Another Philosophers List

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RDanneskjld
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 07:07 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;68758 wrote:
How does Socrates go on such a list since all we know of his philosophy is Plato's distillation of it?

Exactly my thoughts and is why I didnt have a place for Socrates on my version of the list. I suppose some would argue that the early Platonic dialogue's were more Socratic and some academics have attempted to distinguish which period of Platos life particular dialogue's orginate from. We also have the accounts of Xenophon and Aristotle, though a lot of what Xenophon tells us isnt particularly interesting as he was a rather pedestarian character. Socrates was also in Aristophanes comedy The Clouds though a not particularly favourable impression of Socrates was given
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 07:19 am
@RDanneskjld,
Aedes;68758 wrote:
How does Socrates go on such a list since all we know of his philosophy is Plato's distillation of it?


R.Danneskjöld;68759 wrote:
Exactly my thoughts and is why I didnt have a place for Socrates on my version of the list.


R.Danneskjöld;68759 wrote:
I suppose some would argue that the early Platonic dialogue's were more Socratic and some academics have attempted to distinguish which period of Platos life particular dialogue's orginate from.


Right, and while there is a good deal of uncertainty involved in this practice, we can see Socrates emerging from this work.

R.Danneskjöld;68759 wrote:
We also have the accounts of Xenophon and Aristotle, though a lot of what Xenophon tells us isnt particularly interesting as he was a rather pedestarian character. Socrates was also in Aristophanes comedy The Clouds though a not particularly favourable impression of Socrates was given


But the fact that so many wrote Socratic dialogs (it was an entire market of literature in ancient Greece) and that Socrates was significant enough to be satirized directly should support the importance of Socrates - which is what the list is all about.

Socrates' thought comes to us through the work of others, but that, I think, is a strength to his claim as one of the most important philosophers of history. People found his philosophy to be so important that they recorded it for him as best they could and with great effort. That Plato, another great philosopher, so esteemed Socrates that his work is all Socratic dialog is an immense honor.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 07:45 pm
@Victor Eremita,
I recognize that the existence of Socrates is corroborated by others than Plato, but his philosophy does not really survive in any other way. Honestly, he could have been a very moralizing and appealing madman, whose technique was only really penetrating to people who were poor debaters. Plato's expositions of it cannot really give credit to Socrates' philosophical strengths, either affirmatively or negatively, because Plato's dialogues are staged (he writes both characters).
 
Poseidon
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 08:26 pm
@Victor Eremita,
Were it not for Bill Gates, its doubtful, that internet free speech, and thus this forum would exist.

Were it not for Jesus, Christianity and all the philosophers post-Christ that jumped on the bandwagon of his ethical conduct would exist.

Plato was just a rehash of Confucious.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 08:35 pm
@Poseidon,
Poseidon;68947 wrote:
Were it not for Jesus, Christianity and all the philosophers post-Christ that jumped on the bandwagon of his ethical conduct would exist.
Were it not for Paul and Constantine, Christianity might be a tiny minority band numbering in the 100s living in the Sinai desert. Were it not for the authors of the gospels, no one would know the character Jesus.

Poseidon;68947 wrote:
Plato was just a rehash of Confucious.
Do you have any reason to believe that Plato was familiar with his work? Also, Confucius was largely concerned with etiquette, but Plato was not. Confucius probably didn't write a thing about what we call metaphysics, which lies central to Plato's "idealism". Confucius wrote analects and Plato wrote dialogues. Otherwise they're exactly the same, though, right?
 
Poseidon
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 10:47 pm
@Victor Eremita,
I distinctly remember my dictionary of philosophy (in a box, can't find it now)
stating that as far as the structure of the State was concerned, (Rulers, Police, Masses) Confucious said the same as Plato. Sorry if I can't find more detail right now,
but there were other parralels too. And of course the date dif, 80 years, is quite apt.
 
Victor Eremita
 
Reply Sat 13 Jun, 2009 11:46 pm
@Victor Eremita,
Without Caesar crossing the Rubicon, Christianity would have been long forgotten.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2009 04:53 pm
@Victor Eremita,
For Confucius, the farmer was the most important social cast. For Plato, it was the philosopher king. When Confucius was asked about religion, he sent interrogators to see a Taoist. Plato addressed religion.

They have striking similarities of thought, but so do most brilliant thinkers in any given era.
 
Theages
 
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 11:21 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Anyone who thinks that Sartre and Schopenhauer should be on the list is not thinking clearly. The same goes for whoever said Ralph Waldo Emerson. Being an influence on someone important certainly does not qualify someone to be one of the top twenty most important.

Similarly, Eastern philosophy is simply not important to Western philosophy. Hopefully it will be some day, but at present time it doesn't make any sense to include Eastern philosophers in this kind of list. Those of you talking about how important Confucious is probably have no familiarity with the tradition that has descended from him and how he has been interpreted over the millenia. You're just attracted by the star power.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2009 02:54 pm
@Theages,
Theages;69431 wrote:

Similarly, Eastern philosophy is simply not important to Western philosophy. Hopefully it will be some day, but at present time it doesn't make any sense to include Eastern philosophers in this kind of list.


This list was not limited to western philosophy; it is a list of the most important philosophers of all time, which presumably would include eastern thinkers.

Also, it seems that eastern philosophy is important to western philosophy and that this influence is growing as the west becomes better acquainted with eastern thought thanks to improved translations and the appearance of newly translated texts. Eastern thought has been an influence ever since it first appeared: HD Thoreau relied a great deal upon eastern thinkers. Schopenhauer borrowed much from the Upanishads. Nietzsche studied eastern thought and called Buddhism the most reasonable of religions.

Theages;69431 wrote:
Those of you talking about how important Confucious is probably have no familiarity with the tradition that has descended from him and how he has been interpreted over the millenia. You're just attracted by the star power.


I'm certainly no expert in Chinese philosophy, but I do have a vague understanding of the subject. I've taken a class and read here and there. Confucius is a towering figure in Chinese philosophy, along side the likes of Mencius.
 
 

 
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