Tagged: Plato

Three Perspectives on Political Theory

What is the main task for any state? Providing security, creating a diverse and stable reform-oriented middle class, or unifying the citizenship through education into a strong community? These three views on political theory can be correlated with the names of Machiavelli, Aristotle, and Plato. I will discuss them briefly.

1. Security first: political realism and the role of power (Machiavelli, Hobbes.)
2. Diversity and freedom: stability and reform (Aristotle, Locke)
3. Community, unity, and vision (Plato, Rousseau.)

Plato and Aristotle

Plato lived from 428/427 or 424/423 BCE  to 348/347 BCE. He was born and died in Athens, and reached 80. He was a student of Socrates, and started a school of philosophy, the Academy, when he was around 40. Aristotle (384-322 BCE) was born in Stagirus, northern Greece. His father died when Aristotle was a child. At eighteen, he joined Plato’s Academy in Athens and remained there until he was 37. He then went to Lesbos, married, and had a daughter. In 343 BCE, he became the tutor of Alexander the Great. In 335 BCE, Aristotle returned to Athens and established his...

Plato: Laws. Book 1. Written in 360 B.C.E

This dialogue is about the nature of law. the persons in the dialogue: An ATHENIAN STRANGER (possibly Socrates?); CLEINIAS, a Cretan; MEGILLUS, a man from Lacedaemonia.  Athenian Stranger. Tell me, Strangers, is a God or some man supposed to be the author of your laws? Cleinias. A God, Stranger; in very truth a, God: among us Cretans he is said to have been Zeus, but in Lacedaemon, whence our friend here comes, I believe they would say that Apollo is their lawgiver: would they not, Megillus? Megillus. Certainly. Ath. And do you, Cleinias, believe, as Homer tells, that every ninth year Minos went to converse with his Olympian sire,...

Plato – Overview

Plato is perhaps the most influential philosopher of all times. This page contains his biography and some web links for further study. I quote his biography from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Biography Birth It is widely accepted that Plato, the Athenian philosopher, was born in 428-7 B.C.E and died at the age of eighty or eighty-one at 348-7 B.C.E. These dates, however, are not entirely certain, for according to Diogenes Laertius (D.L.), following Apollodorus’ chronology, Plato was born the year Pericles died, was six years younger than Isocrates, and died at the age of eighty-four (D.L. 3.2-3.3). If Plato’s date...

Plato: Meno Dialog

 Meno is a Socratic dialogue, written by Plato.In this dialog, Socrates and his partners philosophize about the nature of virtue. In the second part of the dialog, Socrates introduces the ideas of the immortality of the soul, and the theory of knowledge as recollection (anamnesis). The dialog ends with a distinction between knowledge and true belief. PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Meno, Socrates, A Slave of Meno (Boy), Anytus. MENO: Can you tell me, Socrates, whether virtue is acquired by teaching or by practice; or if neither by teaching nor by practice, then whether it comes to man by nature, or...

Plato: Euthyphro Dialog

Plato’s Euthyphro is a dialogue between Socrates and the young Euthyphro outside the court in Athens just before Socrates goes to trial. As Socrates has been charged by the Athenians with ‘impiety’, and as Euthypho claims to understand piety perfectly (5a) Socrates, sarcastically, asks the younger man to explain “what is piety and what is impiety?” Having at first stated that he can easily define ‘piety’ as well as “many other stories about divine matters”(6c) it soon becomes clear that Euthyphro has no idea what piety is and no clear idea about “that accurate knowledge” (14b) of the will of...

Plato: Parmenides Dialog

Translated by Benjamin Jowett, from Project Gutenberg. Here are some links that will help to understand the text better:  Plato’s Parmenides (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Parmenides (dialogue) – Wikipedia The symbolic structure of Plato’s Parmenides   PARMENIDES PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Cephalus, Adeimantus, Glaucon, Antiphon, Pythodorus, Socrates, Zeno, Parmenides, Aristoteles. Cephalus rehearses a dialogue which is supposed to have been narrated in his presence by Antiphon, the half-brother of Adeimantus and Glaucon, to certain Clazomenians. We had come from our home at Clazomenae to Athens, and met Adeimantus and Glaucon in the Agora. Welcome, Cephalus, said Adeimantus, taking me by...

Platon’s dialogue “Phaidon,” 64a

Socrates to Simmias: “Other people are likely not aware that those who pursue philosophy right study nothing but dying and being dead. Now if this is true, it would be absurd to be eager for this all their lives, and then to be troubled when that came for which they had all along been eagerly practicing.

Thinking and Being: Lacan versus Parmenides

When Lacan describes his epistemology, he occasionally alludes to Parmenides, whose philosophy marks the beginning of the reflection on being in Western thinking. ’There’s no such thing as a metalanguage.’ When I say that, it apparently means — no language of being. But is there being? As I pointed out last time, what I say is what there isn’t. Being is, as they say, and nonbeing is not. There is or there isn’t. Being is merely pre­sumed in certain words — “individual,” for instance, and “substance.” In my view, it is but a fact of what is said (un fait de dit). The word “subject” that...