Author Topic: Philosophy vs Science is ...  (Read 160 times)

Re: Philosophy vs Science is ...
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2018, 04:52:58 AM »
Vulcan ... the "interior view" of what The Republic means ... has some weight.  But Plato himself tried to implement it with the tyrant, Dionysius of Syracuse.  Like Seneca to Nero, Plato tried to rule his student too much.  But we today can take it as we iike it.  The humanist Socrates that Plato presents, is a more memorable one than Xenophon's version.

Cavebear ... yes, Socrates as Plato describes him ... is clearly a follower of a mystery religion, an early effort at turning public paganism into private piety.  Plato himself, it isn't clear what he believes.  He seems cynical, if you follow the Myth of Er ... presented as a false flag religion in The Republic.  In their day, science hadn't yet accomplished much ... Archimedes being one or two generations later.

The myth of Er is not meant to be a false flag religion, I don't think. (What exactly do you mean by that statement?) I think that Plato's descriptions of reincarnation are all allegories. After all, if they were meant to be taken as metaphysical truths, why are there stark differences in the descriptions of reincarnation between, say, the Republic and Phaedrus? I don't see Socrates as a member of a mystery cult. Rather he is an independent spiritualist of some kind. We could remember Isaac Newton for his discoveries in physics, or we could remember that he was a reclusive weirdo. Which one is he primarily known for? Regardless of any eccentricities attached to Socrates, the West remembers him for his method, not his supernatural beliefs.

I also fail to see how Seneca is some kind of bad influence on Nero for trying to teach him Stoic morality. Are you really taking Nero's side here? So what if Plato and/or Seneca tried to implement a just society using the means they had at their disposal?  That doesn't mean that they supported their own utopian fascism. If you actually understand what went down with Plato and Dionysius, then you know that Plato's teachings were lost on him. As were Seneca's teachings with Nero. It appears that sanity is not so easily implemented. You assume too much when you say that Plato tried to implement the regime described in the Republic. As I see it, he merely tried to persuade his student to embrace justice.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 06:14:20 AM by Vulcan »

Offline Baruch

Re: Philosophy vs Science is ...
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2018, 09:35:48 AM »
I really like your Tuvok avatar.  Live long and prosper!

OK ... you are taking the position of conceptualism not personalism.  What Plato etc did as a person is irrelevant to the modern value of their ideas.  I could counter that Bill Clintons's definition of "is" was well revealed by his personal behavior.  Are words in a dictionary, living usage?  If so, then what people mean, as behavior, is most relevant.

No ... I was taking the side of Seneca.  As a teacher of Hebrew to adults, I have a little experience with being on the giving side (we all have experience on the receiving side).  In a time travel version of Nero's story, we should have Seneca play back his instructions from Jupiter Optimus Maximus on a self destructive waxed wooden tablet ... to the background music of Mission Impossible.

As to Nero, he was a misunderstood artist ... don't believe what his enemies say about him, or his cousin Caligula.

Socrates even more than Plato, lived out his patriotism to an extreme.  But the hoi polloi do what they do.  You can lead a demos to the taverna, but you can't make them drink the retsina (sirtaki background music plays here).

Ah, Dionysius the First of Syracuse wasn't called a tyrant for nothing.  "He was regarded by the ancients as an example of the worst kind of despot—cruel, suspicious and vindictive." ... but then political enemies don't send you flowers.  Dante placed him in Il Inferno.  His overthrow of democracy in Syracuse was inspired by Spartan influence.  I think the Spartans sang his praises.  Machiavelli would too (he who famously penned a policy thesis as a way to get a job with Cesare Borgia).  In Dionysius' military strategy, we can see American policy since the mid 1980s ... mercenaries as a means of indirect influence, paid for by a prosperous commercial center ... who turn around and bite you in the ass (Illyrian mercenaries went rogue, tried to take Delphi).  We had better luck with Americans as mercenaries in China in the 1930s.  If you want to do something right, do it yourself.



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Re: Philosophy vs Science is ...
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2018, 09:51:14 PM »
For the most part, Plato was very unhappy with his time in Syracuse, even writing a friend back in Athens that the workings of the regime was "not receptive to philosophy." I know that Popper and others accuse Plato of fascism. But really, he was not a fascist. He was an idealist (in the colloquial sense, I mean). People may fault him for that, but I think it was one of his best features.

Offline Baruch

Re: Philosophy vs Science is ...
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2018, 10:38:18 PM »
For the most part, Plato was very unhappy with his time in Syracuse, even writing a friend back in Athens that the workings of the regime was "not receptive to philosophy." I know that Popper and others accuse Plato of fascism. But really, he was not a fascist. He was an idealist (in the colloquial sense, I mean). People may fault him for that, but I think it was one of his best features.

His idealism (World of Forms) came from Archytas, disciple of the Pythagoreans.  To me his best part is the humanist part, he got from Socrates.

The problem with ideas as defined in common language ...

"According to Diogenes Laërtius’ third-century Lives and Opinions of the Eminent Philosophers, Plato was applauded for his definition of man as a featherless biped, so Diogenes the Cynic “plucked the feathers from a cock, brought it to Plato’s school, and said, ‘Here is Plato’s man.’” When asked about the origin of his epithet, cynic deriving from the Greek word for dog, Diogenes replied that it was given to him because he “fawns upon those who give him anything and barks at those who give him nothing.”"
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 10:41:04 PM by Baruch »
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