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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Is Socrates mocking Ion in Plato's dialogue?

In "Ion", Socrates argues that Ion's poetic talents are a gift of the gods, but not the product of any knowledge/skills. Ion naturally takes that as a compliment, being called "divine", but is ...
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Plato books for a philosophy newcomer

I watched a funny philosophy crash course on youtube, and I'm very curious about Plato. As a beginner, where should I start? Original work? Other author's books about his philosophy?
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Are people inherently good according to Plato?

Are people inherently good according to Plato? Are Gods subject to forms, in the sense that they are good because they are subject to the form of good, or are they independent of the forms? Because I ...
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371 views

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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Parmenides' objections to Plato's theory of the forms?

What is being argued against Plato's theory of the forms in this passage (this is a dialogue): Well, said Parmenides, and what do you say of another question? What question? I imagine that the way ...
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131 views

Marriage, age and temperance in Plato's Republic

Temperance is one of the four cardinal virtues discussed in Plato's Republic. I understand temperance as restraint from excesses where 'excesses' refer to things that are not necessary or useful ...
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Is Heraclitus really a Mobilist?

I learned that Heraclitus stressed the importance of change and the ephemeral nature of things in the cosmos. However, it seems that Heraclitus refers to a "logos": The opening of Heraclitus' book ...
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What does Plato think of human nature in the Republic?

In his Republic, Socrates describes the basic principle of the ideal society to be the separation, classification, and employment of men according to their natural abilities: a man is born with a ...
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The concept of eudaimonia

The usual definitions of eudaimonia as "happiness" or "flourishing" or the like, don't seem to fit the actual translation of the word. The word means "a good spirit," where "spirit" has semi-mystical ...
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Did any Greek or Roman philosopher(s) 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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Plato and the knowledge of the forms

Suppose Plato finally has knowledge of the "forms"* he set out to find after some time (remember knowledge). One day his soul departs to for the soul realm. When he reaches, the "forms" welcome his ...
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What philosophers believed marriage is man's ultimate perfection?

It seems Plato believed this when he says, through Aristophanes in the Symposium: After the division [by Zeus,] the two parts of man, each desiring his other half, came together, and throwing their ...
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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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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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Do you know of a book on Greek philosophy with a Corinthian helmet on the cover?

I read it years ago, and it seems I have lost it. The biggest thing I can remember is that it had a Corinthian helmet on the front cover. Also that it was translated by multiple authors and it had ...
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Where might I find the Socratic dialogue on the mythical story of private property/homesteading?

I read a great story awhile back about a group of philosophers who approached Socrates with a question regarding the rights of private property and if a man could rightly own land on a world that ...
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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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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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Did Plato say “In order to argue, you must express your opponents argument better than they could?”

One friend said: If I can't see what is substantial and noble in a viewpoint I oppose - whether ethical, political, or religious - there's a good chance I haven't understood it, and/or that my own ...
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What if Euthyphro gave the opposite answer?

As part of a course I am taking, I was asked to continue the dialogue Euthyphro as if Euthyphro had given the opposite response to Plato's famous question: Is the pious loved by the gods because it ...
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Why is Plato's visible world said to be Heraclitean and Plato's intelligible world said to be Parmenidean?

I have been learning about Plato's Theory of Forms, and I have read that Plato's visible world is Heraclitean, and Plato's intelligible world is Parmenidean. I think I understand the parallel between ...
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What are some arguments against the third man argument?

I'm working on a paper concerning the third 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 topic ...
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Plato - against teaching philosophy to children

I'm trying to hunt down a half-remembered quote from Plato, possibly from the Republic, where he actually argues AGAINST teaching children philosophy too early, in the fears it will confuse them and ...
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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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Does the typological psychology of the Republic apply to the characters in Symposium?

In the Republic, Plato lays out a psychological theory that includes a typology of polities and their corresponding citizens, which descend in order from Good to bad: Aristocracy, Timocracy, Oligarchy,...
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When did the idea of free will begin? Same for determinism

Hey so I'm doing this free will v determinism thing for class and I've tried but I can't seem to find when the separate beliefs came about. I know Socrates and Aristotle had something to do with them ...
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Is there 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's sunlight and firelight: the philosophical metaphor of light in the allegory of the Cave

Plato refers to two kinds of light: sunlight outside the cave and firelight inside. Does sunlight represent truth ? What of firelight ? The prisoners only see shadows that are cast by light but are ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...