Hot answers tagged

40

It's essentially impossible to offer definitive proof on the matter, but it's extremely unlikely that Socrates was merely a figment of Plato's imagination. The primary evidence in this regard is the fact that multiple independent sources make reference to him in various ways. For example, the philosopher Xenophon of Athens was a student and admirer of ...


13

The Stoics were continuum theorists, the Epicureans were atomists. These are conflicting positions. The Stoics upheld bivalence for propositions, the Epicureans seemed to be happy to give up bivalence for future contingents. These are likely to be conflicting positions. (I say likely, since the Epicureans did not subscribe to the Stoic theory of propositions ...


11

Both of the answers are correct to point out that the dialogues are fictitious. It is extremely unlikely any section of any length is a transcript of an actual conversation between Socrates and anyone. This, however, should not surprise us because the idea of making dialogue in a written work a transcript is a modern concept. No one would have done so until ...


11

Yes, and the Phaedo and the Republic (to cite just two texts) provide evidence for this. Phaedo Running through the dialogue has been the thought that soul and body are sharply distinct and opposed. In fact Plato notoriously wavers, between different arguments, in his treatment of the soul/body relation and the nature of the soul; but in ...


10

In very broad strokes: All of the definitions you propose for "dialectic" share a common, crucial factor: that truth is not static, but something that unfolds via a back-and-forth process. Plato, the scholastics, Hegel, and Kierkegaard all subscribe to this notion, and the differences in usage between them are secondary when viewed in this manner. ...


10

I do not remember any passage where Plato refers to the Jewish religion or to Jewish mythology. Sometimes Plato refers to myths he pretends to have heard from Egyptians and possibly he invented some myths by himself. E.g., he refers to the myth of Atlantis and he himself traveled to Italy and had contact with he school of Pythagoras and their myths of ...


10

Key text here may be On opinion, knowledge and belief, CPR B 848-859. There is conviction [Überzeugung]. It is the subjective part necessary for knowledge: Taking something to be true is an occurrence in our understanding that may rest on objective grounds, but that also requires subjective causes in the mind of him who judges. If it is valid for ...


10

I believe the Nietzsche's passage referred to is this one: "Socrates' decadence is suggested not only by the admitted wantonness and anarchy of his instincts, but also by the hypertrophy of the logical faculty and that barbed malice which distinguishes him. Nor should we forget those auditory hallucinations which, as "the daimonion of Socrates," have been ...


10

Whether Plato's character of Socrates or Plato himself believed in a God or many Gods is not perfectly clear. Additionally, we can't ascribe any sort of belief to the historical Socrates; we just don't know enough about his life that doesn't come from Plato or Xenophon. For the rest of this answer I'll say "Socrates" instead of "Plato's character of Socrates"...


10

I'm not sure Plato directly answers this question, but the dialogs clearly suggest the answer is yes. Plato frequently uses the metaphor of traveling closer or further away from the divine, immortal realm of perfection sometimes characterized as the Realm of the Forms. For example, in the "Allegory of the Cave", from The Republic, the mental journey ...


9

SOCRATES VERSUS BUDDHA ON THE SOUL If Buddhism denies the existence of any continuing self or soul, this appears to conflict with Socrates' view of a continuing soul which is freed and released from the regions of the earth as from a prison. The soul continues to exist, Socrates says, but in radically different conditions. For Buddhism there is no soul to ...


8

I'm far from an expert on the matter, but here's my take: Overall, myths play a very large role in Plato's writings, and it seems to me that the closing myths serve as a sort of "Noble Lie," a concept discussed in The Republic. For example, the myth of Er in The Republic likely does not represent Plato's view on the matter (the myth being fairly arbitrary ...


8

Socrates was a living person, and was really sentenced to death. He wasn't the only one being sentenced to death for contrived reasons during that time in Athens. People fleeing Athens for fear of persecution sometimes referred to Socrates death for justification. I see this as some form of convention, because the accusation "not holding the gods in honor" ...


8

Yes, in part. Socrates is teasing Ion, but also with a purpose. He is drawing Ion out. Ion is flattered by the endorsement of his interpretive talents as derived from the gods, and thinks that this is an endorsement of his artistic or interpretive expertise. Part of why Ion appreciates this view of his talents lies in its connection with the Greek ...


8

In several places, most notably the discussion of the "Allegory of the Cave" in The Republic, Plato's Socrates identifies the Ideal of the Good as the singular source of all good things in the universe. Plato's followers, the Neoplatonists, further identified this Idea of the Good with God, a perspective that was very influential on early Christian theology....


8

Plato believed in deeper levels of Truth and Reality underlying the world as we know it. Because of the relative imperfection of our own world, we can not fully express or directly communicate deeper Truth. However, we have an unbreakable and inherent internal connection to it. Accordingly, Plato believes in a Socratic process of teaching via questions, ...


7

Here's Socrates' lead in to the quote I pulled for my question on Math.SE: “The fact is,” said he, “in some such cases, that not only the abstract idea itself has a right to the same name through all time, but also something else, which is not the idea, but which always, whenever it exists, has the form of the idea. But perhaps I can make my meaning ...


7

First: if one wishes to examine the writings of the known pre-Socratic philosophers, these have been widely published and are readily available. From these, it is difficult to find anything that Plato borrowed from anyone prior to Socrates. Next: if one wishes to look at the contemporary documentation of Plato's place in Greek philosophy, one must turn to ...


7

This presentation, I think, will answer most of your questions about the inscription. In short: Plato probably didn't inscribe anything himself. Was there something inscribed above the academy? We don't know. The inscription story began in the 4th century when it was mentioned directly by Julian the Apostate in 362 and tangentially by Sopater of Apamea. So ...


7

It's arguably not possible to "fully" understand any great work of philosophy. In the Platonic tradition, in fact, the general assumption is that you are being pointed in the direction of things that can never be fully explained, communicated or apprehended. With that said, Plato is extremely readable if you get a good translation, and is an excellent ...


7

Both Plato and Gödel were mathematical platonists. Both held that mathematical objects existed abstractly and outside of spacetime. This is what we would call mathematical realism. This position is different from just the Forms because even Plato in The Republic and other dialogues distinguishes between the type of being exhibited by the Forms and by the ...


7

See the Myth of Er : "a legend that concludes Plato's Republic". In the final part (617d–621b), a priest of Lachesis tells the returning souls that they must choose their next incarnate lives and take full responsibility for their destinies : This is the word of Lachesis [...] : Souls that live for a day, now is the beginning of another cycle of mortal ...


7

Welcome, Delforge Heraclitus and constant change - a vexed question THE thought of Heraclitus of Ephesus is still often summarized as " All things are flowing ", panta rhei; by which it is inferred that everything is in constant change. This summary goes back ultimately to Plato, who at Cratylus, 402a, wrote as follows: " Heraclitus says ...


6

Most philosophers are writing in a given historical background, either consciously within it or against it (Kant was reacting to Hume), so a chronological reading will tend to maintain context. But each author has written quite a lot, so I'd advise against trying to read the totality of one author before moving on to the next one. I'd suggest some kind of ...


6

Socrates' statement is an admonition to others that they should be more introspective, that they should look inside themselves to see what is good or bad, what kind of values one has and whether one meets them. But this is all in the context of others judging -him-. This is simply a more indirect way of pointing out hypocrisy. (forgive the scripture but......


6

Perseus digital library has quite a few Greek texts and provides access to a few Attic Greek Lexicons. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/searchresults?q=qumoeidhs&target=greek This entry is from the Liddle-Scott-Jones on Perseus: θυ_μο-ειδής , ές, A. high-spirited, τὸ θ. Hp.Aër.12; opp. ἄθυμος, Pl. R.456a; opp. ὀργίλος, ib.411c. 2. passionate, hot-...


6

In context, these aren't an example of a linear argument, but four separate a illustrations of the idea that one who is good at doing one part of an occupation well is also able to other parts well. In fact Socrates introduces the idea with this phrase: Then, my friend, justice cannot be a thing of much worth if it is useful only for things out of use ...


6

I am not in a position to answer your question about scholarly consensus regarding the two symbolic meanings of the choice of the Piraeus. There is, however, a discussion of the framing story of the Republic that I encountered recently and found fascinating. That discussion addresses what was said to be going on in the Piraeus just before the dialogue, ...


6

One possible answer to this is given by Rousseau. You can read the part on Democracy here (the following chapters are at least as relevant, so don't skip them). Little extract: For a monarchical State to have a chance of being well governed, its population and extent must be proportionate to the abilities of its governor. It is easier to conquer than ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible