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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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Marsilio Ficino' commentary on the Symposium on Love guidance

Is Marsilio Ficino's commentary on the Symposium on Love a good book to read alongside the Symposium for someone who is reading the Platonic dialogue? Does it give a good understanding of the ...
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What were Plato's views on substance?

Forms are Plato’s substances, for everything derives its existence from Forms. In this sense of ‘substance’ any realist philosophical system acknowledges the existence of substances. Probably the ...
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Why is Plato's Idealism and German Idealism so different?

Plato's Idealism seems to imply an objectivity and an anti-pluralism, instead rationalizing forms into main groups yet German Idealism seems to do just the opposite. I was wondering why the use of the ...
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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 with his mentor Theodorus. It's noteworthy that Plato places his dialogue about the nature of knowledge in ...
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Does Plato relatively upgrade democracy between the Republic and the Laws?

Does Plato actually lean more towards democracy in the Laws? III.693d ff. suggest an upgrading of democracy's relative position from its low status in the Republic.
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Does “Binary Exam” make philosophical sense? [closed]

My teacher gives what he calls "binary exams" where student either gets 100 or get 0. He said that this is consistent with his belief in absolute truth (like some sort of "platonic ideal") in that a ...
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How did Kant define knowledge?

A recent question about the Plato's formula K=JTB (knowledge is justified true belief) made me curious as to what Kant thought on the matter. In the prefaces and the Introduction to the first Critique ...
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Are there modern commentaries on Plato's Gorgias?

I would like some advice on editions of Plato's work. In particular, which commented edition of Plato's Gorgias is considered more authoritative, or at least most often referred to students by ...
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Plato's Phaedo : Why does the soul stay separate from the body?

In Plato's Phaedo, Socrates established that death is the separation of soul and body. But he did not give any clue for this separation. What are the factors that lead to this separation? Physical ...
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Critique of Plato's theory of Forms [closed]

I'm new to philosophical studies, my background is in mathematics. I've just read some of Aristotle's Metaphysics today, and would like critique on a brief argument I wrote against Plato's Forms ...
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Sources on greek philosophers

There are many books written by Plato and Aristotle. I was wondering if there are any good books that capture the central ideas and themes of these two philosophers?
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What function do myths serve in the Platonic dialogues?

There is a consistent pattern throughout the corpus of Plato's dialogues: first, Socrates proposes a philosophical problem, like "what is justice?" or "is there an immortal soul?". Then he goes on to ...
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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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From dialogue to monologue : Why (Platonic) Socrates claims to know nothing but manages to give book-length speeches all the time?

This inconsistency is very confusing to me. Socrates takes pride in knowing that he knows nothing. But if that is the case, how is he able to, as he often does, give book-length of "truth" (as opposed ...
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Role of death in literal interpretation of recurrent dream in Plato's Phaedo

What is the role of perception of death that Socrates soon had to face in his new literal interpretation of this dream? Why not throughout his life he did not take the instruction of making and ...
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How does Socrates's acting on a dream in Plato's Phaedo square with his rationality?

Socrates is a symbol of rational thinking. He called himself a lover of wisdom. But, on the other hand, he started to make music (poetry/composing) just on the direction of a voice that he heard in ...
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Plato's cave in reality

Does anyone know the system we live in? Is it something abstract like that described in the movie The Matrix? It exists. Why does it cost others their lives like Socrates? Lastly, do philosophers ...
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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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What is the relationship between knowledge and light that Plato presents in the Cave Allegory in Book Seven of his Republic?

I think: Light represents truth in the allegory. The prisoners only see shadows that are cast by light but are never able to see the source of that light. How about you?
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Is Plato's Theory of the Forms entirely accepted by anyone?

Plato's theory of Forms or theory of Ideas asserts that non-material abstract (but substantial) forms (or ideas), and not the material world of change known to us through sensation, possess the ...
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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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What is an example of an innate idea?

I don't see any justification to argue a person has an idea or knowledge that is not derived from its environment. How come Plato raised this question at all: How is it that we have certain ideas ...
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Plato or Aristotle on trading lives

I am sure I remember either Plato or Aristotle saying that most people, if a god approached them with an offer to trade their life for someone else's, would run away. But I have been wrong before ...
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Help with philosophical interpretation of the movie Cloud Atlas

I feel very sorry to ask for this but I really need help, I have a hard time getting an answer to what I need for my metaphysical essay related to the movie "Cloud Atlas", I have seen it several times ...
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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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Question about the Argument of Recollection from Plato's Phaedo

Under the argument of recollection, what would the answer to the following scenario? A young child has not learned a single thing about geometrical shapes. If a person were to draw a triangle and ...
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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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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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Why is Nietzsche so against Socrates?

Nietzsche recalls the story that Socrates says that 'he has been a long time sick', meaning that life itself is a sickness; Nietszche accuses him of being a sick man, a man against the instincts of ...
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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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Is a law of nature a universal?

Newton described his theory of gravity as universal. I take this to mean that this theory was universally valid, that it brought together both terrestrial and celestial phenomena under one rubric. It ...
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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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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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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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What does Marx mean by “value form”?

I've been reading some recent books that refer to money as the "value form" in Marx. In English translation, Marx does use the term "value form" and also refers to commodities as "values," in the ...
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What major innovations in social contract theory did Rousseau make compared to that of Plato's Crito?

In Plato's dialogue, Crito, where Socrates is urged by Crito to flee before he is executed, Socrates refuses and outlines a theory of social contact between a citizen and the city. I had understood ...
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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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Is the Matrix Platonic or Aristotelian?

I recently watched the Matrix and I was wondering whether it depends on the philosophy put forth by Plato or by that put forth by Aristotle. I noticed there were several analogies to Plato's analogy ...
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If Parmenides denied the reality of void, would he then have affirmed the reality of space?

Lucretious, in his poem de rerum natura had atoms moving through the void. It seems at least from a modern perspective that his void is what we would call space. The interesting question, which I ...
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What was ancient Philosophy written on/with?

What did ancient philosophers, like Plato, use to write their works on/with, physically? (Tree bark, animal skin, types of writing utensils, etc)
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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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Plato's Ideas and Hegel's Idea

Hegel famously speaks of the idea in the third section of his Doctrine of the Notion, this playing a central role in his system. It seems natural to suppose a close relation to what is traditionally ...
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Truth and Beauty in Platonism

Keats ended his Ode to a Grecian Urn with the lines: Beauty is truth, truth beauty - that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know When was the equivalence, or relation between beauty ...
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Was Neoplatonism a synthesis of Jewish & Platonic monotheism?

Was Neoplatonism a synthesis of Jewish & Platonic monotheism? Neoplatonism was a school of mystical philosophy synthesising Jewish theology and Plato's philosophy. Its major theorist & ...
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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 ...