Careers In Philosophy -Please read/ help

i’d agree with that but it’s still interesting to see if you can get them off the “treadmill”, but i suppose it depends on how fast/caught up they are on it. this seems to relate to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave which, despite my personal dislike of Plato, i really do think is an extremely insightful piece of philosophy that anyone who is interested in Philosophy should read.

I am, for now, serious.

Life is going crazy but im not out of control, but that’s only because I was never truly in control.

care to elaborate why you think that? my logic in the Allegory of the Cave of the Republic was that the “prisoner” who gets freed is in Plato’s mind the Philosopher (the highest/greatest man in Plato’s mind/the Republic), but a more modern day interpretation of it, is that the ‘freed prisoner’ is in fact a free spirit. the prisoner is freed from the daily routine of desiring wealth and position (the shadows) in their society (or cave), realises the lack of substance to the world (realises they are only shadows) as well as its norms/rules/material gains and decides to act against it/teach others about it. that’s what i see as a “free spirit” (even though it’s quite a difficult term to use/describe properly) and that’s a way i chose to understand Plato’s Allegory of the Cave even though there are other ways of understanding/interpreting it (comparing it to the simile of the sun for example) then just being a social commentary.

sorry if that didn’t seem clear in my previous post.

he becomes free of the chains so therefore he must be ‘freed’. 515 c “Imagine that one of them has been set free”. it takes time but he does get free

like the masses in how they saw Philosophy in Ancient Greek times. they preferred to quench their desires (material things) so therefore they would have no reason to be ‘active’ in the search for philosophy especially when they are still chained/have not yet been freed. their minds have not been freed of their daily lifes/desires, so therefore they are “inactive” in their pursuit of higher things (like philosophy and the Forms).

In the Philebus, Plato holds Knowledge (i.e. of the forms/philosophy) higher then pleasure. although he doesn’t claim that Pleasure should be neglected, he does hold Knowledge higher then it. “The shadows and artefacts would constitue the only reality people in this situation would regonize”. the material objects are only “shadows” of the knowledge of the Forms of which there is nothing Plato held higher then.

the one who drags this “freed” man out of the cave is Socrates. Socrates was very much a “free spirit” (see Symposium for example) and Socrates was the one who opened Plato’s eyes/mind to the pursuit of Philosophy (before that he was basically a failing politician). therefore the “free spirit” is Socrates who is trying to show him the light (philosophy) so to speak.

it’s difficult to adjust to a new “free” life at first so obviously he would be reluctant to when he was first became aware of this new life. it takes a while to adjust to this life/understanding of life (the pursuit of philosophy), like he says when the prisoner gazes on the sun and it hurts his eyes (blinded by its magnificence).

my mention of it being a “social commentary” correlates with what he says in the dialogue (515a) “‘This is a strange picture you are painting’, he said, ‘with strange prisoners’. ‘They’re no different from us,’ I said.”

The Allegory of the Cave is very personal for Plato as it can be seen as a relection of his feelings of society at the time (athens literally being the cave). The mention of the freed man going back to help the prisoners and getting killed for it (517a) is an obvious reference to Socrates fate (see events surrounding the Apology and Phaedo). Socrates was very new to athens society as a whole and made people aware of new understandings (see meno) and also sometimes pissed them off in the process (he was trying to “free” them so to speak and the “prisoners” got angry and killed him). the people who put him to death were the politicians and people of athens (again see apology) so Plato does not think of them in a favourable way and he compares them and what they hold to have wealth in life to “shadows” and “prisoners” of these delusions i.e. effigies of real life/the Forms.

in my interpretation of Plato’s words, i have tried to look beyond what he says and instead what he implies and what he must have been thinking at the time (hurt at the loss of his friend/mentor and aghast at the lack of respect philosophy had within the masses at the time as well as the impact Socrates had). that is how i have chosen to interpret The Allegory of the Cave and why i thought of the free spirit/Socrates/reflection of society angle.

my quotes are from the Oxford World’s Classic edition (Robin Waterfield) in case you’re wondering

gentelman, please don’t mind as dive into a debate over plato!

Crafedog wrote:

but he must return to the cave after seeing the light. what kind of freedom is it if he is still under obligations? futher, it’s possible to be ‘freed’ at one moment in the sense that you don’t have any chains, and still be under obligations. thus, freedom is hapered. for instance, just because you tie someone up, then undo the chains, and declare them free (which you can reasonably make such claims) this does not = free spirit.

i find that you other analysis of plato’s esteem for knowledge is rather dubious. first, knowledge is the understanding of forms. however, this means that knowledge is a state, not really a form itself. moreover, the first four books of the republic emphasize at alarming length the importance of a harmonic soul. because, alas, we are not composed of a single form. this can achieve some form of knowledge, but even still, i personally believe that it was unachievable for man. true opinion was possible, however.

ah. that seems more like a passage on form copies than anything else. especially in light of the meno.

position wasn’t something plato was against, but he probably wasn’t a fan of wealth. why else would the imaginary city dissolve private property? and why are philosophers naturally inclined not to needing/wanting such material possessions. crafedog has a point.

so? he had to. i never said he didn’t, i just said he would pursue higher things in the process of working as this would only be a means to an end

the free and the sun would be the beautiful. in this case Socrates and Philosophy/the good. Plato thinks less of the workers and money holders in athens at the time evident in his work on the sashes (gold to determine the philosophers of society) and how he held gold (philosophy) higher then the others and attribute “the masses” accordingly. and not only democrats refer to the people as “the masses” by the way, in case you didn’t know.

where does it say they get kidnapped, abused etc? i know they don’t get freed or helped but i dont remember reading that they get abused

could you give me some quotes on this, as i have not read eros or theaetetus?

he doesn’t get killed. Plato claims that “if they could” they would kill him. don’t forget they’re still imprisoned so it wasn’t Socrates in the example (as you claim) because obviously he died. Plato on this point is a reflection/justification of what happened to Socrates and how the people reacted to his way of teaching/life while he was still alive. evident in the later comment on how the imprisoned would ridicule him (as the poet’s did in Ancient Greece)

yeh, because they are the ‘imprisoned masses’ and they don’t want to be freed from their ‘prisons’ because they do not know anything better and a new way of thinking/life would scare them and therefore it would be a problem. also how does you’re first point disprove what i said about adjusting to the sun and the pain it would bring?

no, i never said they didn’t matter, you are being irrational here, but the sentence here is a fairly strong one in backing my point/angle that’s why i chose to mention it to you. my argument for the “Social Commentary” angle is not based on only that point and is instead based on historical fact and how Plato might have been feeling at the time and how it reflected in his work and philosophy.

so? the Republic is a primary piece of Plato’s political work, how is that relevant in disproving my point? i’m not denying it isn’t, i’m just saying that the Social Commentary angle is a fair way of looking at the Cave and understanding Plato’s thinking at the time.

i used numerous sentences to back up my thinking and how Plato would have been thinking at the time when comtemplating athens society so that claim/accusation of yours is unjustified.

btw, i’am not a democrat or christian and i have never read Nietzsche’s Greek philosophical thinking

on a personal note, the Allegory of the Cave is the only part of the Republic i like. i find the rest of the book to be filled with hypocrisy and absurdity (the poet’s, the training of the military, the sashes) as well as not being an interesting read. An aspect of the Republic i hate is the person “Socrates” is arguing with who just says “Yes, you’re right” and “Yes, that makes sense” etc all the time which is a shame because I enjoy the other Socratic Dialogues for the arguments that take place and the logic which “Socrates” takes on in them.

Plato is a lying bastard. Socrates was a drunk Vietnam Vet. The Allegory of the Cave is freakin’ worthless shoe gazing philosophy. It no longer has Power.
Go look in the Zhuangzi. Go look amongst the Deleuzians. Go look amongst those who would do violence in the name of history. Find Jesus in Marx and Braudel.
Sr Platon es un hack


can you read ancient greek? my translations are from numerous books including Oxford World’s Classics which has translated a lot of ancient greek classics. it is a very well known translation and my university lecturers also advise these translations.

i don’t know what translations you are reading but to be frank, i’m going to trust a well known book company’s translation over your translations/interpretations anyday.

whitelotus, don’t get so uppity up. i go to school w/ppl who are simulatenously studing the languages as well as reading the ancient texts, but you know it doesn’t make a great difference in interpertation. this is usually b/c the profs are excellent lectures and explain such differences, such as why pysche is translated to soul, agathon is good, etc etc etc. don’t be such a fucking snob.

rather, since book IV plato has adopted paramenides’ arguement and allowed what is and what is not as the dictomony of being. so, the ppl do not have a problem b/c they are not awear of it…put in complete ignorance, they c/n fathom an existence of knowledge (or light). your interpertation gets to hung up on sematic poitns rather than, wait for it, the philosophy. which is what this forum is about, b.t.w

i’m not sure what you’re refering to here. is enlgish your first language? let’s put the cave in perspective; it’s in a book that seeks to justify the need to be just for its own sake. the sun-line-cave is met ultimately to prove that the rewards possessed by such a pursuit are simply unattainable for those who are not just.

glad to see i’m not the only one who thinks this

that’s not what i wrote – that’s not what i was saying. is english your native language? i think that you can only debate on a translation level b/c that seems to be the only thing that you say…

plato never stipulates its a myth. scholars are divided if it is a myth, or an analogy, or a story. either position depends on a justification.

no, it’s not highly questionable considering that the purpose of the entire fucking work was to prove justice is necessary for it’s own sake. if you’re going to disagree, you’ll need to support it.

okay, that’s self-refuting.

really, are you a native english speaker? b/c i find your comprehension rather weak

hey whitelotus, I didn’t realize you’re not a shoe gazer hack. awesome. Got a question that’s right up your ally. IN heidegger’s intro to metaphysics, he says the logos comes from legein, which is originally an agricultural verb meaning “to cut wheat and gather it into a bundle”. heidegger then goes onto say that this gathering is how we come to understand Dasein, become better Nazis, have Jewish mistresses, and wear dark sweaters and round funny glasses, all the usual heideggeriana.
I’ve heard in multiple places that the Big H was making that shit up. Do you know anything about this?

by the way I totally agree with you, the only way to understand any text is to bring a fully armed and operational Hermeneutic Death Star with you to contextualize those rebellious words. The problem is that is SOOOO much work. I’m mired in Deleuze studies trying to figure stuff out and work through that impenetrable franco over-writing. I don’t speak french, but I’m fluent in spanish, so I don’t tend to have much trouble reading frank-speak. but damn tracking down references is mofo work. anyway…

not how plato defines justice. justice, my dear, is the proper ordering of the soul, with the philosophy (or logos) part ruling above everything else – it is a tripartie soul. the sun-line-cave passage illustrates how the logos part is suppose to reason. but to say that it stops at that is a rather superficial reading that does nothing to acknowledge the profound philosophical ideas that are being advanced. hhmmm…how do i know this with only a basic understanding of ancient greek? well, here’s a tip, i can think. and here’s the interpertation that you can dispute if you want.

the republic was a work written by plato circulated in the ancient world under the title “on justice” so named because plato establishes early on (at the end of book 1) exactly what the dialogue is to be about. such a practice is common in the early platonic works, which are mainly socratic dialogues.

i mentioned book 1 for a reason. it can be regarded as a sort of ‘table of contents’ for the rest of the work. so much so, that scholars at the beginning of the 20th century thought that it wasn’t actually written by plato. contemporary scholars largely reject this, and to paraphrase guthrie, to believe otherwise is to demonstate exactly how perverse the human mind can warp facts.

but i digressed. the point with book 1 and the point with the rest of the dialogues that there are 4 seperate arguements advanced by plato as to the role on justice, and why justice is good for its own sake. the end of book 4 presents the arguement that the internal harmonization of the soul allows one to be most of what they are meant to be – justice allows one to be the most human. this state, not a techne (which is all the other definitions of justice that others introduced) is desirable for itself. plato builds on this in book 5, where the philosophical man – who achieves this justice in the soul – is demonstrated to be the most desireable position than any other states. in book 6, plato introduces a line of arguement that attempts to argue that justice brings rewards that are more desirable than any other things/acts/etc. this is similarily continued in book 10 with the myth.

now on to the myth idea. for myths to earn their title in platonic dialogues, they are usually presented at the end of the dialogue and contain several elements. while i could explain these to you in rather excruciating detail, i perfer not to. needless to say, the formula of the cave passage is not similar to the myth at the end of book 10, or any other socratic dialogues. for you, whitelotus, to simply pronounce something a myth because you believe it is, is to make a statement out of complete ignorance. this is particularly rich coming from you, who has previously berated crafedog for having the wrong translations. yet you now arbitarily use the wrong terms when describing a highly specific work. which leads me to believe that you simply do not practice what you preach, or your english is rather weak.
if it was stronger, you might have been able to understand that an analogy does not only mean a comparision with what something happened, but how something is like. to say i have hair the colour of a pheonix, for instance, is an analogy and certainly not a myth.

oh, and logos is taken from the verbal noun of lego, which, if we follow one of the roots, leg, it means “to gather,” “to collect,” “to pick up,” “to put together,” and later “to speak or say.” its translation varies with the thinker, for instance heraclitus probably means an account, but often plato means reason when envoking the term. but of course, if you really knew ancient greek, you would know this, wouldn’t you?

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This is one (of many similar) reason(s) why I prefer to read synopses, summaries, and a person’s best quotes and quips, rather than an entire book on their banalities and crises… like I don’t have my own to deal with and resolve, through self-reconciliation.

Give me a dictionary or encyclopaedia on any topic from a-z, rather than a book on someone telling me their own thoughts on those things… like I don’t have my own, but sure… the odd talk or podcast or documentary won’t sully my mind, like biography bias often can.