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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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Explain Plato/Shakespeare quotes about overreaching

In the Jowett translation of Plato's Republic, this quote The moral (good) man would not exceed or overreach or go beyond the just action - The Republic 349b is compared with a quote from ...
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What does Socrates mean by not reusing his initial objection to Cephalus’s definition of Justice to object to Polemarchus’s definition?

Plato’s Republic Book 1 331 C: Socrates says that if we return a weapon given to us by a sane friend who has since then turned insane, we are not being just. Polemarchus then defines Justice as the ...
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What was the reason why they (in Plato's Republic) chose to focus on justice?

I am trying to read Plato's The Republic. It is not easy to understand. There are two things I just can't understand. When Socrates and Glaukon come to Kephalos' house the discussion very quickly ...
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Axiomatic and formal establishment of Plato's dialectics

After years of studying Plato I have seen some attempts to formalize somehow Plato's dialectics. To be more precise, I have found writers who present Plato's dialectics (especially as it is presented ...
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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 should I pronounce words from Ancient Greek philosophy?

A somewhat unusual question here. Naturally, while reading through Ancient Greek philosophy, I've encountered many Ancient Greek words like παιδεία, οὐσία, as well as sentences like 'πάντες ἄνθρωποι ...
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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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Who is Plato and Socrates' God?

I'm reading the Phaedo, as translated by Benjamin Jowett. The characters alternately mention "God" (As a monotheist would spell it with a capital "G"), for example, at one point, Socrates says: ...
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Did classical philosophers see a happy ending to the story of humanity?

Philosophical and religious views about the end of the world are predominantly in the room of doom and gloom. But did we have an exception, with more positive views on the future of humanity? Plato ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How can immaterial soul exist without matter but immaterial redness can't?

So as the title says Aristotle and Aquinas held that soul which is substantial form of living things can exist even after separation from body. This is because soul is taken as immaterial substantial ...
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Synthesis of Aristotle and Plato

I would like to know if there are any systematic and comprehensive texts on synthesising Aristotle and Plato (mainly that come from a Neoplatonism stand point since I know this joining of the two ...
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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....
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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 ...
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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 (...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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What are some arguments against the third man argument?

I'm working on a paper concerning the third man argument. I have my own solution in mind, but I need other arguments to refute so that I can then move onto my argument. I found another thread on this ...
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What did Socrates mean by " there is no more fitting reward than maintenance in the prytaneum"?

According to wikipedia: "In general in ancient Greece, each state, city or village possessed its own central hearth and sacred fire, representing the unity and vitality of the community. The fire was ...
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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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Did Plato ever see a book by Anaxagoras?

In Plato's Phaedo (98b), Socrates says he read books (plural in the Greek) by Anaxagoras, and at Apology (26d) he says these books can "sometimes be bought in the orchestra for many drachmas.&...
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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 ...
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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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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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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, ...
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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 ...
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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/...
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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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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 ...
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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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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 that lives rent-free in the minds of humans and evolves ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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