Who was the first/most relevant philosopher to call bullshit on Plato's shitty arguments about the immortality of the soul and all his Form nonsense (mostly in Phaedo)?
Also, why did Plato lost all of his cool on these topics? He was much better when he was asking people what is shit.
>dude calculus is soooo confusing
>well have you done any proper study into it?
>oh so you have to study shit to understand it?! what kinda shit is that
See, other people can shitpost too
Diogenes was contemporary and critic of Plato. Other minor sokratic schools were anti platonic too, but none of these are really that much relevant.
It's Aristotle the first important philosopher to attack Plato.
>He was much better when he was asking people what is shit.
εkεινος ην ο Σωkρατης, ω noob της φιλοσοφιας.
> - We must believe, my friend, that this bodily element is heavy, ponderous,
> earthy and visible. Through it, such a soul has become heavy and is dragged
> back to the visible region in fear of the unseen and of Hades. It wanders,
> as we are told, around graves and monuments, where shadowy phantoms,
> images that such souls produce, have been seen, souls that have not been
> freed and purified but share in the visible, and are therefore seen.
> - That is likely, Socrates.
Socrates is talking about ghosts right out of his ass. How much study do I need for this not to be 'shitty' or 'nonsense'?
Regarding to your post, I found this:
> A fifth kind of Socratic irony may be found in Socrates’ use of invalid arguments or, more broadly, of fallacies.
> The Phaedo’s “proofs” for the immortality of the soul might supply a case in point.
> Were Socrates’ cheerfulness in the face of death a direct result of his confidence in the (to us quite obviously unpersuasive) arguments favoring immortality
It also suggests a controversial interpretation of Phaedo on those lines called “The Proofs of Immortality in Plato’s Phaedo”.
>Who was the first/most relevant philosopher to call bullshit on Plato's...
>...shitty arguments about the immortality of the soul and all his Form nonsense (mostly in Phaedo)?
True, but he's taking that from Plato's Parmenides.
Griswold's pretty good on that stuff.
Readings that don't take the myths literally abound, but a quick list would be the above mentioned Griswold, Ferrari, Gadamer, Heidegger, Strauss, Rosen, Benardete, Arieti, Brann, Zuckert, Roochnik, Miller, Brumbaugh, Press, Craig, Bloom, etc. etc.
Even among the analytics who are suspicious of "ironic" or "dramatic" readings, most of them acknowledge that the myths aren't to be taken literally. You're pretty much left with the early Neo-Platonists, who were criticized pretty harshly for it (especially Plotinus and his immediate successors), including by later Neo-Platonists who tried to develop a better and more rigorous hermeneutic theory for reading Plato.
Thanks, quite useful.
Yeah, that guy is cool. I just read some of his stuff. He basically deduces that the text and arguments are ironic because of the context and background of the interlocutors of the dialog.
What I find puzzling is that you need a lot of background info to even get a coherent idea of these text.
Besides that, not even Wikipedia or Stanford EOP gives any information about the main interpretation issues.
I guess I was used to the earlier dialogues, which were more straightforward.
>How do you know all that? Particularly that comprehensive 'quick list'
Lots of reading of both Plato (in Greek and with a shit ton of different translations) and of all sorts of secondary lit, including the stuff I find stupid (gotta practice defending your positions somehow!).
RE: Gadmaer, I think some of that's a result of his historicist prejudice creeping in. There are usually other indications that are already in the texts (e.g., Meno you can tell is a tyrannical asshat not just because of Xenophon's account, but because Socrates in even playfully suggesting so causes a careful reader to notice that he's quicker to try and impress than he is to earnestly search for what virtue is--his "Meno's paradox" is just as likely to be something memorized from Gorgias as almost anything else he says), though it certainly helps to be informed when possible (did you know that Thrasymachus was an ambassador to Athens for his home country during the last decade of the war? Keep that in mind when you read his speeches; his concerns for justice and injustice aren't quite as malicious as usually characterized).
If you'd like background on the characters (incredibly useful, but not strictly necessary), look for Debra Nails' book on the People of Plato (I think you can find it on bookzz or bookfi).
Maybe the main source for my approach is Phaedrus 264b, which has an important passage about speech making. Reading different schools of thought on one work is pretty nice to, at least to get a sense of both what you as a reader are possibly missing, but also how the material can be argued about from several different positions (and it becomes clearer which positions are more or less defensible if you have your own eye on the text as often as possible--some commentators aren't as honest as they'd like you to think).
>Just curious, do you have a particular view on the why of Socrates' dubious arguments in the Phaedo?
I don't think I have as comprehensive of an understanding as I'd like, but some of what initially strikes me is how absurd the basic premise of the dialogue is, which, when put this way, I think you may see as absurd:
Socrates teaches a bunch of Pythagoreans Pythagorean ideas that they already, as Pythagoreans, believe in.
What I have in mind are:
The immortality of the soul
The transmigration of the soul and recollection
Forms/ideas that are often mathematical (The Greater, the Lesser, the Equal, the Odd, the Even, etc.)
There's also just a lot of subtler references to Pythagorean and Orphic doctrines, terms, ideas, etc. throughout. This is usually taken as strict evidence that Plato was himself a Pythagorean, but that doesn't seem clear to me. Again, once we focus on the premise of the dialogue, that Socrates will teach to Pythagoreans a bunch of Pythagorean doctrines they already know, we stumble upon what seems to be the cause of that absurdity: the fear of death, and not really even that of how the friends fear for Socrates--they fear their *own* deaths, and that seems plain to Socrates.
Something else strange falls out of this: it's not just that Socrates uses bad arguments that neither he nor the Pythagoreans are persuaded by, but that he's using Orphic and Pythagorean arguments that they're not persuaded by.
Now here's where I get lost, admittedly. The fear of death and the unpersuasiveness of the arguments (unpersuasive because of the intensity of the fear for death?) seem to point to some other concern that *Socrates* has, and that's misology. *His* fear is that they'll give up philosophizing because of their fear. Something about this seems to necessitate the myth at the end, that it corresponds to the speeches about "charms" and such at the beginning, and how Socrates has been practicing music in jail, putting Aesop into verse.
Now, a question I have is whether or not Socrates used these arguments that weren't persuasive *in order* to speak about misology and tell them all about his "second sailing," which is a pretty abrupt and strange transition in the dialogue.
The passages about the "second sailing" seem to be the most important in the dialogue, and those passages link Phaedo with Parmenides and Symposium in discussing Socrates' philosophical maturation; I think to understand the Phaedo better, it has to be read alongside those two. But rhetorically, they don't care about the more interesting problems hinted at in that speech (especially between mechanistic and psychological/teleological causes), but rather the fact that he's telling them about some alternative course he took after this one time when he also, as they seem to be about to do, "lost his way". *That's* what's important to them and not the forms as such or even exactly how hypothesis works or what he's doing with it. (Note that he refers to the forms as "much babbled about"--it's strange that he would bring them up in such dismissive language. No one takes him to task for it.)
A brief word about the forms in the Phaedo: The use of mathematical forms is *specifically* meant to appeal to these Pythagoreans on a rhetorical level--consider how the forms in the Republic are most often discussed as political virtues, which befits a crowd of men all interested in politics, while the form discussed in the Symposium is the Beautiful, which is befitting of a group of people gathered to celebrate a poetry performance (and where two of the most prestigious people present are poets). So, you talk about forms of virtue with aristocrats, beauty with poets, and with Pythagoreans? Math. They love that shit.
So it seems that he's telling them some things that are true, and some things that are "true" (he says the following about the myth he tells: "Now to insist that all this holds in just the way I've described it, isn't fitting for a man with any mind." The truth is "like" the myth somehow...). The end seems to be to assuage them of fear, and to keep them philosophizing.
A big question I still have is whether there's some suggestion that of course Pythagoreanism and Orphicism won't lead men to philosophy *proper*--it can't assuage those men of their fear of death, and that's the biggest point! But somehow a tweaked presentation of it will do better? I don't know. Confounding as shit.
The history of ideas and the history of philosophy is a world riddled with boogeymen versions of certain philosophers. Some of the more common historical boogeymen are "Plato", "Aristotle", "scholasticism" / "Medieval philosophy" , "Descartes", "Kant", "Hegel", "Nietzsche", and "Kierkegaard" . You may notice two things about this list: (1) every name is in quotes and (2) every one of these is a philosopher and/or philosophical position.
To really follow the history of ideas, you often need to know both the philosopher and the boogeyman version because some authors use these names to talk about boogeymen.
The Aristotle boogeyman usually occurs in the context of science and sometimes in some 20th century logic. The general attributes are:
1 Some sort of crazy view about biology that we call "teleology"
2 Horrible observational skills as identifiable from mistakes like miscounting the number of teeth in women
3 Inaccurate beliefs about pregnancy
4 Convoluted logical method that does not compare with contemporary logic
Teleology is a deeply misunderstood idea, because later scholastic philosophers used it to prop up vitailism and other views that were deeply mistaken about life. But Aristotle's idea is not (at least on all occasions) so onerously off. But people who at best have read small snippets of Aristotle's works in biology associate the view with him -- because that's the story they are taught.
Regarding 2, he was just wrong. I have no idea why. His father was a physician and he spent a decade looking at animals.
Regarding 3, the picture is more complicated, because he gets right what you need to make offspring, but he does not understand exactly what the man and woman bring and associates this with his hylomorphic account such that the woman contributes the hyle (matter) and the man the morphe (form). But if you compare what he understood with the views, he's critiquing, he's a biological genius.
Regarding 4, could Aristotle solve every problem we can now with propositional logic, modal logic, deontic logic, and set theory? No, but again, think about how impressive it is that he came up with the syllogistic method that after its rediscovery transformed Western thought.
I think Russell is for the most part thinking of a boogeyman Aristotle -- an antiquated ignoramus not well identified with remnant texts we possess.There's a grain of truth in the weakness of some of Aristotle's methods for logic. I would not say this is because they are wrong, I would say it is because they are just limited. (But then I would like to add in passing that many of Russell's forays regarding logical positivism and philosophy of language are no longer current either).
Yes. Benardete has two discussions of the Phaedo, one at the opening of his Republic commentary (Socrates' Second Sailing), and an essay in a collection of his essays on the Greeks (The Argument of the Action). His student Ronna Burger has a book-length study on the Phaedo (Plato's Phaedo: A Platonic Labyrinth). Jacob Klein ha an essay on the Phaedo in a collection (Essays and Lectures) that brings up the Orphic and Pythagorean elements, and his student Eva Brann has a short essay in the opening of her translation of the Phaedo (along with two other scholars) that discusses some of these elements. Kenneth Dorter has an interesting book length study of the Phaedo as well detailing this shit.
Benardete and Burger have worked out this stuff more thoroughly, but their commentaries are very intense and difficult, and I'm not sure how much I understand of them. The rest I mentioned are interesting, but I don't think they push hard enough on the specific elements I mentioned--just allusions that they only sometimes work out a bit more.
I'm currently reading through Plato's works, supplementing with the SEP. Can someone tell me who are the best Plato scholars, so when I do second readings of his dialogues, I can further my interpretation/knowledge with essays.
Lots of argument over that, since there's a number of different competing schools.
Cornford and Taylor's books are still standard as good studies, though no one really much approves of Cornford's translations anymore. American and British scholarship has been dominated by Gregory Vlastos, who basically just applied analytic philosophical analysis to the arguments of the dialogues. His school has been fading in influence since the 90s, but is still very much present (most of the SEP info you'll find owes something or other to him and his students).
There's been a lot more emphasis on dramatic interpretations, and those scholars tend to be centered around Jacob Klein and Leo Strauss. There's not quite as much dogmatic orthodoxy in these schools, though that gets ignored (Strauss's students regularly differ in their interpretations--compare Strauss's "City and Man", Allan Bloom's essay in his translation of the Republic, and the commentaries of Leon Harold Craig (The War Lovers), Seth Benardete (Socrates' Second Sailing), and Stanley Rosen (Plato's Republic)--they have certain similarities, but they all differ in important points).
Klein's influence is gentler than that of Strauss: Eva Brann, Charles Griswold, David Roochnik, Geoffrey Ferrari, Drew Hyland, Gerald Press, John Sallis, etc. don't really make up a school, more than that they all pay attention to dramatic details. They all owe something to Strauss as well, but don't really consider themselves "Straussian" or students of Strauss. They also owe something to Heidegger's readings of Plato, usually with pretty substantial differences.
It's worth maybe trying to master one text to start with, and to look at whatever articles you can find by these different figures. I tend towards the dramatists over the analytics and traditional interpreters, but the latter two offer lots of useful insights too.
only a limited set of examples that are derived from only partial comparison.
>Most of the examples you present in your image have absolutely nothing to do with the golden ratio.
The spirals most commonly seen in nature are equi-angular (aka logarithmic) spirals. This simply means that the spiral expands at a constant rate. This occurs because it creates an even flow of energy or distribution of tension. This has nothing at all to do with the golden ratio. Accordingly, all the illustrations of spiral arms of galaxies, curves of ocean waves, spiraling hurricanes, etc. that are incorrectly identified as a “Golden Ratio” or “Golden Spiral” should be relabeled or removed to avoid further confusion in perpetuating this golden ratio myth. There is another type of spiral that is related to the golden ratio, however, that occurs very commonly in nature. The spirals that appear in pine cones, pineapples, seed pods and similar plant structures are usually based on two successive numbers of the Fibonacci sequence. For example, if there are eight spirals in a clockwise direction, you will find thirteen spirals going in the counter-clockwise direction. Neither of these spirals is necessarily a “golden ratio” spiral on its own, but the ratio of these successive Fibonacci numbers approximates the golden ratio.
This is correct. It's why the last part of Plato's life was called the "critical period". Once Aristotle joined the Academy Plato started backpedaling on some of his ideas, and then Aristotle outright argued against some of them after he left the Academy
This is correct. That's why the last part of Plato's life is called the critical period. Once Aristotle joined the Academy Plato started backpedaling on some of his ideas. Once Aristotle left the Academy he outright overturned a lot of them
Correct? This is. That is why the last part of his life is called the critical period. When Aristotle joined the Academy, he (Plato) started backpedaling on some of his ideas. Once Aristotle left the Academy he outright overturned some ideas.
>Are there any contemporary evidence for Diogenes existing? IIRC most sources are from 100s of years later.
Not Diogenes, but there is evidence for the existence of his father, Hicesias. Hicesias was master of the mint in Sinop and there are actually some coins bearing his name. Later Hicesias was exiled together with his family, which is how Diogenes ended up as a tramp.
That ignores the Philebus (with its own "eidetic number" view of forms), the Timaeus-Critias (with the technically already refuted in Parmenides "paradigm" view of forms), and the Sophist-Statesman (with the former's "Greatest Kinds", and the "genetic" view of the latter).
The forms never go away, nor is it clear (and Timaeus is the proof of it) that just because a criticism was leveled in the Parmenides, that the intent was to "critique" or "fix" the forms; when a dialogue written later contains a view supposedly strongly refuted in an earlier written dialogue, I'm not sure what it means, but it sure doesn't mean what that the view in the latter was as strictly refuted as thought.
If any of you are interested, I just put up a rar of a bunch of Republic articles/essays/commentaries:
Lots of different perspectives (Neo-Platonic, traditional philological, analytic, Straussian, post-structuralist), lots of different lengths (4 page articles discussing very particular passages to 500 page commentaries on the minutiae of the Greek text).
Do you mean the city described in the Republic? Or the ideas/forms generally?
The former he disagrees critiques along lines already present in the Republic (namely that as soon as a natural birth occurs and the noble lie is exposed as a lie, everything begins devolving immediately).
As far as the forms are concerned, if it were clear what Plato thought of them, we could say more, but the forms are treated so differently in every dialogue, and there are so many variables to take account of for explaining why they're described differently all the time, that's it hard to say. It's more clear that he disagrees with a large contingent of the Academy led by Plato's nephew, Speusippus, who tried to Pythagoreanize Plato's teachings, and especially the forms. The forms where they're similar to Pythagorean "numbers" he finds pretty absurd.
>Aristotle rejected Plato's kingdom of ideas right?
No. He rejected that there was a transcendental "realm of the forms".
Aristotle was an essentialist. He thought the form or essence was within the material.