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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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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 and his mentor Theodorus. It's noteworthy that Plato places his dialogue about the nature knowledge in the ...
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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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Did Plato really use the concept of “God” or only of “gods”? [duplicate]

In medieval philosophy texts, it seems that Plato is presented as having the concept of "eternal light" if not of "God" - I'm taking, very indirectly, from this SEP entry: The problem of universals in ...
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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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What's the argument of Socrates in addressing Thrasymachus' argument that the pursuit of self-interest or injustice pays better than that of justice?

While reading The Republic by Plato, I don't quite understand the argument. It seems that the argument did not address why a just man won't be worse off than an unjust man. What's the argument of ...
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Does Plato’s theory of forms entail a kind of essentialism? Discuss [closed]

One of the questions asked in a paper I gave on philosophy, although I understand a bit of essentialism(based on what i read after facing the question in exam). I'd like to know the view of people who ...
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Buddhism in Phaedo

At the end of Phaedo, Socrates proves, in his own manner, that the soul is immortal and goes through an endless cycle of metempsychosis and, "if deemed to have lived an extremely pious life are freed ...
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Which works of Plato and Aristotle (Ancient Greek if there is more worth it) should I read to get a context to study Continental Rationalism?

I'm trying to get a better ground to get into Continental Rationalism between Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, etc. I read on the Plato Encyclopedia of Philosophy that Plato and Aristotle influenced them, ...
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Contradictions with Physical Needs within Plato's Tripartite Theory of the Soul? (Reason Rules?)

Aparently, Plato said reason should rule over emotions and appetites When googling the phrase, something about Plato's Tripartite Theory of the Soul comes up. In Republic [Book IX], Plato ...
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How would the Sophists challenge Socrates' solution to the problem of justification?

Confused about the question. What is it trying to say? Would the sophists argue with Socrates on justification?
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Plato's Meno - the other paradox?

One paradox in the Meno is familiar : A person cannot look for (zitein) what he knows or for what he doesn't know. He would not look for what he knows, for he knows it already and one who has the ...
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Meno's paradox of knowledge - how is knowledge possible?

In Plato's Meno, it is talked about how knowledge is neither gained nor searched for. I am confused on this particular question. What does is entail?
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If vast swathes of philosophy are entirely subjective, why do we care about them?

I'll preface this by saying I'm not an informed philosophy academic, but merely bothered. I've heard that conservative political columnist Ben Shapiro is currently writing a book about how he ...
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The Orphic Socrates

Short introduction Reading about Socrates I found he was more or less Orphic in his beliefs. He believed in the indestructibility of mind or life after dead. Also in certain ascetic life. On the ...
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What would it mean for morality not to be a consequence of rationality?

How would one manage to arrive at this morality, or when to apply it without reason? Some might say we directly experience morality, but this is inconsistent with the different different moral ...
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Did Plato notice that there could be an arbitrary number of nested caves?

I guess everyone knows Plato's allegory of the cave. He assumes people are in caves and then, he suggests that there is a possibility of "going out of the caves", gaining several nice properties with ...
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How to reconcile Plato's Form when dealing with beauty, or at all?

It is said within Plato's dialogues that he believes in a Form of beauty. This I can not reconcile by reason, and I imagine some mental gymnastics are needed, or, more likely, is that I am to dumb to ...
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Contingent vs. Necessary Truth in Classical Philosophy

I am reading "Ancient Philosophy" by Anthony Kenny (Vol 1 of his "A New History of Western Philosophy", OUP, ISBN 0–19–875273–3). I was intrigued by the following statement (p.176): "However, ...
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How would Plato view a just soul?

Does Plato view a just person as someone who three parts of their soul are equal? Or would reason win over appetite and spirit?
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Best translation of the Timaeus

Hello everyone (first question on this site) I'm doing some reading/research on Leibniz's theodicy, and a random article I read has convinced me that Plato's Timaeus would tell me a lot of ...
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Plato, a student of Socrates and a teacher of Aristole [closed]

Did Plato believe in a lot of questioning, just like Socrates?
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Did Socrates believe all madness to be good?

In "Phaedro", it seems that Socrates argues that love is a form of divine madness. He then claims that lots of divine things are committed by those who are "not in their right mind ". He also states ...
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What does Socrates mean by “gadfly attached to the state”?

Socrates likens himself to a “gadfly attached to the state.” What does he mean by this? Is this a good or bad thing? What would a similar character playing a similar role look like in our age?
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what does Bertrand Russell mean by saying this

he said on the preface of "history of western philosophy": "the student of Rousseau may have difficulty in doing justice to his connection with the Sparta of Plato and Plutarch." what does this mean? ...
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Did any Greek or Roman philosophers say that “opposites attract”?

I know that Plato formulated the law, "like attracts like", using the Greek word philia for attraction. This is mentioned somewhere in the Republic, and is easy to verify with a Google search. But ...
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Is there an ur-philosophy behind the philosophy of Pythagoras and Lao Tze Tung?

Chapter forty-two of the Dao De Jing has the following: The Dao engenders One One engenders Two Two engenders Three And Three engenders the many myriad things This looks rather ...
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Why doesn't the argument from Plato's Meno hold in practice?

reading Plato's dialogue with Meno here ... I had a couple of questions while reading this. It seems like some of the things he says do not account for some real world barriers. Plato tries to show ...
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Altruism as an interpretation of Plato’s Allegory of the cave

The allegory of the cave can be interpreted in many ways, but I’m wondering if anyone would agree that one interpretation would be to overcome being self-centred and become more altruistic ? For ...
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What is the Good in Aristotle’s Ethics and how does it differ from Plato’s?

I may have asked the question in an odd way, but I am having trouble understanding the most defining differences when it comes to the Good.
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What's the role of “idealistic” philosophies of well-regarded scientists?

What's the role of "idealistic" philosophies of well-regarded scientists such as Max Tegmark's "Mathematical Universe Hypothesis"? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Mathematical_Universe It has been ...
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Anyone know movies with references to Plato?

I’m interested in Plato and would like to know if there are any movies with references to some of his theories/ideas, Thanks Ben
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What was Plato's argument that the good is not pleasure?

I need to make a flash card of this but my notes aren't sufficient for information and I can't find anything online. From what I have in my notes he believes the Good is not pleasure and the Bad is ...
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In Plato's Symposium, what are the similarities and differences between Phaedrus's speech and Socrates's/Diotima's?

I feel like these two speeches have some things in common like how they're both striving for something in the name of love but I'm not too sure. What are the similarities and differences between the ...
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Do mathematical entities transcend duality and cause/effect?

In the Wikipedia entry on Philosophy of mathematics, the following is mentioned about Platonism: [M]athematical entities are abstract, have no spatiotemporal or causal properties, and are eternal ...
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How do mathematical objects fit into Plato's theory of Ideas?

Say if I describe a triangle ABC, with all sides equal - and I describe another triangle EDF with all sides unequal. These triangles I have just described do not exist in the visible world, but in ...
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What are the triangles in Timaeus?

In Plato's Timaeus there are four elements that make everything, but these elements are in turn made up of triangles. But what are the triangles.... Is a triangle -- according to Plato/Socrates -- a "...
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The shadow of a tree

If we were limited to observing the shadow of a tree without the possibility of ever seeing the actual tree, what are some approaches that could be employed in order to determine its true nature. How ...