Logos
 
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 03:42 pm
Hello Members; I would like to simply start this thread on Plato by making the statement that in reading 'Gorgias' I am especially moved. I find this true with Plato in general, and Gorgias even more so than the other dialogues I have read. When I say 'moved', I mean more precisely that it reaches my 'soul' with profound truth......Any other members with this experience.? .....Logos
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Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 03:51 pm
@Logos,
No................
Logos
 
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Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 04:04 pm
@Fido,
Wow....Thanks for the chuckle:).......Logos
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Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 04:10 pm
@Logos,
The more I know of Plato and Socrates; the less I like of him, and them...
I used to think that Knowledge was virtue, as Socrates was supposed to have said...Certainly it is true, that when we try to act rationally, but we do so with incomplete knowledge that pain, destruction, and evil inevitably result.... No one should get so hooked on their ideals that they do n ot consider the consequences...Even with the best ideals, when they start to kill people and hurt people, the idealist should be able to see the flaw... Forms should always feed the relationship...

If you want to consider a very good book on the subject, there is one called the Trial of Socrates, that does much to nail the guy...While the Greeks were fascinated with other cultures, clearly Plato and Socrates did not understand the purpose of their own institutions, and this shows in their misunderstanding of scenes in Homer...If asked, how would you create a perfects society; the first thing most people do is throw out what has been arrived at naturally..We have no natural societies, but we know more than the Greeks really knew about how their society evolved from a natural society...The question never comes up from in the Republic or any of the books I have read... The guy assumes democracy is the worse form, when it is the best form when it results in equality...Which Plato throws out at ever opportunity...
Logos
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 05:31 pm
@Fido,
Fido:


Thank You for your response. I think I may understand your points here but need to ask to be sure.
1). Please clarify what you mean by---- "Certainly it is true, that when we try to act rationally, but we do so with incomplete knowledge that pain, destruction, and evil inevitably result."--- in reference to thinking rationally.?
2) In all of the readings I have experienced with Plato/Socrates considering consequences is a central theme. He is an idealist in the sense of seeking what "The Good" is, and advocates rationality, using the dialectic approach. I am not aware of people dying directly by Plato/Socrates.
5) Please give examples of Plato's and Socrates misunderstandings of scenes with Homer.
6) Are not all societies natural? Yes. The question is which work best, and having a dialogue on the subject is a means to discover that end. The 'Gorgias' is much more on a personal level than that, or as such, as the "Republic".
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 08:35 pm
@Logos,
Logos wrote:
Fido:


Quote:

Thank You for your response. I think I may understand your points here but need to ask to be sure.
1). Please clarify what you mean by---- "Certainly it is true, that when we try to act rationally, but we do so with incomplete knowledge that pain, destruction, and evil inevitably result."--- in reference to thinking rationally.?
Just as Jefferson, and crew tried to build a new society on the rationalism of the enlightenment, and had that effort turn into the constitution of the united states holding up goals, which should be the goals of all humanity and every government, but tipping the scales ever so slightly in their own favor, where, if they had let their sense of good, rather than their rational understanding of good rule them, they might have provided a more enduring government..
[quote]2) In all of the readings I have experienced with Plato/Socrates considering consequences is a central theme. He is an idealist in the sense of seeking what "The Good" is, and advocates rationality, using the dialectic approach. I am not aware of people dying directly by Plato/Socrates.
They were idealist, certainly, but primarily metaphysicists, just as Jefferson....We might say that all people are equal...The notion that we are created so gives a wrong impression, only good so long as you buy the predicate... Plato and Soc believed forms/ideal were the perfect template from which all real imperfection was created; by a creator... The notion that we just conceive of things so -never entered their minds so far as I can tell....The form follows and does not precede any reality...Metaphysics plays no part in it...[/SIZE]
[quote][/quote]I would feel very smart if I were the only one who has realised that all forms are also form of relationship between people... Pick a form, and unless it is a dead form, people still talk about it, and relate through it... The way Jeffereson used the term in reference to government is exactly true, but true regardless of the form, because all of history is the story of exchanging one form that did not work for one that worked better, so people changed their form of food preparation, or their form of dwelling...Forms of marriage and forms of economy have also went through many changes, and each time have allowed for great leisure and higher populations...And yet forms still need to be replaced from time to time... We cannot live without forms...They are essential to our understanding of life, and we relate through them, as they structure our relationships; but some times, even if they might work well other wise, some people inevitably turn them to their own advantage, and then they have to be replaced...Or, they will end up destroying society, just as the Greek Economy warped the philosophers sense of value and meaning, so they undermined the strength of their society and left it open to destruction...
[quote][/quote]The problem is, for them, more than for us, but for us as well, that we cannot see through our forms... People may put the self interest of the US above all others and berate all who do not agree... What if that form, the US is only supposed to be a stepping stone to a sort of world government capable of delivering justice to all???Even the idea of self, as distinct from community, many in the day of Socrates many would have found absurd, but it played a large part in the formulation of Roman law as revived by the Church and spread around Europe, which has led to the destruction of communities and community power right down to the level of the family, and also led to our great economic and technical power, and also our great wars... What I am saying is this: Perspective... These were some ignorant philosophers, ignorant of their own roots having a fundamental and monumental effect on the course of European history...From what vantage point can we determine the Good??? No man can judge what has developed out of natural consaguinieus institutions, because these are from time immemorial, and we have all come out of these sorts of community groups from where we get the word and the sense of ethics...Understanding, these people were blind, and so they asked: What is this???Why did this man behave in such and such a fashion??? And this in relation to their oldest myths, the meaning of which they had lost sight of...
[quote]5) Please give examples of Plato's and Socrates misunderstandings of scenes with Homer.[/quote]It is in relation to some statements made, I think in the republic and mentioned in the trial of Socrates, and I think it is about in the pow wow in the first book of the Iliad, where a man dares to run down Agamemnon for being too greedy... Socrates did not think well of that, but it was a different world with a different economy... The Greeks in general were rich on trade, and perhaps in part on piracy... Athens in particular was also rich in silver, and since they had a money economy an honor economy was far from their memory... Now, as you may know, it was not Helen's face that sent that army to Troy; but honor, and a common pledge on honor... Under such circumstances, the very fairness of everyman as judge of his own share was a given... So if you say Justice is to each man his due; then you have reached the ultimate cause of the conflict, which was discords golden apple tossed between the Godesses, for which Paris was made the judge, of who was the fairest... Justice consumed those people, but no less than they, to be fair, justice should be individual and fit every situation rather than one size fits all...And what the Greeks at Illium were trying to work out individually, and freely, Socrates and company were trying to work out in final form...It cannot be done...
Quote:

6) Are not all societies natural? Yes. The question is which work best, and having a dialogue on the subject is a means to discover that end. The 'Gorgias' is much more on a personal level than that, or as such, as the "Republic".

[/quote]No...All societies are not natural...Greece was in many respects natural; and a family is natural, and the word nation comes from that root, of natal (navel) relating all back to a common mother...Our society is a made society from a form, made not from a common mother, but shared ideals..
Something that may help you is a simple fact...What the Greeks thought of dialectics, was a means of finding truth by presenting contrary opinions in conversation; but the medieval philosophers conceived of dialectics as a means of resolving opposites....Do you see a difference when you read Plato???
I got to put the horse to bed..Big day tomorrow..
Logos
 
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Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 11:49 pm
@Fido,
Fido:
Thank You for your reply. You have given me much to think about. I think I understand overall your answers, though I clearly see I have less historical knowledge. I may have less of many other .but I am intrigued and appreciate your detailed answers. --το καλον --

1). Perhaps a definition is in order concerning 'natural' as to societies. I take it as a product of humans, which are natural, and thus their products are natural. So each society is as justice or corruption are natural. Natural in this sense has no qualification as good or best.

2). Are you using 'Form' to designate a concept? I mean in the sense that you are distinguishing it from Plato'syou meaning -as an abstract concept of X?
3). It is fascinating how different scholars will have such wide ranging opinions on whether Plato took his 'forms' in all seriousness later in how Aristotle did or did not differ so much in his philosophy from Plato. I certainly recognize that there is much room to read into it what one wishes.

4) If Jefferson and those involved as founders, as you indicate, used and followed what was 'good' not from a rational point of view but from a 'sense of good', things may have turned out differently. Are you stating they were'rationalizing' in the sense of it being a pejorative? I am unclear on how you mean to distinguish the two. I ask this in particular with the thought that perhaps you mean they were rational in a disconnected, less than human manner. In that case I would wonder to what degree they were not being honest with themselves about what they really knew to be best?

5) Did the Greek Economy warp the philosophers sense of value and meaning?that their value and meaning became monetary based? Please elaborate on this. Thank

OK and back to work .Logos

This post was edited because all of the words ran together when initially submitted.
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