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Jefferson, Adams, and me on Plato

 
 
MJA
 
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2008 09:58 am
In a letter to John Adams dated Monticello July 15, 14 Jefferson wrote:

"I am just returned from one of my long absences, having been at my other home for five weeks past. Having more leisure there than here for reading, I amused myself with reading seriously Plato's Republic. I am wrong however in calling it amusement, for it was the heaviest task-work I ever went through. I had occasionally before taken up some of his other works, but scarcly ever had patience to go through a whole dialogue. While wading thro' the whimsies, the pruelities, and unintelligible jargon of his work, I laid it down often to ask myself how it could have been that the world should have consented to give reputation to such nonsense as this?"

Adam's writes back with this response:

"I am so glad you have seriously read Plato: and still more rejoiced to find that your reflections upon him so perfectly harminize with mine."

And so also Plato is with me.

What about you?

=
MJA
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 2,083 • Replies: 9

 
Logos
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 04:01 pm
@MJA,
Hello:
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 04:20 pm
@MJA,
If you read the Declaration of Independence, you will see that in talking of forms of government, Jefferson expresses a perfect understanding of forms Suffering only from metaphysics... And it is one I agree with... It was the church that bought into Plato; mostly because they did not have access to Aristotle until later, and then they preferred him...Until that time, the republic helped them to organize and justify their own sterile society...

It could be that the Republic came closest to its example in the meritocracy of the church, but that history taught what nonsense it really was, that it did not produce a better individual or a more virtuous society...The human understanding of mankind had progress very far by the time of jefferson; and those people, our founding fathers had the example of failed civilizations like Greece and Rome, and also of working Democracies like the Iroquois Confederacy... Why those who wrote the constitution made it so much like Rome on the point of failure I will never know, unless it was that they rather admired the riches and power of the place, and wanted to relive that moment in time...
Logos
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 05:46 pm
@Fido,
Hi Fido: Did the founding fathers attempt to preserve the rule of law taken from the Romans while placing safegaurds by dividing up power with the three heads of government, as we have now? Granted, corruption has overcome this too....Logos
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Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Apr, 2009 08:47 pm
@MJA,
Roman power was divided... It was Caesar who took a little religious office to extremes... And it was a commonwealth like our own, and a representative democracy like our own.. It essentially had a house and a senate, and executives, And their law became the basis of Cannon law and European continental law...What made the power of the emperor possible was slavery which put a lot of people on the street with (technically) political powers but with no property, since slave labor had run them off of their holdings as soon as they could no longer sell into a cheaper market...Sheep drove the commoners off the commons in England and in Ireland; but in Rome, foreign slaves did the deed...gotogo
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MJA
 
  3  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2011 12:10 pm
The question or topic of this thread is simply: Do you find Plato's writing unintelligible jargon and unsensensical too?

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Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 07:03 am
@MJA,
MJA wrote:

The question or topic of this thread is simply: Do you find Plato's writing unintelligible jargon and unsensensical too?

=

I understand it pretty well, and seldom take from it the lessons intended, and think most of it is dated and plain wrong...
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 07:15 am
@MJA,
Plato's most interesting work is 'Statesman' in which, amongst other things, he describes the pre-flood world and the so-called antediluvian peace which prevailed prior to the flood. Interesting also that Plato consistently refers to antediluvians as "Children of Kronos".
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 07:34 am
Jefferson, Adams, and me on Plato

if this is a fight it seems awfully unfair, fight one on one if you must fight at all

if this is some sexual fantasy, please keep your perversions to yourself
parados
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Feb, 2011 08:25 am
@djjd62,
While that is an interesting viewpoint. I'm afraid I don't quite understand or agree with you. Do you mind if I ask some questions about your position until such time you agree that your position is incorrect?
0 Replies
 
 

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