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 is the origin of the idea that moral realism requires a god?

This idea has always been very strange to me. The first time I encountered this idea was when I was required to read about the Euthyphro Dilemma in college. It felt like a whole dialogue about ...
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Best current synoptic treatment of Plato & Parmenides

I've come to realise the seminal importance of Parmenides for Western philosophy. But not being a classics scholar, or being able to read ancient Greek, much of the literature about Parmenides and ...
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Platos's/ Socrates' conception of reincarnational purpose and the soul's nature

I can not help but wonder what must have been Socrates' opinion of the human soul. On the one hand I am told that 'the Greeks' (and thus, I assume, Socrates and his followers too) took ψυχή which is ...
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What is the ontological status of Plato's Demiurge?

I've done some searching and have found that he (it?) is the anthropomorphization of the deliberate Intellect's intent (SEP: Plato's Timaeus). I understand that he is neither an idea nor an idea's ...
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Assuming you agree with Popper, is there anything valuable in Plato's thinking?

I am reading through Karl Popper's Open Society right. It got me wondering, assuming the following: You agree with Popper's critique of Plato's politics. You support democracy and egalitarianism in ...
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Does Plato hold that “the world experienced via the senses is what is real”?

According to the introduction of this article, Plato and Aristotle both held that "the world experienced via the senses is what is real." I do not doubt this point when it comes to Aristotle....
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“Either a Platonist or an Aristotelian”

In his introduction to "The Pocket Greek Reader," W.H. Auden said: one is born either a Platonist or an Aristotelian. (He immediately qualifies that remark with nods to Hippocrates and ...
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I don't understand how Plato's State is ideal [closed]

I am halfway through reading The State from Plato. But I think I am reading it from the wrong perspective. In the book Sokrates has a conversation with some other pals in which they build a state up ...
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What’s is Essentialism

Is this statement wrong?: Essentialism is the belief that (a) the Platonic world of forms exist, that (b) everything in this world is an imperfect embodiment of these forms, and (c) you can specify ...
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Overlap between Timaeus and original sin in Christianity

I just finished reading Timaeus by Plato (Desmond Lee translation). Overall, my impression is this text is based much more in mythology and religion than other dialogues by Plato that I've read. It ...
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What influence did Socrates and Plato have on ancient Greece?

We know that Socrates and Plato are two of the most influential Greek philosophers in current Western society. But what influence did they have in the Greece of their time and subsequent centuries? ...
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Are There Other “Cave Allegories” in Ancient Greek Philosophy or Drama?

We are all familiar with the famous, incomparably suggestive cave allegory in Plato's Republic. From the cave paintings at Lascaux to modern movies, TV, and social media, this allegory seems to retain ...
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What is a form in Plato's Theory of Forms

the Form of a square the Form of an incorrectly-drawn square the Form of an episode of anime the Form of an episode of anime that makes a person sad Seem like nonsense to me. When I was introduced to ...
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Interpretations of Plato's Form of the Good?

If memory serves me right, no copies we have of Plato's writing include a clear statement of what the Form of the Good is supposed to be. We have descriptions like "greater in dignity and might&...
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What's the origin of this quote from Plato? “To suffer the penalty of too much haste, which is too little speed”

Apparently the following quote belongs to Plato: To suffer the penalty of too much haste, which is too little speed. However, unfortunately I couldn't find the context or origin (e.g. book, essay, ...
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Does the Platonic triad originate with Plato?

A Platonic triad of Good, True, and Beautiful is something I run into online and in popular philosophy books. For example: https://catholicgnosis.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-platonic-triad/ It's been ...
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What does “being” mean in the context of Plato’s Republic?

Here is an excerpt from Plato Book V: SOCRATES: “Tell us this: does someone who knows know something or nothing?” You answer for him. GLAUCON: I will answer that he knows something. SOCRATES: ...
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Understanding the concept of universality

I have the requirement to understand what is meant by Platonist Universality. I am also interested in learning the difference (if there is any difference) between Aristotelian Universality and ...
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How is Socrates's daimon related to one of Aquinas's laws/views of virtue and justice

In Plato's Apology of Socrates, Socrates talks about having a daimon, a divine being/voice that tells him of things not to do. For Aquinas, what would this be?
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Is there any contradiction in Phaedo 102d-103a and 103c-105b?

I'm a complete beginner in philosophy and have been reading Phaedo for the first time. While reading about Forms in this, I understood that a thing can share in tallness and shortness at the same time,...
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Sources for possible take on the Timaeus

In Rabbi Judah HaLevi's Sefer HaKuzari (Book of the Khazar) he states in 1:63: The Rabbi: There is an excuse for the Philosophers. Being Grecians, science and religion did not come to them as ...
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Can Plato's Republic Actually Get Off The Ground?

I know that Plato's Republic isn't supposed to be taken as a concrete, feasible guide on how to create such a society, and that it's more of a discussion of what an ideal society might be and why that ...
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Interpretations and objections to Plato's “cyclical argument” in Phaedo

Trying to make sense of Plato's "cyclical argument" for birth and rebirth in Phaedo 72d, and after reading this post, my question is whether the following interpretation of the argument is known in ...
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Struggling with understanding Platonic idealism and idealism in general

I probably incorrectly understand some basic things, so I'll show my layman thinking process for easier identification of where lies the problem. Let's start with basic dichotomy - materialism vs. ...
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Plato Symposium - Is Socrates's Response to Agathon Warranted?

I'm reading Plato's symposium and I had a question about the section 199b - 201c where Socrates responds to Agathon. This comes after Agathon's speech, but before Socrates tells the tale of Diotima. ...
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Plato's allegory of the cave and addiction -snippet of New York Times article:What will it take to motivate those to come out who stayed inside cave? [closed]

I read a wonderful article on Plato's allegory of cave and addiction by Peg O'Connor titled In the Cave: Philosophy and Addiction. This article was published in the New York Times Newspaper. There she ...
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Why does Plato postulate self-predication of forms in the Third Man Argument? What does it even mean?

I'm reading about the third man argument here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_man_argument One of the properties of forms that's given is "self-predication". I'm having trouble understanding ...
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What did Aristotle and Plato think of each other?

Since Plato was a teacher of Aristotle and was living until Aristotle was 36 years old I was wondering of what kind of opinion Aristotle had of Plato's personality and work and vice versa
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According to Plato, can there be forms for a certain class of particulars?

In the beginning of Parmenides, Plato seems to think that most, or possibly all, particulars do not have corresponding forms; but he is not very explicit about why. My question is, does it not make ...
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How does Plato's theory of forms relate to his epistemology and philosophy of language?

In dialogues like Cratylus and Theatatus, it seems to me that Plato paints a very skeptical picture of our capacity to know or articulate knowledge. In Cratylus he doubts the possibility of language ...
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Why Socrates thinks there arent Forms of mud and hair?

In the dialogue Parmenides, when Parmenides asks Socrates whether he accepts the existance of Forms of things like Mud and Hair, he refuses it, but i dont get it, what makes those forms unable to be? ...
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The concept of nature in the Greek philosophy

My question is: Is it possible to point to a development in the concept of "nature" in the period between pre-Socratic philosophers and Aristotle (inclusive)? Thank you very much.
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Are beautiful things difficult?

As you may already know, the dialogue Hippias Major ends with the following asseveration by Socrates: So, I think, Hippias, that I have been benefited by conversation with both of you, for I think ...
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Plato's tripartite soul and Chariot Allegory

I liked Plato's tripartite soul theory but am confused with its analogy of the chariot. Maybe I am missing some good definitions. I very well understand that logos is related to the charioteer. But ...
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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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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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