Tag Archives: Plato

THE PHILOSOPHICAL MIND

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“Philosophical minds always love knowledge of a sort which shows them the eternal nature not varying from generation and corruption.  He whose desires are drawn towards knowledge in every form will be absorbed in the pleasures of the soul.  Then how can he who has magnificence of mind and is the spectator of all time and all existence, think much of human life?

He cannot.

Or can such an one account death fearful? 

No indeed.

Then the cowardly and mean nature has no part in true philosophy? 

Certainly not. 

Or again: can he who is harmoniously constituted, who is not covetous or mean, or a boaster, or a coward-can he, I say, ever be unjust or hard in his dealings? 

Impossible. 

Then you will soon observe whether a man is just and gentle, or rude and unsociable; these are the signs which distinguish even in youth the philosophical nature from the unphilosophical. ”

Plato, THE REPUBLIC, 360 BCE

WEAK IS WRONG

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RIGHT IS MIGHTTOTALITARIAN CREDO: “History is written by the victors”

Plato’s The Republic (380 BCE) claims that “justice is nothing else than the interest of the stronger”.   This is the maxim of The Physical Universe.  The entire history of humans on Earth is a demonstration of this fundamental principle.  Altruism, egalitarianism, love, beneficence, and kindness have forever been overwhelmed and trampled in the dust of the brutal force of armies.  “Right” and “Wrong” are the same is “Strong” and “Weak” in the physical universe.  If you are seeking a “loving” moral code, you must find it within yourself.  It does not exist in the physical universe.

— Lawrence R. Spencer

SIMULACRUM

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truth simulacrum

“Some people have observed that truth is relative to all other truth.  It can also be said that truth is a cooperative  effort of creators, solidified through mutual agreement, and the perception of those who view creation.”

~ Lawrence R. Spencer ~

Definition: “The simulacrum has long been of interest to philosophers. In his Sophist, Plato speaks of two kinds of image making. The first is a faithful reproduction, attempted to copy precisely the original. The second is intentionally distorted in order to make the copy appear correct to viewers.  He gives the example of Greek statuary, which was crafted larger on the top than on the bottom so that viewers on the ground would see it correctly. If they could view it in scale, they would realize it was malformed.

This example from the visual arts serves as a metaphor for the philosophical arts and the tendency of some philosophers to distort truth so that it appears accurate unless viewed from the proper angle. Nietzsche addresses the concept of simulacrum in the Twilight of the Idols, suggesting that most philosophers, by ignoring the reliable input of their senses and resorting to the constructs of language and reason, arrive at a distorted copy of reality.

French social theorist Jean Baudrillard argues that a simulacrum is not a copy of the real, but becomes truth in its own right: the hyperreal.  “The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth. It is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.Precession of the Simulacra, Jean Baudrillard

(Source: Wikipedia.org)

THE POLITICAL ICON

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“The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness. …This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.  When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.”  — Plato, 380 BCE

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“Plato (423 BC – 348 BCE), was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.” (Wikipedia.org)

PHILOSPHICAL MIND: 360 B.C.E.

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Painting by John LaFarge, American (1835- 1910)

“Philosophical minds always love knowledge of a sort which shows them the eternal nature not varying from generation and corruption. He whose desires are drawn towards knowledge in every form will be absorbed in the pleasures of the soul. Then how can he who has magnificence of mind and is the spectator of all time and all existence, think much of human life?

He cannot.

Or can such an one account death fearful?

No indeed.

Then the cowardly and mean nature has no part in true philosophy?

Certainly not.

Or again: can he who is harmoniously constituted, who is not covetous or mean, or a boaster, or a coward-can he, I say, ever be unjust or hard in his dealings?

Impossible.

Then you will soon observe whether a man is just and gentle, or rude and unsociable; these are the signs which distinguish even in youth the philosophical nature from the unphilosophical. ”

Plato, THE REPUBLIC, 360 BCE