Formal Education & Philosophy

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Pyrrho
 
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2010 10:37 am
@Fido,
Fido;153208 wrote:
...
Socrates in the works of Plato did have examples, and some down right terrible examples too...He was not always right,



Who have you read who is always right? And certainly, kennethamy never said that Socrates/Plato was always right.



Fido;153208 wrote:
and they were very right to kill him...



Wow. So, the crime of speaking is deserving of death, according to you.


Fido;153208 wrote:
And the people were correct in taking his students as evidence of the poison he spread...



Do you seriously believe that they all did as he told them to do?


Fido;153208 wrote:
His logic in regard to human beings, the Herd as he called them was cold and cruel...



People are like sheep, and follow the herd. Milgram's experiments have shown that Socrates was right about people. If people would actually think for themselves, we would all be a lot better off, but there is little chance of that actually happening.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2010 10:39 am
@Fido,
Fido;152946 wrote:
Life is abstraction... We would not know the first part of it if we could not get the idea of it...It is the abstraction of abstraction that confuses people, the inability to find the common sense to something and explain it in practical terms..


No doubt, humans are indeed often dazzled and bamboozled by abstractions. But I would still argue that abstracting from abstractions is the nature of philosophy. And here we are sharing our abstractions concerning abstractions. I love clarity too. Perhaps your heart is closer to the ethics/politics side of philosophy, and I respect that. For me, that issue is resolved, on a personal level, to my satisfaction.

Some philosophy functions as a technology for morale. There are ways of looking at the world that are not directly practical but they increase our love of life. I think that man craves an order. And if he declares the world a meaningless slaughterbench (as some do), this too is an order, a resolution of doubt (a word that comes from two). The fence makes a bad throne. Even a toilet is preferable.

An intellectual makes the simple complicated. An artist makes the complicated simple. Bukowski had a quote along those lines.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 17 Apr, 2010 10:42 am
@Fido,
Fido;153208 wrote:
Better call your granny...

---------- Post added 04-17-2010 at 12:27 PM ----------


Socrates in the works of Plato did have examples, and some down right terrible examples too...He was not always right, and they were very right to kill him... And the people were correct in taking his students as evidence of the poison he spread... His logic in regard to human beings, the Herd as he called them was cold and cruel...


I suppose that you think that this is connected with my post in some way. Some people think that logic is cold and cruel. But, after all, that is merely their personal response to it. Logic itself is of course, neither. It is merely what it is. There is a story about Harry Truman that illustrates this: At an election rally he was slamming the Republicans, and the crowd was cheering Harry on. They were saying, "Give 'em hell, Harry!". Truman replied: "I don't give them hell. I only tell them the truth, and they think it is hell!" Socrates only gives logic, and you think it is cold and cruel.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2010 06:15 am
@Pyrrho,
Quote:
Pyrrho;153211 wrote:
Who have you read who is always right? And certainly, kennethamy never said that Socrates/Plato was always right.



A good reason why philosophers should resist pronouncing on politics as philosophers is because we almost always suffer a limited vision of current events... There are points in Plato where Socrates offers arguments in support of murder of democrats or removal of parents from children on a vast scale, and the people in audience do not question that nonsense in the least... It was rigged...



Quote:
Wow. So, the crime of speaking is deserving of death, according to you.

Athens prided itself on its liberty, and so killing Socrates was a crime against their own self perception...It made him a Martyr when he was hardly a man... His friends, in the Thirty Oligarchs, the pro Spartan minority of anti democrats stole to finance their oligarchy, killed democrats, and forced the exile of many, and if you can believe Plato, Socrates went about his business preaching social poison... It would have been just if his tongue had been cut out...

Look in our own time at how long it has taken to end cigarette advertizing when that is a true gateway drug... Look at the political lies that can be told in public, over a public owned utility, the public airwaves, and no one is held accountable... That is a crime... People are injured...Society is injured by every false statement made when it is upon the facts that they must govern...




Quote:
Do you seriously believe that they all did as he told them to do?

Obviously not, if you believe Plato; that he told them the herdsman would be judged by the size of their flock, which they were about decimating...




Quote:

People are like sheep, and follow the herd. Milgram's experiments have shown that Socrates was right about people. If people would actually think for themselves, we would all be a lot better off, but there is little chance of that actually happening.



What does that mean, that people are like sheep??? Does it mean that all we do to sheep we may do to men??? Upon what superficial similarities will you not reason???

The fact was, and always will be, that when economic equality is lost in a society that political equality will go by the boards... The middle classes joined the rich in disenfranchising the poor, the Demos, until their own rights and welfare was threatened -because there is no natural limit on tyranny except the people...

We are social and political animals...In this, Aristotle was correct... And it is so because only a whole people can present a creditable defense against other peoples determined to have what is theirs...But the first defense must be made against ones neighbors who will, if they see themselves as more worthy, or more intelligent, find in that presumption the excuse they need to plunder their society... It is when societies become divided between the rich and the poor that they are then swept off the pages of history and heard from no more... The rich winning over the poor is only a prelude to the whole society being won over by powers fresh and fair for whom equity has true meaning...

So; two points: The people are the law... And, an equal and free people can defend itself from other free people as those empoverished and already made slaves cannot...

---------- Post added 04-18-2010 at 08:32 AM ----------

kennethamy;153215 wrote:
I suppose that you think that this is connected with my post in some way. Some people think that logic is cold and cruel. But, after all, that is merely their personal response to it. Logic itself is of course, neither. It is merely what it is. There is a story about Harry Truman that illustrates this: At an election rally he was slamming the Republicans, and the crowd was cheering Harry on. They were saying, "Give 'em hell, Harry!". Truman replied: "I don't give them hell. I only tell them the truth, and they think it is hell!" Socrates only gives logic, and you think it is cold and cruel.

It may be that Socrates in the works of Plato offered examples, but many of his examples were not worth spit, so that fact does not make the use of Socrates as a giver of examples worth consideration except as a bad example...And I am only agreeing with Nietzsche there, that Socrates' logic was cold... And I hate to find myself in agreement with Nietzsche anywhere...Socrates might well have done better sticking to the general, and forgetting the particular...Socrates is a lesson that one cannot justly apply logic to moral reality... Logic is for physics, of the physical world...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2010 07:12 am
@Fido,
Fido;153534 wrote:
What does that mean, that people are like sheep??? Does it mean that all we do to sheep we may do to men??? Upon what superficial similarities will you not reason???

The fact was, and always will be, that when economic equality is lost in a society that political equality will go by the boards... The middle classes joined the rich in disenfranchising the poor, the Demos, until their own rights and welfare was threatened -because there is no natural limit on tyranny except the people...

We are social and political animals...In this, Aristotle was correct... And it is so because only a whole people can present a creditable defense against other peoples determined to have what is theirs...But the first defense must be made against ones neighbors who will, if they see themselves as more worthy, or more intelligent, find in that presumption the excuse they need to plunder their society... It is when societies become divided between the rich and the poor that they are then swept off the pages of history and heard from no more... The rich winning over the poor is only a prelude to the whole society being won over by powers fresh and fair for whom equity has true meaning...

So; two points: The people are the law... And, an equal and free people can defend itself from other free people as those empoverished and already made slaves cannot...

---------- Post added 04-18-2010 at 08:32 AM ----------


It may be that Socrates in the works of Plato offered examples, but many of his examples were not worth spit, so that fact does not make the use of Socrates as a giver of examples worth consideration except as a bad example...And I am only agreeing with Nietzsche there, that Socrates' logic was cold... And I hate to find myself in agreement with Nietzsche anywhere...Socrates might well have done better sticking to the general, and forgetting the particular...Socrates is a lesson that one cannot justly apply logic to moral reality... Logic is for physics, of the physical world...


When you agree with Nietzsche about anything, you should be afraid, very afraid. I don't understand what it means to say that logic is cold (or hot, for that matter). As Oliver Wendall Holmes wrote, "Logic is logic, that's all I can say". Socrates told us that "we must follow the argument wherever it leads". Are you saying that where the argument leads to a displeasing place, we should not follow it, but deviate to Florida? Truth may be unpleasant, but Hell is a hot place, and it is even more unpleasant.

I think that Socrates was quite successful in applying logic to moral reality. What would you suggest as the alternative?
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2010 09:21 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;153552 wrote:
When you agree with Nietzsche about anything, you should be afraid, very afraid. I don't understand what it means to say that logic is cold (or hot, for that matter). As Oliver Wendall Holmes wrote, "Logic is logic, that's all I can say". Socrates told us that "we must follow the argument wherever it leads". Are you saying that where the argument leads to a displeasing place, we should not follow it, but deviate to Florida? Truth may be unpleasant, but Hell is a hot place, and it is even more unpleasant.

I think that Socrates was quite successful in applying logic to moral reality. What would you suggest as the alternative?

Law is one example of moving from the general to the specific with disasterous results... As one English Jurist said, judges do not consider justice, but law, which was for Parlement to decide... Yet; as Abalard said: Jus is the Genus, and Law a species of it...

Now, if one is not prepared to look in every case of law for justice, that is, to consider all the issues bearing on the case, and instead considers each individual as indistinguishable from every other, then they have begun law with injustice, which is very much the case being argued by Socrates...Justice is an infinite by which infinite human beings are measured... There is no firm and fast measure of anything unless we consider our ideals as the only reality, as Plato and Socrates were wont to do....

Law is a social form, and Justice is a moral form, and where our social forms conflict with our moral forms we should consider the ultimate purpose of all our forms, which is our survival...It is for relationships that forms exist...As Jesus said after his fashion: Law was made for man, and man was not made for the law... If we are unwilling to ask how this or that form serves our ultimate purpose of common survival, then we have failed ourselves, and failed humanity...Idealists, as Plato was, believing their ideas to be the ultimate reality and truth are the worst sort of tyrants defending all they do with a ruthless logic; but what is logical is always logical as a matter of perspective, and Einstein showed that well with his thought games...Logic is of the physical world, and in the moral world what is logical is what works, and what serves people, and I would argue as Plato would not, that the democracy of the primitives served a vital purpose to them, and that in matters of law, it was not what was written, because no one could write, so the past was not judging the people of the present, but instead, law was tailored to the situation and the people involved, and again, this served a vital purpose, because feud violence was the worst sort of injustice, but ultimately, what is just is what people decide is just...

If you and I dispute over the ownership of a certain article only one can possess, then we might decide to let fate decide, or to fight each other over it...What is just for one will be just for the other...Justice is a form of relationship, and if that is where the true value lies, in a neighbor who loves us and knows we are just, then we will give what it takes, or take what is given to have justice, just as a person wanting a pearl of great worth sells all he has to possess it... So we must all give ground, and justice, like self government is this working out of what is just, and it can never be cut into stone because it cannot in that fashion work in all situation as justice, as a fluid, dynamic moral form can... It is in our nature to want the firm and the fast, to build for eternity what another generation will find to be an impediment... Law is such an impediment to justice... Justice is a form of relationship that every person must work out with every other, and such stuff is troubling for a people inclined to lay back on their forms rather than relating; but there is no substitute...
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2010 10:33 am
@Fido,
Fido;153534 wrote:

A good reason why philosophers should resist pronouncing on politics as philosophers is because we almost always suffer a limited vision of current events... There are points in Plato where Socrates offers arguments in support of murder of democrats or removal of parents from children on a vast scale, and the people in audience do not question that nonsense in the least... It was rigged...

...


Where are these arguments for murder of which you speak? I suspect you have been reading someone who hates Plato and has misrepresented him, rather than Plato himself. In the case of separating children from parents, this is discussed in the Republic, and it only applies to the ruling classes, not to ordinary people, or, in other words, not to the majority of the people. The reason for the separation of children from parents with the ruling classes is this: Parents very often are prejudiced in favor of their own children, and Plato did not want a hereditary monarchy in which the stupid and evil children of the leaders got power simply by being the children of those in power. If you look at the later history of Europe during the middle ages up to the 19th century or so, you can find plenty of examples of monarchs who were unworthy of rule, but got their positions due to who their parents were. So Plato was quite right about this being a problem.



Fido;153534 wrote:
Athens prided itself on its liberty, and so killing Socrates was a crime against their own self perception...It made him a Martyr when he was hardly a man... His friends, in the Thirty Oligarchs, the pro Spartan minority of anti democrats stole to finance their oligarchy, killed democrats, and forced the exile of many, and if you can believe Plato, Socrates went about his business preaching social poison... It would have been just if his tongue had been cut out...

Look in our own time at how long it has taken to end cigarette advertizing when that is a true gateway drug... Look at the political lies that can be told in public, over a public owned utility, the public airwaves, and no one is held accountable... That is a crime... People are injured...Society is injured by every false statement made when it is upon the facts that they must govern...


Following that line of thought, everyone preaching a false religion ought to be executed, and everyone with a false view of politics who speaks out ought to be executed. So you are suggesting no freedom of religion and no freedom of speech (obviously). You are suggesting a total fascist state.



Fido;153534 wrote:
What does that mean, that people are like sheep??? ....



You evidently did not read the link, or you would know precisely what I meant. People engage in herd behavior, and follow leaders in an unthinking way. For more on this, read the link I provided previously.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 18 Apr, 2010 09:13 pm
@Pyrrho,
Quote:

Pyrrho;153585 wrote:
Where are these arguments for murder of which you speak? I suspect you have been reading someone who hates Plato and has misrepresented him, rather than Plato himself. In the case of separating children from parents, this is discussed in the Republic, and it only applies to the ruling classes, not to ordinary people, or, in other words, not to the majority of the people. The reason for the separation of children from parents with the ruling classes is this: Parents very often are prejudiced in favor of their own children, and Plato did not want a hereditary monarchy in which the stupid and evil children of the leaders got power simply by being the children of those in power. If you look at the later history of Europe during the middle ages up to the 19th century or so, you can find plenty of examples of monarchs who were unworthy of rule, but got their positions due to who their parents were. So Plato was quite right about this being a problem.



I think your argument is filed with holes... For a guy like Socrates, clearly anti Democratic to only apply his social cleansing to the ruling class is nonsense; and what of that...I have been a Marxist much of my life and still balk at the liquidation of the rich... I hung with some rich folks the other night and the remarkable thing was, always was to my mind how nice they are while the unwashed masses are not just stupid, but in every way often seem to deserve their fates... They are not fun, not just, not virtuous; and it is easier to justify their liquidation than to justify the liquidation of the rich who when raised without want beating them about the face are very noble in their appearance and behavior... I think this is what Socrates was seeing, that the best, those who know are that because they were from birth blessed with the ease to improve themselves and their lot in life...You do not get that he was talking of culling the herd??? What lines make you think he was not???
Quote:

Following that line of thought, everyone preaching a false religion ought to be executed, and everyone with a false view of politics who speaks out ought to be executed. So you are suggesting no freedom of religion and no freedom of speech (obviously). You are suggesting a total fascist state.


Every person should take into consideration the welfare of the society, and those who enrich themselves at the expense of the society should be held accountable...Look at the trepidation with which Copernicus broached the subject of the sun centered universe, dedicating his paper to the Pope, and only at an advanced age when he could be hurt but little by a backlash... The truth is but a moral form, and it is the duty of all people to make a point of telling the truth, and it is no ones duty to make an ass of themselves, or to get themselves killed over a point not worth a single life...There is truth as a moral form, and there is truth as a social form, and truth, peoples perception of truth is very difficult to change and very dangerous to try to change...That is the fact going in... What Copernicus had that Socrates had not was a physical universe he could point to as representing his truth, though not exactly... Socrates had mere prejudice...And since his prejudice helped to justify the deaths of many, hundreds, or perhaps thousands during the thirty Oligarch... Consider that behind all social forms are moral forms, and the belief in ones morals as absolutes has justicified a lot of bloodshed over the years... Was any of it justified??? Not one more so than Socrates, not on the facts as charged, but for the obvious connection between himself and the pro-Spartan Oligarchs...It was guilt by association, and people are convicted every day for the crimes committed by friends...




Quote:

You evidently did not read the link, or you would know precisely what I meant. People engage in herd behavior, and follow leaders in an unthinking way. For more on this, read the link I provided previously.




So what??? There is no difference between human beings today and five hundred, a thousand or two thousand years ago or more... What has changed is their control over their own affairs... When people had control, and primitives are universally democratic in the fullest sense of the word, then they made good and reasoned choices... The Iroquois had a tendency to talk things to death with everyone having a say who wanted a say...Their councels were no more or less than European Moots or Dooms or Things... The only time democracies make poor decisions is when the people are deprived of their property in the commonwealth and their only wealth is their rights in government... Athens before the peloponesian war made terribel decisiions... Rome, meaning the poor and dispossessed elected Julius Caesar, and the brother Grachi for that matter..Ultimately it worked against them because without the economic power their political power was only enough to get them into greater trouble...In wars they saw the chance for spoils, which was their only hope of escaping poverty...Look who mans our army.... Look who supports our disasterous wars...It is not because people are a herd that they behave often like a herd... They are universally hopeless, uneducated, and denied true political power because they are uneducated... They must rely upon others for leadership because they have no true control, but their leaders are so uncertain in their power that they must try to balance every rock of the boat, and every shift in political opinion...The leaders have deliberately denied half of the population of any district or state their voice in government, but then they must fear for the minority becoming the majority... Who is leading and who is following is always an open question, and ultimately those who have done the best represent the money because money can demogog...And the people do not know better, and if they do know better cannot communicate because the power of mass communication is a monopoly of money...Why do so many defend the notion of the individual, and individualism???? You can only get people to act as a herd if you can convince they they are acting as individuals...
 
 

 
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