In the excerpt, Socrates makes a case against writing by saying that the words themselves are not a complete representation of knowledge, but rather words are to knowledge as pictures are to their subjects.
Among the most important of these abstract objects as they are now called, because they are not located in space or time are goodness, beauty, equality, bigness, likeness, unity, being, sameness, difference, change, and changelessness.
Nearly every major work of Plato is, in some way, devoted to or dependent on this distinction.
Many of them explore the ethical and practical consequences of conceiving of reality in this bifurcated way. We are urged to transform our values by taking to heart the greater reality of the forms and the defectiveness of the corporeal world.
We must recognize that the soul is a different sort of object from the body—so much so that it does not depend on the existence of the body for its functioning, and can in fact grasp the nature of the forms far more easily when it is not encumbered by its attachment to anything corporeal.
To understand which things are good and why they are good and if we are not interested in such questions, how can we become good? For example, the forms are sometimes described as hypotheses see for example Phaedo. The form of good in particular is described as something of a mystery whose real nature is elusive and as yet unknown to anyone at all Republic.
Puzzles are raised—and not overtly answered—about how any of the forms can be known and how we are to talk about them without falling into contradiction Parmenidesor about what it is to know anything Theaetetus or to name anything Cratylus.
When one compares Plato with some of the other philosophers who are often ranked with him—Aristotle, Aquinas, and Kant, for example—he can be recognized to be far more exploratory, incompletely systematic, elusive, and playful than they.
His readers are not presented with an elaborate system of doctrines held to be so fully worked out that they are in no need of further exploration or development; instead, what we often receive from Plato is a few key ideas together with a series of suggestions and problems about how those ideas are to be interrogated and deployed.
Readers of a Platonic dialogue are drawn into thinking for themselves about the issues raised, if they are to learn what the dialogue itself might be thought to say about them. Many of his works therefore give their readers a strong sense of philosophy as a living and unfinished subject perhaps one that can never be completed to which they themselves will have to contribute.
Nearly everything he wrote takes the form of a dialogue. There is one striking exception: However, even there, Socrates is presented at one point addressing questions of a philosophical character to his accuser, Meletus, and responding to them.
In addition, since antiquity, a collection of 13 letters has been included among his collected works, but their authenticity as compositions of Plato is not universally accepted among scholars, and many or most of them are almost certainly not his.
Most of them purport to be the outcome of his involvement in the politics of Syracuse, a heavily populated Greek city located in Sicily and ruled by tyrants. We are of course familiar with the dialogue form through our acquaintance with the literary genre of drama.
Nor are they all presented in the form of a drama: As a group, they form vivid portraits of a social world, and are not purely intellectual exchanges between characterless and socially unmarked speakers. However, it must be added that in some of his works the speakers display little or no character.
See, for example, Sophist and Statesman—dialogues in which a visitor from the town of Elea in Southern Italy leads the discussion; and Laws, a discussion between an unnamed Athenian and two named fictional characters, one from Crete and the other from Sparta. In many of his dialogues though not allPlato is not only attempting to draw his readers into a discussion, but is also commenting on the social milieu that he is depicting, and criticizing the character and ways of life of his interlocutors.
Some of the dialogues that most evidently fall into this category are Protagoras, Gorgias, Hippias Major, Euthydemus, and Symposium.
Plato was not the only author whose personal experience of Socrates led to the depiction of him as a character in one or more dramatic works.
Furthermore, we have some fragmentary remains of dialogues written by other contemporaries of Socrates besides Plato and Xenophon Aeschines, Antisthenes, Eucleides, Phaedoand these purport to describe conversations he conducted with others. So, when Plato wrote dialogues that feature Socrates as a principal speaker, he was both contributing to a genre that was inspired by the life of Socrates and participating in a lively literary debate about the kind of person Socrates was and the value of the intellectual conversations in which he was involved.
Evidently, the historical Socrates was the sort of person who provoked in those who knew him, or knew of him, a profound response, and he inspired many of those who came under his influence to write about him.
But the portraits composed by Aristophanes, Xenophon, and Plato are the ones that have survived intact, and they are therefore the ones that must play the greatest role in shaping our conception of what Socrates was like. At any rate, no one certainly not Xenophon himself takes Xenophon to be a major philosopher in his own right; when we read his Socratic works, we are not encountering a great philosophical mind.
But that is what we experience when we read Plato. No doubt he in some way borrowed in important ways from Socrates, though it is not easy to say where to draw the line between him and his teacher more about this below in section But it is widely agreed among scholars that Plato is not a mere transcriber of the words of Socrates any more than Xenophon or the other authors of Socratic discourses.
He makes no appearance in Laws, and there are several dialogues Sophist, Statesman, Timaeus in which his role is small and peripheral, while some other figure dominates the conversation or even, as in the Timaeus and Critias, presents a long and elaborate, continuous discourse of their own.
Symposium, for example, is a series of speeches, and there are also lengthy speeches in Apology, Menexenus, Protagoras, Crito, Phaedrus, Timaeus, and Critias; in fact, one might reasonably question whether these works are properly called dialogues. Plato never became a writer of philosophical treatises, even though the writing of treatises for example, on rhetoric, medicine, and geometry was a common practice among his predecessors and contemporaries.
The closest we come to an exception to this generalization is the seventh letter, which contains a brief section in which the author, Plato or someone pretending to be him, commits himself to several philosophical points—while insisting, at the same time, that no philosopher will write about the deepest matters, but will communicate his thoughts only in private discussion with selected individuals.
Whether Plato wrote it or not, it cannot be regarded as a philosophical treatise, and its author did not wish it to be so regarded.
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle: The Big Three in Greek Philosophy Much of Western philosophy finds its basis in the thoughts and teachings of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. You can’t begin a study of world philosophy without talking about these guys: the Big Three ancient Greek philosophers. Xenophon’s Socrates differs additionally from Plato’s in offering advice about subjects in which Xenophon was himself experienced, but Socrates was not: moneymaking (Xenophon, Memorabilia ) and estate management (Xenophon, Oeconomicus), suggesting that Xenophon may have entered into the writing of Socratic discourses (as Aristotle. Some have called attention to the problem of taking Plato's Socrates to be his mouthpiece, given Socrates' reputation for irony and the dramatic nature of the dialogue form. Aristotle attributes a different doctrine with respect to Forms to Plato and Socrates (Metaphysics b1–11). Aristotle suggests that Socrates' idea of forms can be discovered through investigation of the natural world, unlike Plato's .
In all of his writings—except in the letters, if any of them are genuine—Plato never speaks to his audience directly and in his own voice.Philosophers like Plato, Socrates, Heraclitus and Aristotle etc.
are born once in centuries; and the knowledge and teachings they impart to the people of that era are to be written in gold and saved as eternal script. Plato: The Dialogue Form - Republic. Socrates was a real person and was Plato’s teacher, but he never wrote anything.
So why doesn’t Plato just say what he thinks and write his own opinions? Well, both Socrates and Plato agreed on a key idea that reasoning and truth can only be gained through dialogue.
They saw the search for truth. Miami University has an excerpt from The Phaedrus, a dialog between Socrates and someone named — wait for it — Phaedrus, that Plato wrote. Presumably, Plato didn’t misrepresent Socrates’ ideas in these dialogs, and Socrates did not seem to write anything down: pretty much all we know about his philosophy comes from Plato.
Socrates is the central figure in Plato's Dialogues that explores philosophical questions from a rationalist perspective. One of the most famous dialogues by Plato is The Apology in which Socrates.
Plato Biography - Plato (Greek: Πλάτων, Plátōn) (c to c BC) was an immensely influential ancient Greek philosopher, a student of Socrates, writer of philosophical Dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens where Aristotle studied.
Miami University has an excerpt from The Phaedrus, a dialog between Socrates and someone named — wait for it — Phaedrus, that Plato heartoftexashop.comably, Plato didn’t misrepresent Socrates’ ideas in these dialogs, and Socrates did not seem to write anything down: pretty much all we know about his philosophy comes from Plato.