Plato (Past Masters) by C. C. W. Taylor, R. M. Hare, Jonathan Barnes, Keith Thomas

By C. C. W. Taylor, R. M. Hare, Jonathan Barnes, Keith Thomas

The earliest thinker whose paintings has survived widely, Plato is still the starting-point within the learn of good judgment, metaphysics, and ethical and political philosophy. R.M. Hare presents a concise, well-connected advent to Plato's dialogues, targeting the imperative difficulties which led Plato to develop into a thinker. He describes those difficulties and Plato's options with nice readability, and units them within the context of Plato's lifestyles and instances, and his position within the historical past of philosophy.

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We have seen how the early cosmologists sought an explanation of the bewildering variety of things in the world by seeking for them some common ground or reason. '; but then divided. Natural scientists went on asking this second question in ever subtler forms and have been answering it ever since. But by this time problems had arisen which could not be answered by this method, and which demanded an entirely different sort of inquiry, whether we style it metaphysics or logic. ' in a quite different sense.

We can show this by restating the 'Platonic authoritarian argument without the mythology. In order to establish it, it is not necessary for 'Plato to adopt a mental-vision-of-eternalobjects theory of knowledge. Of the two alternative caricatures of 'Plato invented in Chapter 4, Pato clearly believed in such a theory, and he was a political authoritarian. What will be more interesting to the liberal is to see whether the more modern-seeming Lato would have to have the same political views. Lato is a linguistic philosopher.

The 'perennial philosophy' is perennial just because it is a very natural expression of human thinking about the mind and about values; it has appeared in many places at many times in different forms, and Plato's mindbody dualism, with its associated belief in the immortality of the soul, and his particular treatment of the objectivity of values, are not markedly different from anybody else's. What is unique in him is the progress from these quasi-religious speculations, which could have remained, as they have in others, vapid and evanescent, towards a much tougher, more precise logical and metaphysical theory, a moral philosophy and a philosophy of language; these were not entirely new, but, through discussion and criticism of them, they engendered the lasting achievements of Aristotle in those fields, and thus shaped the entire future of philosophy.

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