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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How did Socrates' death affect Plato?

Is there a shift in any characteristic of Plato's writing; style, content, etc., that's visible after Socrates' death? How was Plato affected by Socrates' death, and more specifically, how was his ...
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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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Name of this argument/logic in Plato and Set Theory

Lemma 1.2 If S is countable and S' is a subset of S, then S' is also countable Lemma 1.3 If S' is a subset of S and S' is uncountable, then so is S. I was wondering if there was a name for the logic/...
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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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Socrates' absence in Plato's Laws

Is there any significance in Socrates not being present in Laws; the only dialogue of undisputed authenticity to not feature him? It is my understanding that Plato's early dialogues depict a more ...
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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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Plato preempting Aristotle?

Did Plato ever anticipate and address the the Aristotelian position of identifying the existence of universals with their instantiations? If so, how have his arguments fared? Did Aristotle address ...
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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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What type of relationship is “partakes of”?

We call a rose beautiful because it partakes of beauty, according to Plato's Theory of Forms (or my understanding thereof). Furthermore, we can take any attribute and turn it into a class with -ness ...
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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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