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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If Plato openly wrote his books about politics, did he not believe in the proposed Noble Lie policy?

If Plato openly spoke of the Noble Lie proposal, in what he took to be quite an imperfect society whose change he hoped and perhaps even worked towards, would he have himself really thought that the ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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How to use Stephanus numbers?

A technical question here. I'm new to Plato and want to learn how to cite using Stephanus numbers. I'm a little confused because I'm not sure if the numbers are accurate to the line from translation ...
John Smith's user avatar
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Philosophy king and sage rule

The concept of philosophy king seems to be somewhat similar to the Taoist doctrine of sage rule. Taoism has very high requirements for the virtues and realm for the ruler and the people, requiring the ...
Tianrui Jia's user avatar
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What did Plato and Plotinus mean by "beyond being?"

The question is exactly what the title says. Plato, in the Republic, famously referred to the Good as "beyond being in power and dignity," and Plotinus later expounded this assertion in his ...
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Was Plato personally a mystic?

We know Plato is highly regarded among Neoplatonic mystics. His doctrine of knowledge as recollection, Ideal forms, human soul, love, transmigration or afterlife are congruent with mysticism. Now we ...
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For Plato, what is a perfect circle?

Of course we can't see a perfect circle through our eyes, but can I imagine a perfect circle in my mind? But Plato said that the ideal forms can't be seen. I don't know whether he meant that even ...
nye's user avatar
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In a Platonic utilitarianism, would the only commandment be, "Contemplate the Form of Happiness"?

Suppose that the Form of Happiness were the most happiness-bringing entity possible, i.e. that Platonic contemplation of this Form would cause the greatest happiness possible for any entity (including ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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What's the difference between elenchus and dialectic?

I know that "elenchus" is often associated with Socrates and the Socratic method whereas "dialectic" is more associated with Plato. But what is their relationship? Is elenchus a ...
John Smith's user avatar
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Aristotle and the Platonic Footnotes Alluded to by Whitehead

In Process and Reality, Alfred North Whitehead famously states: The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato. I do ...
Toothpick Anemone's user avatar
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On Plato's Transmigration of Souls

In Plato's theory of transmigration of souls, do some souls ever make it to a place of eternal bliss or get remanded to a place of eternal punishment?
Toothpick Anemone's user avatar
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Objects and Platonic Forms

According to Plato, can an object have multiple forms depending on its uses? For example, can a table have the form of tableness but also the form of chairness if people decide to use it as furniture ...
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Is the Form of the Good equivalent to the Form of the Intelligible Animal?

I'm reading the IEP entry on Plato's "organicism", which is the portrayal of the world as a universal animal. The article says that this entity participates in a Form of the Intelligible ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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Doubt about the third man argument

The third man argument says that for every form that resides over some group of things, there will have to be another form that can account for that group and the form. Necessitating an infinitude of ...
Leandro Tada's user avatar
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Does the arc of history bend toward justice.?

"I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can ...
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Plato on 'lyric' opposed to his theory of forms

I have read some Plato, but not the parts relevant to my question (alas). I do know that artistic making is meant to be a copy of a copy (the world) of platonic forms. But how does that fit in with ...
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Where does Plato discuss "having" and "possessing"?

I'm looking for textual references in Plato's dialogues where he discusses the difference between having and possessing with respect to actuality and potentiality. I would be grateful if anybody could ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
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When the soul is with the body, does the soul change the body, or does it make the body as perfect as possible?

I would be grateful if you could answer the question above. When the soul is with the body, does the soul change the body or does it make the body perfect [or should I say that as perfect as the body ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
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Does Russell's objection to Meinongianism apply whenever we take the meta-version of an existence-predicate distinction?

The point of departure: A third problem, one of Russell’s objections to Meinongianism (see [Russell 1905a, 1907]), turns on the fact that existence is, on Meinongianism, a property and hence figures ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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What is Virtue?

I have been reading Plato and re-reading Nietzsche and both of them discuss Virtue without saying what it is. In Thus Spake Zarathustra Virtue seems to come in flavours where you have to pick one or ...
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Preferred Translation of Plato's *Laws*?

I have been delving deeper into Greek philosophy lately, and I must say, I am quite fond of C.D.C Reeve's translations. His interpretations of various philosophical texts have always resonated with me....
cricket900's user avatar
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What is a woman? or Are all social constructions contingent? [closed]

It is difficult these days to avoid becoming familiar with popular disputes surrounding gender. Particularly contentious are questions regarding the ontology of the concepts of woman and man. On one ...
Michael Kurak's user avatar
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Platonic love and "sapiosexuality"

I'll admit I have an incredibly limited understanding of the works of Plato, but upon a glossing over of the Symposium, it seems he is saying that love of intelligence is of a higher importance/...
Shootsakovich's user avatar
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What does it mean to be a principle?

I would be grateful if you could direct me to relevant passages in Aristotle where I can read more about the nature of "principle." Not exacty about the principle of non-contradiction but ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
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Plato's forms - sparse realism and scope of forms

Was Plato a sparse realist about universals? (because "Carve nature at its joints") And did he think everyday human made objects and social kinds had forms? eg tables Thanks
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Is it ok, that translation of “Apology of Socrates” has a lot of grammatical mistakes?

This is a technical and pretty specifically question: I bought a book, that contains Apology of Socrates, and some dialogues (Kriton, Meneksen, Ion, etc) in Russian language ISBN 978-197-4015-03-0, ...
Stdugnd4ikbd's user avatar
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Why is knowledge knowledge of explanations?

I am reading Aristotle. He seems to me to believe that knowledge is knowledge of explanations (causes - aitiai). But what ground is there for this belief? I cannot formulate a reason for this. I would ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
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The disdain for sophism in Plato's dialogues vs. the real sophists

As we all know, sophism is regarded as the immoral, malformed twin of philosophy in Plato's dialogues. Socrates sees a fundamental distinction here: However, as I put it, cookery is flattery ...
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Did Socrates' actual apology resemble Plato's Apology?

I have seen that Plato's writings have traditionally been classified as Early, Middle or Late and that the earlier the work, the closer it resembles what Socrates might have actually said. In view of ...
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Speaking what is not = speaking about non-being?

In Plato's The Sophist, a stranger from Elea argues with Theaetetus, a young friend of Socrates, about the definition of "sophist". They come to the conclusion that the sophist imitates the ...
viuser's user avatar
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What dialogues should a newcomer to Plato read first?

I have gotten my hands on Plato's Complete Works and I would like to know what would be interesting to read on a first read-through of his and what should maybe be reserved for later. I am not ...
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Does Plato think we can have synthetic a posteriori knowledge?

I understand that Plato thinks our knowledge of universals is innate, and therefore synthetic a priori knowledge. However, does he think we can have any knowledge that is synthetic and a posteriori? ...
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Friendships towards humans vs. things and animals in Plato's Lysis

In Plato's Lysis, Socrates and Menexenus argue if friendship must be reciprocal: S: Then this notion is not in accordance with our previous one. We were saying that both were friends, if one only ...
viuser's user avatar
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How can universal truths lead to particular truths?

Disclaimer: I have not read philosophy outside of limited Greek works So, Plato theorized that there was a world of "universals" and "particulars", the world of general principles (...
Dusty574's user avatar
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Euthyphro's Dilemma

I'm current reading one of the first of plato's dialogues, Euthyphro, concerning piety. At one point in their conversation, Euthyphro proposes to Socrates the following definition, I) What all of the ...
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Did Nietzsche cite anywhere in his writings Plato's Gorgias regarding Callicles?

Nietzsche's theory has many similarities with Callicles thought in Plato's Gorgias (Nietzsche and Callicles on Happiness, Pleasure, and Power). However, he did not explicitely mention Callicles in his ...
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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 ...
Frank Booth's user avatar
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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 ...
viuser's user avatar
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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, ...
viuser's user avatar
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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 ...
viuser's user avatar
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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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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 ...
trigress09's user avatar
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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&...
Edward James's user avatar
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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 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 ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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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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