Why did Ancient Greek philosophy die?

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Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2009 05:41 pm
@Jay phil,
Jay;69916 wrote:
Are there any hints or references to this like-mindedness to tyrants in any of Plato/Socrates 35 dialogues or letters?

Besides the Republic and the Laws, the explicitly political dialogues that I can think of are Statesman, Cleitophon, Minos, Theages, Alcibiades, Rival Lovers, and Laches. Some of these may be spurious.

Most of the letters are addressed to tyrants, but they too may be spurious.

You can also find bizarre political statements throughout the ostensibly apolitical dialogues. There are some good ones in Pheado and Theaetetus, off the top of my head (and again I must apologize for not being able to provide references).
Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2009 09:03 pm
Theages;69911 wrote:
You can read an account of it in the Diogenes Laertius biography of Plato. I don't have a copy on hand, so I can't give specific citations, sorry.

He was a terrible man, a monster among the Athenians. He attempted to subvert every noble instinct in Hellas and he succeeded. Do you think it was a coincidence that he was educated by Egyptian mystics?

If the conclusion, supposedly of Socrates, that a man who does evil by choice is better than one who does wrong without thought, is true, then Plato was not better, because there was no intent to do harm...He was right to see that a form of democracy, or of life in general resting upon fate was bound to fail... Instead of trying to change the form -which is what always changes with human progress, he abused the Athenians for being human, and thought to improve them... You want to improve people??? Offer them forms that work, that gives them justice, and not just once, or today, but every day...It is a failure of Plato's metaphysics, that forms were considered perfect first principals that made him consider humanity with such contempt... We were not made from perfect models, and not made at all... We are only as good as we are, and all our forms should be made with that fact in mind, that they will never endure, and justly so- if humanity will endure..

.Consider the Spartan constitution... It was written by a man who swore his people to accept it, and not change it until his return, and then he left, and starved himself to death...It lasted for many many years, and was their strength and their weakness, and ultimately it doomed them to a sterile and mean existence... All forms fail, and all forms resist change... Build a renew date into the form, or an expiration date...If it does not have the full support of the people; start again...There is no point to a house divided...
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 06:15 am
Fido;69870 wrote:
The failure is in the idea of rule, that anyone can better decide for you what is in your interest...And as bad is the notion that only the individual should have control over his own affairs... Sure... Have all the freedom you want until it begins to affect others negatively, and then they have a say...

Haha, when someone decides what is better for me, this is not bad, I should say, it's just impossible, since he cannot make me do what I don't want to, so I agree here. But why is "the notion that only the individual should have control over his own affairs" is "as bad" beyond me. "Our freedom must end where the interests of others begin..." Why? Thou shouldst prove that. First thing is what are "their interests"... Don't be too quick to judge Socrates either; don't forget that Aristippus, Antisthenes were his pupils as well...

But well, guys, I can't see the point of discussing Plato's views here? Do you really think that 700 years after his death, his philosophy eventually destroyed Greek thought?
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 10:27 am
Greek philosophy did not die --- it is still all around us in new faces. Alastair MacKintyre once taught at my school, and he is a quite excellent exponent of Aristotle. He is considered to be one of the greatest living philosopher, yet his source of inspiration comes from the Greek. Another name to be thrown here, Leo Strauss, though I have never read him, was known for interpreting and expanding Plato's philosophy as well.

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