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Thread: Plato's Philosophy

  1. #21
    Senior Member Horagalles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by infratetraskelion View Post
    ...
    Any social system will have its tradition and their tradition will increase with time. You must just think tradition is just dressing in traditional attire, having feast on certain days, sacred rites, etc. That is what most people think it is and they also think that's all culture is as well. To them, they wouldn't be able to explain the difference. They might sorta understand they are not the same thing, but they couldn't define each. Their definitions would just be examples and both sets of examples, would be identical. Your culture/tradition comments make sense if I assume you're understanding of each is in that category....
    Tradition is about "passing something on", plain and simple. Some people limit this to cloth and customs. But it goes far deeper.

    So to say that the NSDAP wasn't traditional is actually a meaningless and ridiculous statement. But waren't we used to that concerning statements about the "NAZIS" - its almost a tradition.

    We should also come back to what Platos ideas are about. If necessary start another threadon on "Were the National Socialists traditional?" - Well I would say they tried to combine modernity with elements from ancient roots.
    "And God proclaims as a first principle to the rulers, and above all else, that there is nothing which they should so anxiously guard, or of which they are to be such good guardians, as of the purity of the race. They should observe what elements mingle in their offspring;..." Plato Politeia

  2. #22
    Senior Member Stygian Cellarius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horagalles View Post
    Tradition is about "passing something on", plain and simple. Some people limit this to cloth and customs. But it goes far deeper.
    Absolutely, to pass on the most lucrative cultural elements. So group progeny didn't have figure everything out on their own. Many ppl have come before, it makes sense to share what they've learned. It would be foolish for every generation to start at square one. In a sense, tradition is the sum of cultural wisdom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Horagalles View Post
    So to say that the NSDAP wasn't traditional is actually a meaningless and ridiculous statement. But waren't we used to that concerning statements about the "NAZIS" - its almost a tradition.
    true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Horagalles View Post
    We should also come back to what Platos ideas are about. If necessary start another threadon on "Were the National Socialists traditional?" - Well I would say they tried to combine modernity with elements from ancient roots.
    That sounds accurate to me.

    And yes, I agree about returning to Plato. I've had a very hard time trying to stick to the topic in almost every conversation I've had so far. It is always in the forefront of my thought to avoid tangents, but difficult to achieve. (as I just did again)

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    There seems to be a gross misunderstanding by people on this thread as to what tradition really is, in the original sense and the Platonic sense, i.e., in the only sense it should be used, which is a sacred tradition (i.e., spiritual principles) which permeates everything in the "culture" and not merely something that gets passed on or is part of the profane. Similarly, esoterism/initiatory does not mean that it is hidden from people of lesser castes or reserved only for an elite but is rather the core meaning which is symbolized by exoteric forms. If an artisan had no understanding of esoterism it would be impossible for him to construct a sacred art, whether this be architecture, music, clothing or whatever. We can simplify this by saying that the sacred is opposed to profane i.e., non-sacred culture, and therefore tradition is not the "sum of cultural wisdom" because there is no traditional component in profane/modern culture.

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    Take a look at this:



    He was a man that got mightily annoyed by the smart talk of the philosophers of his time. You can see it in his face and you can see it in his writings.

    It is inappropriate to reduce Plato to "The Republic" in which he states a number of views about the right way to govern that he would later retract.

    For instance: He retracts his view on the dissolution of families as part of a eugenic program. He retracts his overly negative statements about democracy as the second worst form of government, right after tyranny, later he considers it at "sea level". But... people stick to the shocker, no matter whether they come from the left or the right.

    Things that I consider extremely important about Plato:

    1. When it comes to his own popularity he is totally cynical: He included the myth of Atlantis for one reason and one reason alone, namely that an idiot would never burn a treasure map.

    2. He and Aristotle stand for the two existing forms of intellectual traditions: Aristotle for the approach to convince idiots that wise men might be useful for them (and following in his food steps is the total of today's academia) and Plato for the approach to speak in such a way that only those you care about will understand you (and following in his food steps... well... the rest of our intelligenzia). I have the quote "Germanisches Wissen verbreitet sich raunend." in my ear (somebody said that about runes, but who?)... well, that matches Plato's idea about it pretty well, with the notable exception that Plato does not try to make himself more important by acting as if he would tell you secrets.

    3. Being the cultural pessimist that he is his most important motive is to preserve certain insights into the human condition for much later generations.

    Well, that's no summary of what he wanted his readers to know, but a summary in plain form would be so totally against his will that I won't provide it.

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    Plato Greek Philosopher Born: 427 BC Died: 347 BC


    Plato held that philosophy is not simply an effective instrument for aquiring knowledge, but a supremely valuable way of life that, so to speak, opens up the eye of ones soul to truth.


    Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses. Plato.


    There shall be compulsory education, as the saying is, of all and sundry, as far this is possible; and the pupils shall be regarded as belonging to the state rather than to their parents. Plato, The Laws.


    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. Plato


    "And God proclaims as a first principle to the rulers, and above all else, that there is nothing which they should so anxiously guard, or of which they are to be such good guardians, as of the purity of the race. They should observe what elements mingle in their offspring." -- Plato, Politeia.


    A state arises, as I conceive, out of the needs of mankind; no one is self-sufficing, but all of us have many wants. Plato.


    Our object in the construction of the state is the greatest happiness of the whole, and not that of any one class. Plato.


    As the builders say, the larger stones do not lie well without the lesser. Plato.


    The excessive increase of anything causes a reaction in the opposite direction. Plato.


    Rhetoric is the art of ruling the minds of men. Plato.


    He who steals a little steals with the same wish as he who steals much, but with less power. Plato.


    Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself. Plato.


    The greatest wealth is to live content with little. Plato.


    If a man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life. Plato.


    No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education. Plato.


    To love rightly is to love what is orderly and beautiful in an educated and disciplined way. Plato.


    Entire ignorance is not so terrible or extreme an evil, and is far from being the greatest of all; too much cleverness and too much learning, accompanied with ill bringing-up, are far more fatal. Plato.


    The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life. Plato.


    At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet. Plato.


    Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty.
    Plato.


    Only the dead have seen the end of war. –Plato.


    "You can easily forgive a child that is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." Plato. ("Light"
    in this context is "Knowledge".)


    No trace of slavery ought to mix with the studies of the freeborn man. No study, pursued under compulsion, remains rooted in the memory. Plato.


    This City is what it is, because our citizens are what they are. Plato.


    One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. –Plato.


    Democracy... is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder; and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike. Plato.


    Democracy passes into despotism. Plato.


    Tyranny naturally arises out of democracy. Plato.


    This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector. Plato.


    The measure of a man is what he does with power. Plato.


    There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain. Plato.


    Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty.Plato.


    He who is not a good servant will not be a good master. Plato.


    When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader. Plato.


    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. Plato.


    One man cannot practice many arts with success. Plato.


    All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else. Plato.


    No law or ordinance is mightier than understanding. Plato.


    I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning. Plato.


    No one ever teaches well who wants to teach, or governs well who wants to govern. Plato.


    For good nurture and education implant good constitutions. Plato.


    Jefferson while reading Plato decleared that “a democracy can be preserved only by frequent returns to fundamentals.” They are there in The Republic.


    It is always a few who cause a war. The Republic fight on to the pains of the innocent force the guilty to do justice and stop. –Plato.


    Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior. –Plato.


    The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. –Plato.


    "The only good is knowledge and the only evil ignorance." –Plato.


    The unjust man must be an expert in being unjust, in seeing what is possible and what is’nt, in doing the one and letting the other go. So our unjust man will get away with everything. If he does’nt he is a bad worker. For the injustice is to seem just without being so. The man who is best at being unjust will have the greatest name for justice. Give him the power, if his ill doings come to light, to talk people round or to use force, if force is needed, and to use the help of his friends and his money to make everything seem different. –Plato.


    Till philosophers become kings, or those now named kings and rulers give themselves to philosophy truly and rightly and these two things - political power and philosophic thought - come together and the commoner minds which at present seek only one or the other are kept out by force, states will have no rest from their troubles. The true philosopher are those who are in love with seeing what is true. The philosopher is always in love with knowledge of the unchanging. And he will desire all that is knowledge and hate all that is false. –Plato.


    The best philosophers are of no use to the masses of men, but the cause is not in the best minds themselves, but in those who will not make use of them. –Plato.


    And those who have been of this little company and have tasted how sweet and saving a thing philosophy is, have come to see well enough, how far out of their minds the mass of men are, and that there is nobody who does anything straight or right in the present governments, or any supporter of justice at whose side they may fight and be saved. A philosopher is like a man coming among violent beasts unwilling to take part in their ill-doings, and unable by himself to make head against them. So for all these reasons the philosopher keeps quiet and minds his own business, like a man taking cover under a wall when clouds of ice and dust are driving by on the wind. Seeing others without any law or order in them, he is happy enough if he may keep himself free from injustice and ill-doings in this life and then gladly go away with a good hope, calm and peaceful when the end comes. –Plato.


    What seems clear to me is that in the field of deep knowledge the last thing to be seen, is the idea of the good. When that is seen, our decision has to be that it is truly the cause, for all things, of all that is beautiful and right. In the world that is to be seen, it gives birth to light and to the lord of light, but in the field of thought it is itself the master cause of reason and all that is true; and anyone who is to act wisely in private or public must have seen this. –Plato.


    So our state will be ruled by minds which are awake, and not as now by men in a dream fighting with one another over shadows and for the power and office which in their eyes are the great good. Truly that state is best and most quietly ruled where the rulers have least desire to be such, and the state with the opposite sort of rulers is the worst. There is no other sort of man who looks down on political office than a philosopher. –Plato.


    For are not money and virtue like the two scales of a balance: as one goes up the other goes down. –Plato.


    No one will ever become good, if, from his earliest days, he has’nt been playing among and giving his attention to good and beautiful things. –Plato.


    S. but the representative himself stands up now, guiding the wheels of the state, a completed and finished tyrant. At the start of his tyranny he has a smile and a kind word for everyone, and puts aside with a laugh any idea of his being a tyrant. He promises all sort of things in public and private, cancels debts and distributes lands to the people and to his supporters, and seems to be kind and gentle to all. The next thing is to work up one war after another, so that the people may be in need of a leader. This will make the citizens so poor through war taxes that they have to give their whole time to the days work, and this will make any plotting against him less profitable. And if he thinks anyone is harbouring a free spirit, he’ll put them in the place of danger and be rid of them so. For all these reasons has’nt a tyrant to be forever causing war? And if some of those who helped him to power don’t like the way things are going and are brave enough to speak up he’ll have to put them quietly out of the way. He has to take sharp note of who is brave, who high minded, who wise, and who rich. And in such a happy condition is he that, whatever his desires may be, he is forced to work against all these till they are all cleared out of the state. A fine purge. The very opposite of the doctors purges. He clears away what is bad and keeps what is good, but the tyrant gets rid ofbthe good and keeps only the bad. As he is more and more hated by the citzens, he need a greater and greater bodyguard. –Plato.


    There are three sorts of men – the philosopher or lover of wisdom, the lover of honour, and the lover of profit. Which of them are right? –Plato.


    And how can marriages be made most beneficial? - that is a question which I put to you, because I see in your house dogs for hunting, and of the nobler sort of birds not a few. Now, I beseech you, do tell me, have you ever attended to their pairing and breeding?
    In what particulars?
    Why, in the first place, although they are all of a good sort, are not some better than others?
    True.
    And do you breed from them all indifferently, or do you take care to breed from the best only?
    From the best.
    And do you take the oldest or the youngest, or only those of ripe age?
    I choose only those of ripe age.
    And if care was not taken in the breeding, your dogs and birds would greatly deteriorate?
    Certainly.
    And the same of horses and animals in general?
    Undoubtedly.
    Good heavens! My dear friend, I said, what consummate skill will our rulers need if the same principle holds of the human species!
    Certainly, the same principle holds; but why does this involve any particular skill?
    -- Plato, Republic, Book V


    No guardian spirit will cast lots for you, but you shall chose your own destiny. Let him to whom the first lot falls chose first a life to which he will be bound of neccisty. -- Plato, Republic


    However the nature of the elements that determine a given birth is as complex as the nature of the elements that constitutes a human being, who is the sum of various legacies. -- Plato, Phaedrus (the Phaedrus, written by Plato, is a dialogue between Plato's protagonist, Socrates, and Phaedrus, an interlocutor in several dialogues. The Phaedrus was presumably composed around 370 BC, about the same time as Plato's Republic and Symposi...)

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