Plato’s Theory of Language: the Isomorphism of Kosmos and Logos in the Timaeus
The paper considers Plato’s theory of language through the prism of the Timaeus’ metaphysics. It is argued that the apparent contradictions of Plato’s philosophy of language are the consequence of the two-fold nature of language, and that the metaphysical scheme proposed by Plato in the Timaeus can shed a light on his coherent theory of language. The linguo-metaphysical isomorphism of the Timaeus presupposes that (1) words and material elements have their own meaning and nature respectively; (2) they can be reduced to an infinite variety of amorphic sounds and receptacle; (3) the participation in truth is possible only at the level of narrative and universe. According to this scheme the universe (κόσμος), as well as any speech (λόγος), can be explained by the reduction to its constituent elements, but it will be only necessary explanation. Whereas for Plato, the true understanding of cosmos and logos is possible only on the level of the coherent unity of the whole, which represents the ideal paradigm in the best possible way.
The paper discusses the development of metaphysics understood as a philosophical discipline or science. The author would like to propose that the last period of Greek philosophy, that going from about the 3rd to the 6th centuries A.D., made new and interesting contributions to metaphysics as a philosophical discipline, indeed made metaphysics into a metaphysical science, while also bringing out the limits of such a science. The paper has four parts. In part I, D. O’Meara introduces the way in which the great Aristotelian commentator of the early 3rd century, Alexander of Aphrodisias, in interpreting Aristotle's metaphysical treatise, sought to find in it a metaphysical science. In part II of the paper, he attempts to show how the Neoplatonist philosopher of the early 5th century Syrianus, not only adopted Alexander's reading of Aristotle, but was also inspired by it in finding this same metaphysical science already in Plato. In part III of the paper, the author will show how all of this resulted in a masterpiece of metaphysics, the Elements of Theology written by Syrianus' pupil Proclus. Finally, in part IV, he would like to refer to what is perhaps the last great metaphysical work of Greek philosophy, the Treatise on First Principles written by Damascius, a work in which the limits of metaphysical science are explored with extraordinary subtlety and insistence. In adapting Alexander's formalization of Aristotelian metaphysical science to Platonism, Syrianus knew that such a science was a means towards, not the equivalent of, knowledge of the transcendent. Proclus knew it too, even if his Elements of Theology, in presenting metaphysical science with such systematic beauty, could give the impression of being a definitive statement. And, lest we have any illusions about the adequacy of our metaphysical science, Damascius could cure us of these, opening our minds to what lay behind, or above, our own metaphysical efforts.
The paper offers an interpretation of Plato’s dialogue Gorgias in the context of post- Nietzschean political thought (M. Heidegger, L. Strauss, H. Arendt, G. Deleuze, M. Foucault). Each interlocutor of the dialogue claims that his speech is free. Two different political logics are introduced: «geometrical» (as in the conversation between Socrates and Polus) and «erotic» (as in the conversation between Socrates and Kallikles). The philosopher is able to make use of both languages. In the end, it is only Socrates who truly speaks freely, because philosophy doesn’t seek to be loyal to any of these two logics as it only aspires to solve a political collision between freedom and justice.
This article is devoted to conceptual translation of the terms "transcendence" and, connected with the former, "symbol". Difficulties which appear in the translation of those concepts into the language of contemporary culture are due to the fact that the terms are descriptive, not explanatory. This indicates a special type of ontology, that refers to Plato. Symbol, which is at the same time transcendent and immanent, will be analyzed through the examples of Merab Mamardashvili's philosophy and Andrey Tarkovsky's films. Their understanding of symbol is linked to Pavel Florensky's philosophy of art and Pseudo-Dionysius's theology of symbol.
The scope of this paper is to enquire into the nature of the so called ‘Socratic protreptic’. P. Harlich (1889) and K. Gaiser (1959) suggested that the ‘Socratic protreptic’ was a kind of transitional form from sophistic presentations to early Plato’s dialogues. Diogenus Laertius only mentions the protreptics of Antisthenes (VP VI. 2) and Aristippus (VP II. 85), but there are two texts that came to be considered as protreptics as a result оf Gaiser’s Protreptik und Paränese bei Platon: Xenophons’ Memorabilia 4.2 and the Alcibiades of Aeschines. These texts, along with the spurious First Alcibiades, were included into the protreptic corpus by S.R. Slings (1999). We argue that Gaiser’s approach is somewhat problematical, since the influence of Aeschines is not beyond any doubt. In the end, we focus on differences (both in structure and in content) between the ‘Socratic protreptic’ and those texts that were explicitly marked as protreptic in the IV century BC (Euthydemus, Clitiphon), which brings us to the problem of genre-definition.
This volume approaches the 'Socratic question' from a viewpoint that departs radically from mainstream lines of interpretation. The focus is not on the 'formal order' of the Socratics, that is on their subdivision in 'schools' and the 'doctrines' peculiar to each, but on the theoretical issues that these thinkers were able to develop in the fierce struggle among themselves. This collection features the revised versions of the papers presented at 'Socratica III - a conference on Socrates, the Socratics, and the ancient Socratic literature'. This conference is the latest of a series of Socratica symposia, previously held in Senigallia (2005) and Naples (2008), which were devoted to the developments of the research on the complex world serving as a context for Plato and his dialogues. This volume approaches the 'Socratic question' from a viewpoint that departs radically from mainstream lines of interpretation. The focus is not on the 'formal order' of the Socratics, that is on their subdivision in 'schools' and the 'doctrines' peculiar to each, but on the theoretical issues that these thinkers were able to develop in the fierce struggle among themselves. The papers dwell on the dynamic context in which these issues were posed, discussed, and eventually fixed in dogmatic theories within the philosophical and non-philosophical Greek literature of the V and IV centuries B.C. Following topics are examined: 1. the 'intellectual movement' around Socrates, i.e. Aristophanes and Comedy, Isocrates, Antisthenes, Chaerephon, Aeschines, Plato, and Xenophon; 2. the literary context in which the texts of the Socratics are framed; 3. major topics discussed within this movement, and their development within and outside the Socratic circle (apologetics, dialectics, politics, misology, eudaimonia, eusebeia, Eros, enthousiasmos, parrhesia, protreptics, spoudaiogeloion, epistemology and teleology); the reception of these issues in Late Antiquity, from Aristotle up to the Stoic, Neoplatonic and Arab traditions; 4. the state of the art of the 'Socratic question', and reviews of the major publications that appeared on Socrates and the Socratics between 2010 and 2011 (D. Morrison's Companion, L.-A. Dorion's and F. Bevilacqua's editions of the Memorabilia, and V. Gray's works on Xenophon and G. Danzig's book on the apologetic side of the earlier Socratic literature).
The paper deals with the political sense of the dialectical method of Plato. Dialectics is often understood as a pure logical procedure. However the two forms of the dialectical discourse (mentioned in the “Phaedrus”) must be interpreted politically: the first one is a movement of freedom, the second one is a movement of justice. The paper offers a comparison of different conception of dialectics by Plato, Aristotle, Hegel, and Paul Ricoeur.
The description of the elenctic method in the Sophist (230a–e) is often believed to be merely retrospective. However, some parallels with Aristotle’s Sophistical refutations suggest that the dialogue as a whole has a clear elenctic dimension. Having faced an apparent refutation (falsehood paradox), the interlocutors find themselves in an impasse. According to Aristotle, to solve such aporiai one must eliminate ambiguity and homonymy by making distinctions, i.e. recur to the diairesis. The same tactics is applied by the Stranger and Theaetetus.
The article considers the Views of L. N. Tolstoy not only as a representative, but also as a accomplisher of the Enlightenment. A comparison of his philosophy with the ideas of Spinoza and Diderot made it possible to clarify some aspects of the transition to the unique Tolstoy’s religious and philosophical doctrine. The comparison of General and specific features of the three philosophers was subjected to a special analysis. Special attention is paid to the way of thinking, the relation to science and the specifics of the worldview by Tolstoy and Diderot. An important aspect is researched the contradiction between the way of thinking and the way of life of the three philosophers.
Tolstoy's transition from rational perception of life to its religious and existential bases is shown. Tolstoy gradually moves away from the idea of a natural man to the idea of a man, who living the commandments of Christ. Starting from the educational worldview, Tolstoy ended by creation of religious and philosophical doctrine, which were relevant for the 20th century.
This important new book offers the first full-length interpretation of the thought of Martin Heidegger with respect to irony. In a radical reading of Heidegger's major works (from Being and Time through the ‘Rector's Address' and the ‘Letter on Humanism' to ‘The Origin of the Work of Art' and the Spiegel interview), Andrew Haas does not claim that Heidegger is simply being ironic. Rather he argues that Heidegger's writings make such an interpretation possible - perhaps even necessary.
Heidegger begins Being and Time with a quote from Plato, a thinker famous for his insistence upon Socratic irony. The Irony of Heidegger takes seriously the apparently curious decision to introduce the threat of irony even as philosophy begins in earnest to raise the question of the meaning of being. Through a detailed and thorough reading of Heidegger's major texts and the fundamental questions they raise, Haas reveals that one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century can be read with as much irony as earnestness. The Irony of Heidegger attempts to show that the essence of this irony lies in uncertainty, and that the entire project of onto-heno-chrono-phenomenology, therefore needs to be called into question.
The article is concerned with the notions of technology in essays of Ernst and Friedrich Georg Jünger. The special problem of the connection between technology and freedom is discussed in the broader context of the criticism of culture and technocracy discussion in the German intellectual history of the first half of the 20th century.