Plato for Dummies (I'm the Dummy)

Paladin

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Oh she's like a spinning glittery thing. But are you back, Paladin?

Oh I keep an eye on the forum from time to time. I've been a bit busy this past year, trying to finish up my BS in Psych finally. Been on the bucket list for years now. :)
 

Paladin

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I wish I could send you some of the rain we've been getting here to help out with the fires over there. :/

Thanks for the thought SG, we could use it. Susan and I have decided we are moving to Seattle come spring. By then I'll be done with my degree. We are both very excited about the decision.
 

Snoopy

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SG, please don't start on about the Cave.

####grinding of teeth####
 

seattlegal

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Thanks for the thought SG, we could use it. Susan and I have decided we are moving to Seattle come spring. By then I'll be done with my degree. We are both very excited about the decision.

Kewl! :cool:

I was born in Aurora, and it has been a long time since I've been back there. If you arrive in the spring, you'll have a chance for your skin to get pale over the winter so you won't be so conspicuous as out-of-state transplants!
 

Etu Malku

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In keeping with the OPP (original Platonic post:D)

Plato on Ethics & the Soul/Psyche

A high personal ethical standard, as Plato understood, is based purely on a love of and dedication to Virtue for its own sake - not on social or religious-ideological conditioning, enticements, or threats.

Plato's soul/psyche had Higher & Lower passions, it was governed by a higher passion, Reason. If this was kept in tact, the other Lower passions were kept in their place. The main idea would have been based on acting morally (which is culturally subjective and a device for maintaining civic order).

Morality is needed for happiness, a happy person would be a Just person. Though, there exists Tyrants that are quite happy and Saints that are quite miserable through suffering. This is where Plato establishes his theory on the soul/psyche.

The Tyrant is being ruled by his Lower passions, he has displaced Reason with the Emotion & Appetite. Eventual discordance within will undoubtedly lead to unhappiness. On the other hand, happiness, as ordered by Reason will lead to internal harmony.

Plato extended this theory to his ideology of a perfect society, where people led meaningful lives, and the ruling class ruled by Reason, which can be understood further in Freud's theories of the Id, Ego, and Superego.
 

seattlegal

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In keeping with the OPP (original Platonic post:D)

Plato on Ethics & the Soul/Psyche

A high personal ethical standard, as Plato understood, is based purely on a love of and dedication to Virtue for its own sake - not on social or religious-ideological conditioning, enticements, or threats.

Plato's soul/psyche had Higher & Lower passions, it was governed by a higher passion, Reason. If this was kept in tact, the other Lower passions were kept in their place. The main idea would have been based on acting morally (which is culturally subjective and a device for maintaining civic order).

Morality is needed for happiness, a happy person would be a Just person. Though, there exists Tyrants that are quite happy and Saints that are quite miserable through suffering. This is where Plato establishes his theory on the soul/psyche.

The Tyrant is being ruled by his Lower passions, he has displaced Reason with the Emotion & Appetite. Eventual discordance within will undoubtedly lead to unhappiness. On the other hand, happiness, as ordered by Reason will lead to internal harmony.

Plato extended this theory to his ideology of a perfect society, where people led meaningful lives, and the ruling class ruled by Reason, which can be understood further in Freud's theories of the Id, Ego, and Superego.
Compare to Tao Te Ching 38 (because I need subtitles)

Chapter 38
High virtue is not virtuous
Therefore it has virtue
Low virtue never loses virtue
Therefore it has no virtue
High virtue takes no contrived action
And acts without agenda
Low virtue takes contrived action
And acts with agenda
High benevolence takes contrived action
And acts without agenda
High righteousness takes contrived action
And acts with agenda
High etiquette takes contrived action
And upon encountering no response
Uses arms to pull others

Therefore, the Tao is lost, and then virtue
Virtue is lost, and then benevolence
Benevolence is lost, and then righteousness
Righteousness is lost, and then etiquette
Those who have etiquette
are a thin shell of loyalty and sincerity
And the beginning of chaos
Those with foreknowledge
Are the flowers of the Tao
And the beginning of ignorance
Therefore the great person:
Abides in substance, and does not dwell on the thin shell
Abides in the real, and does not dwell on the flower
Thus they discard that and take this
 
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Etu Malku

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Compare to Tao Te Ching 38 (because I need subtitles)

Chapter 38
High virtue is not virtuous
Therefore it has virtue
Low virtue never loses virtue
Therefore it has no virtue
High virtue takes no contrived action
And acts without agenda
Low virtue takes contrived action
And acts with agenda
High benevolence takes contrived action
And acts without agenda
High righteousness takes contrived action
And acts with agenda
High etiquette takes contrived action
And upon encountering no response
Uses arms to pull others

Therefore, the Tao is lost, and then virtue
Virtue is lost, and then benevolence
Benevolence is lost, and then righteousness
Righteousness is lost, and then etiquette
Those who have etiquette
are a thin shell of loyalty and sincerity
And the beginning of chaos
Those with foreknowledge
Are the flowers of the Tao
And the beginning of ignorance
Therefore the great person:
Abides in substance, and does not dwell on the thin shell
Abides in the real, and does not dwell on the flower
Thus they discard that and take this
It's very hard to find fault with Taoism, truly one of the greatest religious philosophies of all time.

When I was 8 or 9 I began reading the Tao Te Ching, I also began meditating and taking up martial arts. Some 40 years later I still find myself engulfed in Taoism and surrounded by its Initiates :)
 

seattlegal

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I'm thinking I'm gonna have to read some of Plato's stuff (Like The Republic,) as satire. Maybe I can accept him more if I view him as the Ann Coulter of his day.
 

radarmark

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Not bad, that is pretty much how I read it. Learned early that the pre-Socratics had alternative logics which failed to make the cut into Plato and Aristotle.
 

Thomas

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OK. here is where my madness and vexation begins:
OK.

In substance theory, a bare particular of an object is the element without which the object would not exist, that is, its substance...
OK. So this is the 'thing-in-itself', the substance or ousia is the absolute baseline of the thing, if the substance or ousia changes, it is not the thing it was.

which exists independent from its properties, even if it is physically impossible for it to lack properties entirely.
Quite. I am human ... so are you ... that is our ousia, our humanity, which is therefore a universal, and only manifests in particulars. where do you look for the universal ousia of 'human', outside of people? Where can you find red-in-itself, red-as-red, rather than things that are red?

Another primitive concept in substance theory is the inherence relation between a substance and its properties. For example, in the sentence, "The apple is red," substance theory says that red inheres in the apple.
But it is not inherent to the substance of apples, for some apples are green. Human nature inheres in the substance of a person, in the same way that apple-ness inheres in the apple ... but apples and humans can be red (leave me in the sun for longer than 30 minutes) and apples and humans can be green (feed me three bottles of beer (three bottles can lay me out for half a day with a hangover from hell! Half a bottle of scotch, and I'm in the mood for dancing, and bright as a pin the next day ... go figure?))

Substance theory considers to be clear the meaning of the apple having the property of redness or the property of being juicy, and that a property's inherence in a substance is similar to, but not identical with, being part of the substance.
Quite. Cos not all apples are red, nor are they all juicy, but all apples are apples.

Thus in the example above, just as red inheres in the apple, so the apple participates in red.[/indent]
Yes. Take a banana: It is yellow, it is bent. Neither yellowness nor bentness inheres in the banana as its substance, its 'banananess' ... put another way, yellowness and bentness do not define the banana, as other things are yellow or bent, or bent and yellow ... but are not therefore bananas.

The definition of the notion of bare particular is "that which cannot be explained in terms of something else."
Like being human. I would say it can hardly be explained at all. what is it to be human? I wonder, is it to be a thing that knows, and knows that it knows, and knows there is more to what it knows ... but that's me.

This seems like a totally self-referencing circular argument to me.
Why? I think it's an ontological one. Recently a certain section of society regarded being human as having pale skin, blond hair, blue eyes, etc., as if these qualities inhere in the very substance of human-ness so that to be human is necessarily to be white, blonde and blue-eyed ...

The point I would make is no substance, no ousia, is present as itself and nothing other than itself, in the world. Everything is participatory ...

So the question becomes: what's in a name? :confused:
A huge, absolutely monumental point: Because now you've brought the observer into play, an observer that looks beyond the surface to the meaning of things ... to the meaning of things-in-themselves, apart from their qualities.

So what's in a name is the operation of an apprehending will to know, a reflective intellect, and a mind which knows no boundary to what it can know — the scope of the mind is infinite ... and thus language is a necessity to communicate beyond the surface of things.

An intellect which will, in the end, recognise the transcendent infinite and say 'The Tao that can be spoken ... '

Does that make sense, or have you tipped me over the edge?

God bless,

Thomas
 

Thomas

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I disagree. By thinking of the concepts of "blackness" or "darkness," we can also invoke the idea of "whiteness" without invoking a "substance."

Pass the pipe.
Quite. It's all getting a bit complex ... I fall back on 'there's nothing in the mind that was not first in the senses'

This is where Bernard Lonergan champions 'common sense' ...

Supposing we lived in a universe where everything was entirely self-contained and did not communicate, did not and could not, relate or interact with anything else ... then how would it know what it was? How would it know what it is? Upon what could it reflect?

I think we cannot conceive of something, without unavoidably invoking a contrary, or a comparative. 'Blackness' or 'darkness' as a quality is only conceivable after the experience ... how can someone define or discuss what one has not experienced (other than imagination or fantasia)?

Is this in the area of what you're talking about?

How would we know redness in a monochrome cosmos?

God bless

Thomas
 

seattlegal

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wiki article on forms said:
Plato's Socrates held that the world of Forms is transcendent to our own world (the world of substances) and also is the essential basis of reality. Super-ordinate to matter, Forms are the most pure of all things. Furthermore, he believed that true knowledge/intelligence is the ability to grasp the world of Forms with one's mind.[15]
A Form is aspatial (transcendent to space) and atemporal (transcendent to time). Atemporal means that it does not exist within any time period, rather it provides the formal basis for time. It therefore formally grounds beginning, persisting and ending. It is neither eternal in the sense of existing forever, nor mortal, of limited duration. It exists transcendent to time altogether.[16] Forms are aspatial in that they have no spatial dimensions, and thus no orientation in space, nor do they even (like the point) have a location.[17] They are non-physical, but they are not in the mind. Forms are extra-mental (i.e. real in the strictest sense of the word).
It sounds like he is describing conceptual thinking. I'm one that believes that conceptual thinking is inherent to our minds. In fact, clinging to concepts can become a psychological impediment for some, a sign of maladaption to stress, imo.

Am I anywhere close here? :confused:
 

seattlegal

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Quite. It's all getting a bit complex ... I fall back on 'there's nothing in the mind that was not first in the senses'

This is where Bernard Lonergan champions 'common sense' ...

Supposing we lived in a universe where everything was entirely self-contained and did not communicate, did not and could not, relate or interact with anything else ... then how would it know what it was? How would it know what it is? Upon what could it reflect?

I think we cannot conceive of something, without unavoidably invoking a contrary, or a comparative. 'Blackness' or 'darkness' as a quality is only conceivable after the experience ... how can someone define or discuss what one has not experienced (other than imagination or fantasia)?

Is this in the area of what you're talking about?

How would we know redness in a monochrome cosmos?

God bless

Thomas

How do people blind from birth gain a concept of "redness" or "greenness?" Sure, they communicate with sighted people, and can get an idea of "redness" or "greeness" via association with other things.

Is logic based upon sensory information?
 

Thomas

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Continuing on regarding substance ...
Another argument for the substance theory is the argument from conception ... Thus, it asserts, substances exist... Again, I disagree.
So do I.

We imagine to see all sorts of things in inkblots from the properties in the inkblots, and not the other way around. Do the inkblots contain the substances of the imagined objects we see there? If so, then why doesn't everyone see the same things in a particular inkblot?
Oooh, a good point, but so arguable from another viewpoint.

The observer sees in the inkblot according to his or her experience, can I say that? That does not mean the inkblot contains the substance of what we see, as the inkblot that looks like an irish wolfhound is not an irish wolfhound, it's just that I've got a thing about irish wolfhounds ... but that inkblot could become a fetish object for me ... it could become a sign for 'irish wolfhound' in language.

Believe in the mark, and you have 'the black spot' ...

But we're still back to experience.

A graphic designer did a test among native Africa folk, after a poster campaign to promote immunisation. He wanted to research how effective his posters were. He assumed his 'graphic language', simplified and stylistic, would transcend the barrier of the written word.

It turned out the locals simply did not see what he saw in the poster, they saw one thing as something else entirely, I'll check it if I can, I'm sure the report said where he did a stylised eye, they saw a bird ... so that when he took three posters done in the same style, turned one upside down, it was a complete guess on the part of the locals when asked which one it was.

Just to make things a little more complex.

God bless,

Thomas
 

seattlegal

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Quite. It's all getting a bit complex ... I fall back on 'there's nothing in the mind that was not first in the senses'

This is where Bernard Lonergan champions 'common sense' ...

Supposing we lived in a universe where everything was entirely self-contained and did not communicate, did not and could not, relate or interact with anything else ... then how would it know what it was? How would it know what it is? Upon what could it reflect?

I think we cannot conceive of something, without unavoidably invoking a contrary, or a comparative. 'Blackness' or 'darkness' as a quality is only conceivable after the experience ... how can someone define or discuss what one has not experienced (other than imagination or fantasia)?

Is this in the area of what you're talking about?

How would we know redness in a monochrome cosmos?

God bless

Thomas

How can we create new things within our subjective minds if we are limited only to our sensory input? Sure our senses will be needed to guide bringing the concept from the subjective mind out into reality, but that doesn't explain the original conception in the first place.
 
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