this material world we can get knowledge of ...
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Are ideas things or just, eeeh, ideas?

We can read for the definition of idea, in the Cambridge dictionary: a suggestion or plan for doing something: I've had an idea - why don't we go to the coast? "Let's go swimming." "...
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No treatise by Plato exists or ever existed

In Plato's second epistle appears the following line: For this reason I myself have never yet written anything on these subjects, and no treatise by Plato exists or will exist, but those which now ...
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What do Aristotle or Plato mean by improvement?

In this answer to this question I read: Plato has Socrates make the argument that punishment, when it is just anyway, actually improves the individual. So if you’ve done wrong you should want to be ...
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Does Plato ever call God "Father"?

This article suggests in several places that Plato at times called God (or, perhaps the Demiurge) by the name of "Father". However, I cannot find any such primary sources to validate the ...
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Was Plato the idealist while Aristotle was more down to Earth?

When looking at Plato and Aristotle, where would we put them from the perspective of modern philosophy of science? For Plato, the abstract ideal geometric forms had more reality than their Earthly ...
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Is there a paradox in between Plato and Aristotle's theories regarding moral decision-making?

I was responding to a classmate's forum discussion post in a class of mine, and I want to know if I created a paradox or not regarding Plato and Aristotle's theories of moral decision-making. This is ...
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What exactly did Plato mean by "What measure is there of the relations of pleasure to pain other than excess and defect, [. . .]?"

The author didn't write which translation this was, but from the sentence length, syntax, and Google, this appears to be Benjamin Jowett's (1817 – 1893). I don't understand his 19th century English ...
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Aristotle's forms - how does he account for resemblances?

So Aristotle rejects Plato's forms, and replaces it with another kind of form which is solely in the particular. eg: The red table has a form of redness which is particular to the table. The red apple ...
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Plato: Philebus and the Republic's theory of the tripartite soul

I am looking at Plato's Philebus. My straightforward question is whether anybody has ever read Plato's theory of the tripartite soul as an underlying theme of the Philebus too. Republic Philebus ...
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