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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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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How does geometry fit into Plato's ideas of forms? "Be specific"

I am really stuck trying to figure out exactly how geometry fits into Plato's idea of forms. The question directs that I "be specific" but I'm struggling even to be vague. Perhaps I am ...
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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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What is a euclidean triangle in Plato's Phaedo? What is the different between it and real triangle?

Which of the following are features of a true Euclidean triangle that exemplify its status as a Platonic Form? Is it can be known only by the intellect? Is it objective? Is it invisible? Is it ...
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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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The difference between universals, abstract objects and Platonic forms?

What is the difference between universals, abstract objects and Platonic forms? I have the impression that the three mean more or less the same thing: forms being subsistent universals, and any ...
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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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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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