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Plato - Science topic

Plato, Greek Philosophy, Dialogue, Dialectic, Socrates.
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How connected is the epistemology of Plato's Theory of Forms to the belief in reincarnation? My answer: highly connected since the Indian caste system is very linked to who reincarnated from whom and which segment of the population embodies which of the three deities(Brahmin humanized as priests, Kshatryia humanized as warriors, Viasya humanized as merchants and or landowners, Sudra humanized as commoners, peasants and or servants.
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In the beginning is the Word, and the Word is with God, and the Word is God. The word is incarnated into the flesh of Jesus Christ, which manifests truth and grace of God. For your reference.
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Was Plato the only Ancient Greek Philosopher who believed in reincarnation? Why or why not?
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No, Plato was not the only ancient Greek philosopher who believed in reincarnation. Earlier and even more important in this respect is certainly Pythagoras who in turn had it most probably from his teacher Pherecydes of Syros. All Pythagoreans and all Platonists believed in reincarnation, and these were many. There certainly were also philosophers beyond these two groups who believed in it. - In contrast, Stoics and Epicureans were not in favour of reincarnation.
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My answer: Because "428/427 BCE
Plato was born in 428/427 BCE to a noble family and died in 348/347 BCE"(Meinwald 2023) he probably had a large impact on Hinduism which became popular "from about 320 to 550 CE"(Khan Academy). Thus maybe Plato heavily influenced Hinduism since the philosopher died before the religion gained popularity. Plus the Indian caste system may be an example of a fruit of Plato's concept of the Noble Lie. The Indian caste system is based on who reincarnated from who. Plato's Theory of Forms may also be a noble lie due to false induction. Thus further showcasing the problems of reincarnation belief. Plus in greater picture: "During the Gupta empire—from about 320 to 550 CE—emperors used Hinduism as a unifying religion and helped popularize it by promoting educational systems that included Hindu teachings; they also gave land to brahmins. The Gupta emperors helped make Hinduism the most popular religion on the Indian subcontinent"(Khan Academy).
Sources
Meinwald, Constance C.. "Plato". Encyclopedia Britannica, 9 Nov. 2023, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Plato. Accessed 20 November 2023.
Khan Academy . "During the Maurya and Gupta empires, the Indian culture and way of life were deeply influenced by Hinduism.." khanacademy.org . www.khanacademy.org/humanities/world-history/ancient-medieval/early-indian-empires/a/hinduism-in-indian-culture. Accessed 20 Nov. 2023.
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It is a very interesting question.
I composed a text dealing with the analogies between the Katha Upanishad and Plato's Phaedrus. The text is about to be published. I will upload it on ResearchGate.net. In the meantime, I attach here a file containing the PowerPoint of a lecture which I held on this subject. The PowerPoint is rather long since I always try to have as much materials as possible for the questions and answers after the lecture. I thank you very much for the interesting question.
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Hello, Academics are considered the highest rung of the social ladder because they have a better ability to understand and know the nature of things in life. They are more knowledgeable and therefore more philosophical and have a higher status. They, in turn, are responsible for people's misery. There is no need for me to recount the details of our miserable lives. It is enough to read what Dostoyevsky expressed in his novels: Who is responsible for the concerns of billions of souls who suffer at all times? Who is responsible for addressing the misery that exists in the world, whether societies or individuals? Knowing that we find that the number of academics in the world may exceed one hundred million people, can they change the global system if they unite and work according to a scientific and rational approach to managing the world?
The great philosophers, thinkers, and scientists who preceded us were individuals, and their circle of acquaintances was very narrow, but they shone and sacrificed precious and precious things in order for the human path to continue, and to leave us with the message that there is a solution. To free man from his pain, as Plato did in his Republic.
Isn’t it better for us to unite and call from this platform for a revolution of benevolent, progressive and humanitarian academics? Isn't this better than artificial intelligence revolutionizing us in the coming years? There is no choice. To escape the dangers that threaten our planet and the world, barring something like this, should academics pay attention to the reality of how badly humanity is suffering from poverty, unemployment, climate change, and the dangers of artificial intelligence and war? Isn't it time for them to unite and feel responsible for the comprehensive humanitarian issues that have exhausted the world? Under the umbrella of the United Nations, the world becomes one nation filled with peace and prosperity.
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Am in line with Stanley Wilkin which is very seldom.
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Given the Principle of Parsimony, Plato's Theory of Forms at least seems like the most likely afterlife(minus reincarnation because morality is objective but relative because symmetry always stays the same while risks change). The perishable no longer perishes after having perished. In other words, the perishable becomes the imperishable. If time is an illusion then all that recognizes real reality are abstract ideas. So when living beings deceased they become abstract ideas.
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Plato's Theory of Forms is just a philosophical concept that implicates the nature of soul & it’s existence beyond the physical realm. This theory as an afterlife concept is debatable & also depends on individuals perspective and explanation of parsimony.
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True or false: Discrepancy exists between Theory of Cave and The Republic (both by Plato). Why or why not?
My answer:
If Plato claimed that elite people were obstructing the visions of the masses with the metaphorical cave then why was he advocating for a Republic ruled by philosophers fought for by soldiers, and financed by merchants? Hence the suspected discrepancy between Plato's Cave and his Republic. MAYBE Plato changed his mind at some point thus causing the discrepancy.
Sources:
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "The Republic". Encyclopedia Britannica, 21 Aug. 2023, https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Republic. Accessed 26 September 2023.
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Because the Republic is an indirect proof against a move made away from Socrates iirc in book 2.
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Why, at least in many locations, are people lacking prior degrees automatically barred from obtaining PhDs?
Could this be by design?
Ohnemus , Alexander . "Plato's Republic Realized("PRR") Theorem." ResearchGate.net . www.researchgate.net/publication/373258308_Plato's_Republic_RealizedPRR_Theorem. Accessed 4 Sep. 2023.
Ohnemus , Alexander . "A Girardian Case for PhDs by Publication." ResearchGate.net . www.researchgate.net/publication/373639875_A_Girardian_Case_for_PhDs_by_Publication. Accessed 5 Sep. 2023.
Ohnemus , Alexander . "Ohnemus Paradigm." ResearchGate.net . www.researchgate.net/publication/373213909_Ohnemus_Paradigm. Accessed 5 Sep. 2023.
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Respectfully Professor Idowu Oluwabamise Odebode ,
If I understand your answer correctly then I respectfully disagree with you. I think the requirement of prior degrees is often arbitrary and eventually going to collapse academia. This work of mine exemplifies my concerns:
Ohnemus , Alexander . "A Girardian Case for PhDs by Publication." ResearchGate.net . www.researchgate.net/publication/373639875_A_Girardian_Case_for_PhDs_by_Publication. Accessed 5 Sep. 2023.
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Occam's Razor(or the Principle of Parsimony) is often considered a response to Plato's Theory of Forms. Occam's Razor is a HEURISTIC claiming that if two theories are equally supported by evidence then the more simple one is probably the correct one. Yet, simplicity is an abstract idea. Could that be an overlap between the Platonist Theory of Forms and the Principle of Parsimony?
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Plato's Theory of Forms and Occam's Razor are two philosophical and intellectual concepts that, on the surface, may appear quite different, but they do share some similarities when it comes to their approach to simplicity and abstract ideas.
Plato's Theory of Forms:Plato's Theory of Forms, also known as the Theory of Ideas, posits that there is a realm of abstract, unchanging, and perfect Forms or Ideas that exist independently of the physical world. According to Plato, the physical world we perceive is an imperfect and ever-changing reflection or imitation of these perfect Forms. For example, there is a perfect Form of a "circle" that exists in the realm of Forms, and all the imperfect circles we see in the physical world are mere copies or approximations of this ideal Form.
Occam's Razor:Occam's Razor is a principle of simplicity often attributed to the medieval philosopher and theologian William of Ockham. It states that when presented with multiple competing hypotheses or explanations, the simplest one is usually the best or most likely. In other words, Occam's Razor suggests that one should not multiply entities or assumptions beyond necessity. It encourages a preference for simplicity and parsimony in scientific and philosophical explanations.
Overlap Between the Two:While Plato's Theory of Forms and Occam's Razor are distinct concepts, there is a potential overlap in their emphasis on simplicity and abstract ideas:
  1. Preference for Simplicity: Both Plato's Theory of Forms and Occam's Razor prioritize simplicity. Plato's Forms represent a simplified, idealized version of concepts, and Occam's Razor advocates choosing the simplest explanation or hypothesis when faced with multiple options.
  2. Abstract Ideas and Universals: Plato's Forms are abstract and universal concepts that exist independently of individual instances in the physical world. Occam's Razor, while not directly addressing abstract ideas, promotes the selection of explanations that involve fewer assumptions or entities, which can be related to the preference for more abstract and universal explanations.
  3. Reduction to Fundamental Elements: Both concepts involve a reductionist approach. Plato reduces the physical world to its ideal Forms, while Occam's Razor reduces complex explanations to their simplest components.
However, it's important to note that there are also significant differences between the two:
  • Plato's Theory of Forms is metaphysical and concerns the nature of reality, positing the existence of a separate realm of abstract Forms. In contrast, Occam's Razor is a practical principle used for guiding reasoning and problem-solving, particularly in scientific inquiry.
  • Plato's Theory of Forms deals with the relationship between the abstract and the concrete, while Occam's Razor deals with the selection of hypotheses or explanations based on simplicity.
In summary, while Plato's Theory of Forms and Occam's Razor are distinct concepts with different purposes and contexts, they share a common thread in their appreciation of simplicity, reductionism, and the role of abstract ideas in understanding the world. However, they address these ideas from different philosophical perspectives and for different purposes.
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I have decided to launch a discussion on my text "The Drama of the Human Condition. Notes on the Causes and Origins of Evil in Plato's Republic", since the text is the basis of my interview "Il dramma della condizione umana nell'opera di Platone. (La idea del mal en Platón)", which will be broadcast on Friday, 2nd June at 3 p.m. CET on YouTube at the address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Enba6HUJS84 I should like very much to thank Professor Tayron Achury and all the members of Ethos Filósofico for their invitation. This text has been published in the Revue Roumaine de Philosophie 63(1), pp.19-35 in June 2019. In my analysis, I deal with some causes and origins of evil and of moral degeneration in the human dimension. My analysis focuses on Plato's Republic. The origins and causes of the presence of injustice and of vice lie in the very structure of the human soul. The division of the soul into parts which are at least reciprocally independent of each other implies that there is the possibility that they are in conflict with each other. This is the origin of injustice and the root of every form of evil. The correct equilibrium among the parts of the soul, which, in my opinion, are to be interpreted as authentic potencies, can be achieved only by developing the rational part. This development requires a thorough education in philosophy. Throughout my analysis I quote passages in which Plato points out the presence of bad instincts and, in general, of a morally difficult component in our soul. The kind of soul considered in my analysis is the embodied soul.
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Dear doctor
I quoted the following paragraphs from the net which contents I found great and ethical.
"The Republic by Plato is a text that describes the importance of being just in the world, and by being just, one is happy. It is a text that describes an ideal city and a way through which a just and philosophical governance can create happiness.
Justice is an order and duty of the parts of the soul, it is to the soul as health is to the body. Plato says that justice is not mere strength, but it is a harmonious strength. Justice is not the right of the stronger but the effective harmony of the whole.
For Socrates and Plato, there are four primary virtues: courage, moderation, wisdom and justice.
Plato states that there are four cardinal moral virtues: wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice. Foremost amongst these is justice. Justice is the well-ordered person in which the parts of the psyche each possess the appropriate virtue."
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Which one of the two Greek philosophers is nearby to the concept of realism and why? If not, to what extent the two philosophers can approach realism, and if that is possible?
Also, in which literature we can find the appropriate direction in order to understand the notion of realism (if that exists)?
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I think they are two different forms of realism, two different interpretations of reality.
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I am launching a discussion on my interview-lecture "Il dramma della condizione umana nell'opera di Platone. (La idea del mal en Platón)"
The Web-address of my interview "Il dramma della condizione umana nell'opera di Platone. (La idea del mal en Platón)" is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Enba6HUJS84 The interview is in Italian with English and Spanish subtitles.
The interview was organised by Professor Tayron Alberto Achury Torres of the Universidad Nacional Abierta y a Distancia - UNAD Colombia, Bogotá D.C.
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Greatest human beings! Thank you a lot! Nevertheless, “Again what city ever received Plato's or Aristotle's laws, or Socrates' precepts? But,”
― Erasmus, Praise of Folly
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"I know that I know nothing" is a saying derived from Plato's account of the Greek philosopher Socrates: "For I was conscious that I knew practically nothing..." (Plato, Apology 22d, translated by Harold North Fowler, 1966)
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I know that this does not mean that I know nothing at all, but there have been times when I have entered a subject and honestly knew nothing!
When I was an undergraduate student with the Open University, I did their science foundation course and there was a section about quantum mechanics, and I literally did know nothing. The nearest I had got to knowing any of the words involved was from the Hawkwind (rock band) track 'Quark, Strangeness and Charm'!
Yo my shame, my husband picked up the new concept and helped me with my understanding of it until I had the hang of it.
So . . . I knew nothing! Yes!
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This is the PowerPoint of the 2nd session of the series "Parapsychology: philosophical and poetic approaches". I was a respondent in the session. The title of my PowerPoint was: "Beyond". The session took place on Friday, 24th March 2023 from 7:00 to 8:30 CET. The title of the session was: "Nature and Spirit are One. Schelling and Healing". For my intervention, I exposed some notes on the power of healing which, in Plato's view, the dimension of Being exercises on the individual's soul. The PowerPoint is rather long since I wished to have elements at my disposal for the discussion in the session. The PowerPoint contains both quotations from Plato's texts and my notes on them. For my exposition during the mentioned session, I only used pp. 8-14 of the PowerPoint. I have already published some studies on the concept of philosophy as therapy of the soul in Plato. They are available on ResearchGate.net. A new publication which deals with the myth of the Phaedrus will appear in a few weeks. I am going to publish further analyses on this subject in some months. The new investigations will focus on Republic VI, VII, VIII and IX. I shall upload on ResearchGate.net the new texts as soon as they are published. In case of interest, I shall send further texts to private email addresses or I shall indicate texts of mine which are available on ResearchGate.net. I shall be grateful for any comment - except for insults -. I shall be very glad to find new contacts and to strengthen the contacts which I already have. My email address is: gianluigisegalerba@gmail.com
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Interesting initiative! I appreciate your dedication and the good Performance. Very good luck
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What evidence is there to suggest that knowledge is either independent of humanity or connected to humans?
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My question concerns the nature and origin of knowing, a philosophical problem that has been the subject of dispute for centuries.
Some philosophers contend that knowledge exists objectively and universally, independent of human perception or interpretation.
A few more philosophers contend that human knowledge is subjective and relative to human society, language, values, and experience[1,2,3].
[1]  Humanities | Description, History, Meaning, & Facts. (n.d.). Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/humanities
[2] Franke, W. (2015, October 16). Involved Knowing: On the Poetic Epistemology of the Humanities. MDPI. https://doi.org/10.3390/h4040600
[3] What are the humanities? (n.d.). The British Academy. https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/blog/what-are-humanities/
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The life of Plato emerged from Laertius, writing in the 3rd century CE, 500 years after Plato's death. Laertius describes Plato as fighting in the Athenian army as a hoplite at Corinth and Tangara but also at Delium where he gained a prize for valour. But when the latter was fought, Plato (real name Aristocles) was about five years old. An astounding feat!This might simply be confusion with Socrates. Not all the Dialogues accorded to Plato may be his, and ascribed work has been lost. about 27 works are known to be definitively by Plato.
My own discussions on Plato suggest he had Socrates essentially authoritarian brief, but how can we really know? From this point, the works of other teachers (usually recorded by others) such as Jesus can be fruitfully challenged and parts of Muhammad's programmatic declarations.
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This is a simple question, that allows a wide spectrum of perspevtives
My vantage point is a linguistic one. Here, the theory of forms by Plato is relatable to the theory of reference which is widely discussed in twentirth century studies of Sementics (The Meaning of Meaning by Richard and Ogden, 1989, originally 1923) and in Text Linguistics (Cohesion in English by Halliday and Hasan, 1976). A discussion of the theory of reference is also included in a paper br Farida Baka and myself entitled "Terminology Evolution and Translation: Specificity of Referant and User's Epistemic Contiuumm..., 2016".
Plato's theory of forms has also bear elaborated on by Aristotle in his Poetics and by Muslim theologians in thier discussion of monotheism.
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I came across a title which reads "Literariness of Theory" and suggests several works by prominent authors like Goethe's Faust, Plato's Dialogues, and Derrida's Glas. I would like to be informed of the meaning of the term and how I can relate it to these works.
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Isaiah A. Hines Indeed it has to do with the problem of theorizing literature. Upon first reading about these works, I could figure out something that relates to how a theory of literature should be literary as well since literature is subjective and theory has to do more with objectivity.
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QM stands for quantum mechanics, CS for computer science, CC for cellphones/computers, and Mathematics seems to have somehow missed all three.
Now is the time to catch up. We have come to a stand off. Students are ending up neurologically sick -- feeling math-averse (neurophobia and math trauma).
It is not a matter of selection. Only group/rote work [1] seems to infuse Mathematics, as taught today, even in highly-qualified students. Paradoxically, one finds that the more intellectually qualified, the more averse!
And yet current Mathematics still tries to "instruct" it to the students, and other disciplines, in the US and the world.
This failure has been denied [1], and the “fault” has been put on the victims -- the students. Paradigm shifts are needed: first, QM.
According to QM, only integer numbers should be necessary to build all one can see in nature. Otherwise, all of Physics would be contradicted. This would also contradict all of CS and all of CC. Computers, for example, only work with integers, and are error-free.
Since this contradiction is not even imaginable, QM is ontologically correct. Therefore, all sciences must reflect it, according to a "holographic principle" (HP) in nature, including Mathematics.
The HP is often referred to as "the micro as in the macro" or vice-versa.
These two words macro and micro are commonly viewed as antonyms, meaning that they are the opposite of each other. Macro means on a large scale. Micro means on a very small scale. Both are important, though often complementary, views of nature. The view from the macro, while taking into account the micro, is called "universality" in Physics.
The QM main principle was given by Niels Bohr as, "all states at once". This needs to be understood as different from the following possibilities:
  1. "Copenhagen interpretation", or
  2. a "collapse" of the quantum function upon measurement, or
  3. waves, as a picture of QM, or
  4. wave-particle duality, or
  5. the Heisenberg principle, or
  6. a probabilistic view of QM.
In opening the "black box" of QM as viewed by Bohr, QM does not represent Natur (defined by the philosopher Kant), but Wirklichkeit (ditto). It is not how nature is, but seems to work. A story.
A known analogy is the Plato's Cave". The shadows one can see on the wall are Wirklichkeit, and the open reality outside is Natur. After watching Wirklichkeit for some time, people can make an idea what Natur looks like, even though imprisoned in the Cave.
QM is, ontologically, how one can describe Wirklichkeit -- which is the subject of Physics. Natur may not have QM behavior, and continuity may exist in Natur.
Mathematics is not concerned with Wirklichkeit only, but can include Natur. Although, as no one can see Natur, one is led to treat any "pure" Mathematics as a speculation.
Albeit, Mathematics must agree with Physics in the realm of Wirklichkeit.
This does not happen today, and creates a clash. The inconsistency is seen as an opening. What IS mathematics?
Today's calculus teaching can be seen as relying on outdated ideas, going back before QM, computer science (CS), and cellphones/computers (CC) were discovered. Three major paradigm shifts seem to have been missed.
But these three paradigm shifts represent how science is done, in our seemingly endless task in going from Wirklichkeit to Natur.
One recognizes then, that science does not behave continuously, but by jumps -- that break from the past, and open a new future -- in going from Wirklichkeit to Natur, and back -- does the envisioned Wirklichkeit reproduce the actual Wirklichkeit?
This has been called a "paradigm shift" (PS) by T. S. Kuhn in Structure of Scientific Revolutions [2].
David Hilbert [3], at the turn of the XX century, proposed twenty-three problems intended to guide research in the dawning century, claims otherwise, that “History teaches the continuity of the development of science.”
Michael Harris [4], a mathematician, writes that he, "would still be glad to lift the veil, but we no longer believe in continuity. And we may no longer be sure that it’s enough to lift a veil to make our goals clear to ourselves, much less to outsiders."
The outdated ideas currently in Mathematics date back to the time of Newton, Leibnitz, and Cauchy, before the 3 PSs mentioned. They include (aka Fictions, or incorrect models): microscopic continuity, infinitesimals, hyper-reals, Cauchy epsilon-deltas, and Cauchy accumulation points.
Even in 4-year universities one finds classes, such as at Caltech, MIT, CSU, and abroad, teaching Fictions today [1].
This failure can be denied [1], and the “fault” can be put on the victims -- the students. But, there is no feeling of inferiority. PS [2] combats this, American style -- by innovation.
A technical innovation can reduce this gap by a PS [2] -- already heralded and error-free, as one can see in the history of sciences (contradicting David Hilbert [3]).
This reduces risk by following an experimental model that works, even though no one has explained it mathematically, without Fictions.
By jump-starting to QM one has a solution, which we mark as a first paradigm shift.
Where Fictions interfere with known Physics, they must be mercilessly deprecated -- although, and yet, current Mathematics still tries to "instruct" it to the students, in the US and the world.
The other paradigm shifts, stand for computer science (CS), and cellphones/computers (CC).
We now introduce a coherent, holographic principle (HP), a universe, and understanding yet to be discovered, as two new paradigm shifts -- and gain a cosmic perspective: who is the Creator of all this marvelous scheme?
This final PS leads to a comment. One does not need to learn anything, confirms https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Robert-Fuchs
One just has to observe.
Mathematics seems, thus, to be discovered — as a hologram and coherent with other sciences, and not, somehow, invented by mere humans.
What is your qualified opinion?
REFERENCES
[2] T. S. Kuhn, Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962.
[3] David Hilbert, Paris International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM), 1900.
[4 I] Michael Harris, “Mathematics Without Apologies”, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-1-17583-6, 2017.
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Dear Ed Gerck
Thank you very much for asking this question. The paths of discovery in mathematics are indeed surprising as we see from the following observation concerning the convergence of ideas of Coxeter and Bourbaki discussed in the following blog:
I think that the above discussion provides a positive answer to your question and underlines how important is to know the history of mathematics.
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If yes or no justify
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تعتبر نظرية افلاطون هي الاساس في التدريس الحديث من خلال تطبيقات التربوية
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I was reading a quote of Plato where he said that those who tell stories, rule society. I have seen in my life also, many great and legendary teachers having this unique ability of being a fantastic story-teller. Great performers who rise up to the level of a teacher in other walks of life like spirituality, politics, entertainment, public relations, business etc. also seem to have this unique feature. So I have started believing that story-tellers can become great teachers.
Scientists and researchers from around the world are requested to share their opinions regarding this.
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May be but not necessarly
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The text which I have attached here and which I propose as a possible basis for a discussion on the problem of the Evil has been published in the Revue Roumaine de Philosophie 63(1), pp.19-35, in June 2019. All observations on the problem of Evil are welcome - apart from insults -. In my analysis I deal with some causes and origins of evil and of moral degeneration in the human dimension. My analysis focuses on Plato's Republic. The origins and causes of the presence of injustice and of vice lie in the very structure of the human soul. The division of the soul into parts which are at least reciprocally independent of each other implies that there is the possibility that they are in conflict with each other. This is the origin of injustice and the root of every form of evil. The correct equilibrium among the parts of the soul, which, in my opinion, are to be interpreted as authentic potencies, can be achieved only by developing the rational part. This development requires a thorough education in philosophy. Throughout my analysis I quote passages in which Plato points out the presence of bad instincts and, in general, of a morally difficult component in our soul. The kind of soul considered in my analysis is the embodied soul.
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Man is out of nature, but nature is not out of man. K.Lorenz pointed to this existential problem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Aggression
The unnaturalness of human nature ( https://setemheb.tumblr.com/post/140345594808/the-unnaturalness-of-human-nature. ) requires rational and ethical systems of morality to guide man away from evil, i.e. destructive and self-destructive force, with respect to a creative life of sharing and caring.
The ethical rectification of man is the way to check her/his destructive potential.
However, F.Dostoievski opined: No morality without immortality, which points to the vital role of an eternal upper force as universal accounting system.
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The title needs no elaboration, I feel.
A more specific secondary question is this. If we do choose to take seriously the all-embracing creation theory postulated in Timaeus, what does that theory imply for the future of Artificial Intelligence systems?
Note: Timaeus is world class philosophy, and multiple sources and descriptions for it can easily be found on the internet. I use the Waterfield translation in the series Oxford World's Classics, published by Oxford University Press.
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Dear Professor James Doran ,
I thank you very much for your proposing this discussion.
It is not easy to give an answer: I think that the Timaeus is and will remain of interest for interpreting Plato's strategy, since in Timaeus many elements of Plato's vision of reality are exposed. Plato's positions can be interpreted as a beginning of an intelligent design assumption.
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Professor E.R. Dodds suggested the fascinating idea that Plato's exposure to Pythagorean ideas contributed to his notion of Philosopher-Rulers, that is, that we might think of them as "rationalised shamans". I have not, however, been able to find any subsequent writing that develops this idea as a way of framing the Philosopher-Ruler as a leader. I would be most interested in any references to work that develops this idea.
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Magico-religious Pythagorean ideas definitely influenced Plato's talk about a possible Philosopher-King. The most productive way to account for that connection, in my estimate, is to investigate the approach called "esotericism" -- where knowledge is made available only to the initiated few (or one). I recommend you start with an article "On the Practice of Esotericism" by Paul J. Bagley in the Journal of the History of Ideas (vol. 53, 1992).
Maudemarie Clark ("Philosophy and Esotericism," Perspectives on Political Science, vol. 44, 2015) is right that religions are more prone than philosophies to employ esotericism. That said, esoteric approaches are alive and well in philosophy even today, and certainly figured prominently in the works Plato. Witnessing the death of Socrates cemented Plato's belief that Pythagorean esotericism is the right way to go.
As for magic, one needs only to think of the allegedly mystical standing of the five regular solids (convex polyhedra) to connect Plato and Pythagoras. Members of the Pythagorean cult got killed if they revealed the secrets of (some of) the solids, which is more radical than being turned away from Plato's Academy for being insufficiently proficient in geometry...
In any event, to help tie in my answer to your question, here is a terrific quote from Carl Sagan (Cosmos, [1980] 2013, pp. 194-195):
"The Pythagoreans were fascinated by the regular solids, symmetrical three-dimensional objects all of whose sides are the same regular polygon. The cube is the simplest example, having six squares as sides. There are an infinite number of regular polygons, but only five regular solids. [...] For some reason, knowledge of a solid called the dodecahedron having twelve pentagons as sides seemed to them dangerous. It was mystically associated with the Cosmos. The other four regular solids were identified, somehow, with the four ‘elements’ then imagined to constitute the world: earth, fire, air and water. The fifth regular solid must then, they thought, correspond to some fifth element that could only be the substance of the heavenly bodies. (This notion of a fifth essence is the origin of our word quintessence.) Ordinary people were to be kept ignorant of the dodecahedron. In love with whole numbers, the Pythagoreans believed all things could be derived from them, certainly all other numbers. A crisis in doctrine arose when they discovered that the square root of two (the ratio of the diagonal to the side of a square) was irrational, that it cannot be expressed accurately as the ratio of any two whole numbers, no matter how big these numbers are. Ironically this discovery [...] was made with the Pythagorean theorem as a tool. ‘Irrational’ originally meant only that a number could not be expressed as a ratio. But for the Pythagoreans it came to mean something threatening, a hint that their world view might not make sense, which is today the other meaning of ‘irrational.’ Instead of sharing these important mathematical discoveries, the Pythagoreans suppressed knowledge of the square root of two and the dodecahedron. The outside world was not to know. Even today there are scientists opposed to the popularization of science: the sacred knowledge is to be kept within the cult, unsullied by public understanding."
The attitude described in this passage reeks of Plato.
Hope that helps!
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Dear Colleagues,
many challenges ahead of us. The pandemic crisis and its repercussions on employment, the coming climate and ecological apocalypse, the aging population (especially in some areas of the globe). Despite a minority that calls for a radical switch in our way of production, lifestyle and consumption, a large part of the practictioners and researchers believe that these challenges can be faced trhough technological innovation with the hope that somehow, at some point, we'll find solutions withouth compromising how we live today. In between those two fronts, many shades of grey and halfway solutions. Research in all the cases mentioned, is rich and encompasses a broad range of alternatives allowing one to position and build knowledge in the community that more represent his ideals. In all the cases though when it comes to working hours reduction, just few dozens of results pop up. It is impressive , how in the last 40 years management research hasn't focused at all on investigating the possibility of reducing the working hours maintaining a costant pay, seen the increase in annual productivity. Some of the reasons are quite obvious if we look through the lenses of ortodox approaches: increased complexity, power relations, neoliberalism-managerialism etc (I know, this is very superficial and oversimplified but it is just to make sure future respondents to this question won't focus on the things I already know). My question instead would be: why critical management scholars, eterodox economists, did not produce enough and relevant research on the topic except for a few books? To me, with just a spoiled impression on the topic, this could represent a solution to many ecological problems, unemployment, extremy poverty, depression ecc ecc. The pandemic brought back this topic to the spotlight and I would like to write something on that. Maybe trhough an experimental design (I am just at the beginning of the process, this idea is still in Plato's Iperuranio). Would you like to discuss the topic with me? Any idea, research article?
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Dear Giacomo.
I share its worry, but I am far from being provided with knowledge experimenting. I believe that this sanitary - economic crisis, as well as the previous ones, bring old questions inherited from classic authors that were never decisive. As its consultation: because changes are not realized on the labor market to reduce the maximum time of the labor day although some countries have advanced more than others in this topic – and to allow so that they deposit major workpeople quantity, obtaining a fall in the unemployment, as well as also to increase the social welfare level?
The times seem to accompany this claim, we see that the young people at educational level very superior to its parents, obtains every time less sure and stable work places, differing between them for the more and more concentrated familiar patrimony. Also the increase in the unemployment valuations between the adults with higher education – with regard to the adults without top average education, according to the report Panorama of the Education 2014 of the OECD –. Every time they are major the documents quantity with estimations with regard to the quantity of million clear work places that will get lost to future, and than the emergence of the new works.
Dear Giacomo, thousand pardons for moving away from its question.
Leaving aside the golden epoch of the capitalism – strong relation between the wages and the productivity – in the period 1980-1999 the world GDP increased in 71,7 %, and between the year 2000 and 2019 in 70,0 % – in constant dollars of 2010, according to the base of the world Bank, https://datos.bancomundial.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD) –. It would be a slightly significant difference to be the main explanation of the fall of the participation of the wages in the added value – the mentioned can be thought superficial, since there is not clear as quantifying the contribution that they do in the real productive process, if the last one is valued finally at stock-exchange level according to multiple types of investors –. It might advance under the assumption, of an increase of the financial revenue in the total participation of the profit. In case of accepting this conjecture, the concentration in the personal distribution of the revenue is every time major – less persons concentrate more quantity of financial wealth –. I believe that the important thing would be to have quality statistics, for explicitar this. Pardon for not being able to bring any answer, but, show on the contrary over doubts. In this context of generation of information in real-time in any point of the planet: would it be easier to give answers of social utility in our more and more complex and changeable societies?
Estimado Giacomo.
Comparto su inquietud, pero estoy lejos de contar con conocimiento experimentando. Creo que esta crisis sanitaria-económica, así como las anteriores, traen viejas preguntas heredadas de autores clásicos que nunca fueron resueltas. Como su consulta: porque no se realizan cambios en el mercado laboral para reducir el tiempo máximo de la jornada laboral–si bien algunos países han avanzado más que otros en este tema–, y permitir para que ingresen mayor cantidad de trabajadores, consiguiendo una baja en el desempleo, así como también aumentar el nivel de bienestar social?
Los tiempos parecen acompañar este reclamo, vemos que los jóvenes con nivel educativo muy superior a sus padres, consiguen cada vez empleos menos seguros y estables, diferenciándose entre ellos por el patrimonio familiar cada vez más concentrado. También el aumento en las tasas de desempleo entre los adultos con educación superior – respecto a los adultos sin educación media superior, según el reporte Panorama de la Educación 2014 de la OCDE–. Cada vez son mayores la cantidad de documentos con estimaciones respecto a la cantidad de millones de empleos netos que se perderán a futuro, y al surgimiento de los nuevos trabajos.
Estimado Giacomo, mil perdones por alejarme de su pregunta.
Dejando de lado la época de oro del capitalismo – fuerte relación entre los salarios y la productividad–, en el periodo 1980-1999 el PIB mundial aumento en 71,7%, y entre los años 2000 y 2019 en 70,0% –en dólares constantes del 2010, según la base del Banco mundial, https://datos.bancomundial.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD)–. Sería una diferencia poco significativa para ser la explicación principal de la caída de la participación de los salarios en el valor agregado –lo mencionado puede considerarse superficial, dado que no es claro como cuantificar el aporte que hacen en el proceso productivo real, si este último es finalmente valorizado a nivel bursátil según múltiples tipos de inversionistas–. Se podría avanzar bajo el supuesto, de un aumento del ingreso financiero en la participación total de las ganancias. En caso de aceptar esa conjetura, la concentración en la distribución personal del ingreso es cada vez mayor –menos personas concentran más cantidad de riqueza financiera–. Creo que lo importante sería disponer de estadística de calidad, para explicitar esto. Perdón por no poder acercar ninguna respuesta, sino por el contrario, manifestar dudas. En este contexto de generación de información en tiempo real en cualquier punto del planeta, ¿sería más fácil dar respuestas de utilidad social en nuestras sociedades cada vez más complejas y cambiantes?
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A careful reading of THE ABSOLUTE DIFFERENTIAL CALCULUS, by Tullio Levi-Civita published by Blackie & Son Limited 50 Old bailey London 1927 together Plato's cosmology strongly suggest that gravity is actually a real world mathematics or in another words is gravitation a pure experimental mathematics?
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Very interesting question. To me, best answer is given by Roger Penrose using the paradigm "The three worlds of reality": the Physical World, the Mental World, and the Platonic World (Mathematics lives here).
The claim is that Platonic World "maps" onto Physical World and hence all possible physical universes are constructs of information consistent with Mathematics.
Obviously Physical World "maps" onto Mental World (because we live in the physical world); and Mental World "maps" onto Platonic World. But the three worlds are different.
For a much better explanation you can see Penrose's book "The Emperor's New Mind"
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I am trying to sketch a new project aiming to question the problematic relationship between justice and law in philosophical/political terms. Many political theorists since the time of Plato have wrestled with the problem of whether justice is part of law or is simply a moral judgment about law. Many scholars on the subject has either concluded that justice is only a judgment about law or has offered no reason to support a conclusion that justice is somehow part of law. In my point of view, justice shouldn’t be conceived as an inherent component of the law, I am rather interested in the disconnection of law and justice to the extent that this disconnection bears the concept of politics itself both in positive and negative terms.
I believe that your intriguing answers and guidance will breed a very fruitful discussion.
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It is necessary to distinguish between moral, legal and legal justice.
  Moral justice is associated with the value orientations of a particular social group or society. It involves a person committing actions that the community considers correct, good. The fulfillment of these actions is due to the inner convictions of man.
Legal justice is also associated with the group's value guidelines and is expressed in informal norms. These norms are formed in the process of social interaction and are aimed at maintaining conflict-free coexistence of the group. Compliance with such standards by a member of the group is legal justice. Human observance of informal norms is ensured by social coercion.
Legal justice means the proportionality of the act and the consequences for it. It is legal justice that is expressed in law and enforced in the justice process.
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At the beginning of the Republic Socrates pontificates on knowledge using Thrasymachus as a foil. I thought Thrasymachus' ideas were better. I thought Socrates' use of doctors and ship captains as ideals of knowledge was simply naive and briefly wondered why we rate this so highly.
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Dear Stanley,
for sure Plato's positions are elite positions. This is true.
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Looking to figure out the meaning of these words, and their frame of reference, both in a systematic and/or historical consideration (from Plato onwards). Bibliography suggestions are very welcome, as welll as both strictly academic (formal) and non-scientific (informal) explanations.
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Philadelphia, PA
Dear Pavlos,
I would suggest studying the actual usage of "term," "technical term," "notion," "concept," and "definition." You might also want to consult a dictionary. The usage will likely differ somewhat from field to field, say, in physics or chemistry as against mathematics.
A "term" I would suggest is a word with some particular and distinguished meaning, which distinguishes the particular term from common or less regulated usage. A phrase of interest is "term of art," (which has little to do with art) but which suggest a particular usage in some organized field of study or approach to the subject-matter of such a field.
"Technical term," is fairly similar, except that there is likely to be reference to a more technical field --further removed form common concerns, say, in electronics, vs. something like culinary arts.
"Notion" is usually something like "idea," --as in "the idea just occurred to me." In contrast to "idea" or "first thought," it carries a slightly negative connotation, as suggested by something like: "Its a mere notion, he hasn't thought it out yet."
"Concept" is much like "term" or sometimes "technical term." Though it has some technical developments, as in Frege's philosophy of mathematics, say, it usually or typically just functions as a place holder without much detail being supplied. Something more substantial than a word is suggested. This is often related to developments of theory. Two physics, say, might have somewhat different concepts (or conceptions) of spacetime. If someone thinks, e.g., that biological evolution has a purpose or end toward which it works, then the reply might be, "That is not Darwin's concept of evolution."
A definition is a statement explaining the meaning of a word. It is important to recognize that dictionary definitions are arrived at on the basis of empirical study of actual usage.
H.G. Callaway
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Please see the following vedio and share your opinion about its content.
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Perception and education. My first thought was H.G. Wells Country of the Blind.
Problem is though, those in the cave never realise they are. They do believe theirs is the genuine knowledge. It presents an impasse not a forward stage.
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Just curious really, and also interested in the production of ideas. Einstein it is generally accepted stopped producing new ideas by middle-age, and Newton's achievements ended at the same point. (I welcome arguments against both these assertions). Aristotle, Plato and Euripides continued into old age producing interesting ideas.
Some, like Kant, grew senile.
Who did produce convincing, innovative arguments and what were they?
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I was over 60 years old when developing the concept of coordinate systems based on velocity vectors and clocks instead of base units of length components, allowing construction and testing of higher dimensional systems 6D, 12D, and 26D.
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Remember Plato and the process of dialogue. Even a slave -not considered a Greek citizen- could take part in such a questioning "unveiling" the chances of solution.
Processes of creativity require a certain degree of articulation, structuring the chances of a solution, and, especially, discarding bias, which could be a waste of time, therefore, irrelevant to solution-searching.
Looking at the image you include (without reading the whole text -for which I present my apologies) it comes to mind that some of those operation could be combinations of other typical, or archetypal -if we may say so. Accordingly, two processes emerge: first, the isolation of those typical operations and, second, the structures that enable later articulations and combinations. It is then, when you observe a series of transformations that the invariants may lead to the "sketching" of structural procedures.
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  • In simplest terms, knowledge is something you may or may not have, whereas problem-solving is something you may or may not do.
  • Problem-solving may require knowledge, e.g. of background conditions, of methods or methodologies, of proper ways to articulate questions. When a problem is solved, more knowledge, e.g. knowledge of the solution and of results in steps toward the solution, has been acquired.
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(1) Public (media) discourse is mostly an industry of manipulation, in which facts and valid arguments are ignored.
(2) Academic philosophy is a scholastic play with concepts, which is mostly not interesting and which is mostly useless.
(3) Poetry can be enlightening and inspiring, but it is difficult to tell what is poetry, and what is an arbitrary play with words, without a clear meaning.
(4) I tried to join philosophical reflection and poetry into a sort of "reflective poetry". I wrote some "poems in prose" (in my/Croatian language) but I am not quite happy with what I have produced.
Can you give me some advice in this regard? - Suggest me some book of "reflective poetry". The authors I love the most are Nietzsche (in "Zarathustra") and Tagore (in "Gitanjali).
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Maybe I'm wrong, Mario, but I sense in your question more than a request for a reading list. You seem to be questioning not only the gabble-babble of social media, which it takes great discernment to navigate, but the very value of continuing to read and write. Am I correct? I too am tired of mediocre writing: novels that encase you in a word-construct so mundane it stifles you, academic articles beaten out of stale conceptions that don't enlighten you, philosophy of merely technical importance - and so on. What to do? I would be the last person to want to shut down broad public participation, but I no longer feel obliged to wallow in writing I find uncongenial. Perhaps the way forward for folk in this position, rather than tackling a reading list of vast length and unknown quality, would be to return to texts that have really moved one in the past: not necessarily only the classics of different cultures, but those texts which have shaped our own thinking. Are we clear in our own minds about what it is in those texts that we found (and find?) important? I had such an experience recently re-reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which I first read as a kid. (I'm not suggesting you should read it, merely offering an example.) The book has been reissued with a new introduction which sketches what happened to the real-world protagonists (the author and his son) in the intervening years. I found it very valuable to revisit the impressions I had then with what I feel now. They are very different. I also think your instinct to search for satisfying poetry is sensible. Poetry at its best pushes the boundaries of conventional thought and feeling. So do the best novels, which have the impact of extended poems. This kind of reflection and recollection often moves one forward. Best wishes for your continuing quest.
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Wittgenstein mentions the "dream of Socrates" in § 46 of the Philosophical Investigations. But can it be said that in what follows - at least up to § 78 - he comments the questions Plato raises and discusses in the remainder of his Theaetetus?
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The opposition between Plato as seeking the beginning and Wittgenstein the end of philosophy is very suggestive. I also appreciate very much the placeholder-idea. It seems to be congruent with the Introduction to the Investigations, where Wittgenstein sets out to contrast none but himself and what he calls the “grave mistakes” in what he wrote in the Tractatus. Also Wittgenstein’s own assessment of his work as mere “sketches”, his failure to “force” his thoughts “on in any single direction against their natural inclination” make it improbable that he would systematically have followed the structure of another author’s work. Yet there are the analogies between the dream of Socrates and the picture theory of the Tractatus, as Dr. Huemer says, so that an analogy between the Theathetus and the Investigations is not completely out of the question. On this basis I have reviewed my perceptions about a certain parallelism between parts of the Investigations (46-?) and parts of the Theaetetus (201e-210b). Especially in §§ 51-57, I must admit the correspondence is somewhat faint. I annex the revised version of this “synoptic view”, in case it be of use.
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Cognitive theories are of great importance to knowledge resources and learning strategies (attention, understanding, memory, reception, processing and processing of information). The learner's awareness of the acquired knowledge and the way in which he acquired it increases his mathematical activity. This activity, experience or training in the individual, changes his behavior. Cognitive theories are concerned with cognitive structure through the following characteristics: differentiation, organization, coherence, integration, quantity, quality and relative stability.
Structural theory has gained popularity in recent years, although its idea is not modern. Trends in structural theory can be observed through the works of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle (320-470 BC), who all spoke about "knowledge formation "He said.
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Hello:
 The difference between them is big!
  The role of teacher and student is different in both ways!
The role of the teacher in behavior: is to create a learning environment to encourage students to learn the desired behavior.
The Role of the Teacher in Constructivity: Creating the learning environment to make the student build his own knowledge.
The behavioral and structural theory is based on the objectives of education, experiences, and teaching methods in different ways:
The behavioral theory is concerned with the apparent behavior of the learner, while structural theory is concerned with the internal cognitive processes of the learner.
The reality of these gaps is illustrated by the development of objectives:
The teacher in construction sets his educational goals within a general framework through social negotiation between the teacher and students and the student feels that he is a partner in the goal.
While the teacher resorted to the behavior of behavioral fragmentation educational goals to specific behavioral goals are observable and measurable at the end of the lesson and not the end of the chapter or the year and thus formulated according to a famous equation is:
"That + behavioral act + pupil + educational content (small) and sometimes a condition and standard of performance"
So that attention to the apparent behavior desired by the learner as a response only to the educational situation that passes through
This is what the student loses thinking and leads to conservation so that he can take out the information as it was introduced into his mind.
While structuralism focuses on the internal mental processes that occur in the mind of the learner so as to link the prior and subsequent knowledge to construct meaningful learning. The constructivist theory says that real learning will not be based on what the learner has heard, even if memorized and repeated before the teacher. Rather, the learner builds his knowledge internally, influenced by the environment surrounding him, society and language, and that each learner has a method and privacy in understanding the information. the teacher
... Therefore, the teacher in sending information to the learner and confirmation and replication will not be useful in building the information as he wants in the mind of the learner
The teacher is then asked to focus on (creating the learning environment) and (helping to access learning resources) and often depends on confronting students with a real problem situation, trying to find solutions through research and exploration and through social negotiation of solutions.
Learning is what happens after the information arrives at the learner who creates the subjective self-meaning of the knowledge, not just the information. The evaluation here is characterized by continuity, realism and selectivity, and the use of performance assessment files to document the development of growth in the abilities, behaviors, skills and attitudes of learners during the semester or years of study.
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Once I realized the Plato and Descartes were right about mind as a faculty separate from the material brain, and that Plato was essentially right about classic forms being recalled thru soul (which is what my own FTT explains), it struck me that the classic AI paradigm of initializing a program with basic or core knowledge (e.g., letter shapes for perceptual identification), with the capacity to engage in adaptive learning, was a good one.
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I think you are absolutely right.
What you call vagueness in communication I call "imbalance" caused when novel information hits instable belief structures. Disbalance occurs when misunderstandings and false assumptions manifest themselves. In other words, falsely constructed realities collapse under pressure. Life is the constant restructuring and adaptation process to a constantly changing environment.
Consciousness consists of structures and processes in which value exchange happens. It manifests itself through thinking, feeling- and acting, which is basically the transformation of information into emotion and energy.
Descartes is right. Thinking = Being. However, there are different levels and 3 different modes of being.
Only if thinking, feeling and acting are fully integrated with each other, we have the full human experience, best conditions for learning and growth, best information flow, and the only conditions for error free information exchange. If feeling and acting are not integrated with thinking, we are either an animal or a vegetable.
I would love to take our discussion offline to discuss my preliminary findings further.
Please send me your email to Robert.fuchs@happinessgroup.eu
kind regards
Robert
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TIME has been ignored since Plato and his bad omission has been amplified by mathematicians to the extent that TIME even disappeared from Newton's physics when it got 'gutted' by Lagrange, with his bogus idea of "potential energy".  This mistake was extended by the genius Hamilton with his Hamiltonian Mechanics: the basis for quantum mechanics.  A great pity, as Hamilton had been obsessed by the idea of time for many years when he invented his magnificent Quaternions. 
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Hello Herb,
Nothing is immovable. The Earth moves, by conservation of momentum, if I move my finger. No need, as Archimedes thought, of a supporting point or a lever.
Cheers,  Ed Gerck 
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Currently this project is postponed for some time. This ambitious project will suggest a comprehensive and durable architecture of South Asian politics, diplomacy, peace and development on the basis of visionary ideas of some prominent scholars from the East such as Chanakya (Kautilya), Vidur, J. Krishnamurti, Spivak and some contexts from the Mahabharat and the prophetic ideas by Plato, Aristotle and Machiavelli that could present the best road map for the long-term peace and stability in this region critically reading major developments (earlier if needed) and from 2000 to 2014 in terms of politics, diplomacy, so as to reflect on the peace and development in the region. I am seeking suggestion from anyone in relation to best approaches and methods to complete this research.
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Thank you for sharing your ideas.
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John Burnet's book on Plato's Phaedo (1911) is the kind of work I'm looking for.
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I don't see that there is in English.  In German there is Epikur, Brief an Menoikeus : Edition, Übersetzung, Einleitung und Kommentar, by an Erik Hessler. In English it seems there is no commentary, but you might want to look at several works that probably treat the letter, e.g., Tim O'Keefe, Epicurus on Freedom or Jeffrey Fish and Kirk Sanders (eds.), Epicurus and the Epicurean Tradition.
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One one looks at Polybius's treatment of revolutions in Book 8 of his History, it looks as if he never read Aristotle's Politics book 5.  In fact Polybius's account of the cycle of politeia looks more indebted to Plato and to Plutarch than to Aristotle.  What evidence is that Polybius knew of Aristotle's Politics, or like most Roman authors, Aristotle's Politics was unknown to him?
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Mainz, Germany
Dear Ward & readers,
The readings you suggest might certainly be helpful to the present question and thread, but if it were a matter of explicit references to Aristotle in Polybius, then I suspect they would have already turned up.
Lacking explicit references, it remains to look for similarities of content. Does Polybius make use of recognizable Aristotelian arguments in relation to his doubts on the persistence of Roman rule? What grounds does he give for this view? Looking again at the summary Bates initially supplied, what strikes me as interesting are the Aristotelian arguments concerning revolution and neglect of "small matters" and arguments concerned with lack of cultural homogeneity in the polity.
Generally, I'm inclined to suppose that a major defect of empires generally, is that the central, cosmopolitan authority becomes incapable to keeping track of relevant detail in the expanded provinces. The sheer extent of the empire becomes problematic along with the variation of constitutive political and social detail in the provinces.  Imposed uniformity of policy may facilitate central administration, but at the danger or cost of disrupting local life and relations. The provinces may thus become more like subservient dependencies, ever in need of support from centralized administration, instead of offering support to the empire.
H.G. Callaway
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Please, help.What is English for the name of Plato's primary school - /didacsaleon/?
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Dear Natalia,
The word is Didaskal-eion Διδασκαλείον in Greek
The verb is: Didask-o=Teach somebody (Διδάσκω in Greek)
The substantive is: Didaskal-os=Teacher =Διδάσκαλ-ος (the person who teaches)
Thus the first part means that a teacher's act is being done.
The second part is common in Greek language and means the place where the first part is actually perforemed.
Another word:
Ωδείον= Ωδ-είον = conservatory = the place where Ωδές=odes are created = Od-eion
So, finally (thanks for your patient!):
Didaskal-eion = The place where we receive a teaching (Didach-i = Διδαχ-ή) from somebody (Didaskal-os)
PS Ian, please let it to Greeks and forget machine translators, they simply create 'monsters'!
James you lost the root!
:)
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Historically, the first complete form of idealism is represented by Plato's thought, which sees in the immaterial Idea a substantial, independent and absolute reality, against which the sensible world is not other than deprivation of being, inadequacy and limitation (the premises of this Platonic conception are in the previous thought, and particularly in Anaxagoras and the Eleatics). Idealist is also the Neo-Platonic philosophy, so all worldly bodies radiate, in a progressive decline of spirituality, from the One, from the true being absolutely spiritual, up to the matter that is the real non-being, the absolute ontological negativity.
By the term "idea" Plato "meant something that is opposed to ‘thought’, that is to say" to what ‘thought’ turns when it thinks and without which there would not be thought: in short, the Platonic idea is not a thought, but a "being", rather being "that is absolutely" the "true self". " For Plato, therefore, the idea is the ontological essence and not so much the logical concept. The idealistic conception of Plato may be obtained, among other texts, from the seventh book of the Republic, where it presents the "Allegory of the Cave" and where are described with a metaphorical-mythical proceeding, the various degrees of human knowledge, degrees ascending which proceed from the sensible to the intelligible one. It is in these pages, and similar ones in the Platonic writings, that raises the first form of idealism understood as a progressive rejection of sensible experience as a definite base of knowledge, to give predominance to ideas. Only then, Plato argued, he would have hoped to move from mere "opinion" to "science."
In the words of Plato, it should be remembered that the Socratic system works outside the framework that Socrates  had assigned. In fact Plato moves on the ground of mathematical truths of the Pythagoreans. To direct him to the Pythagorean doctrine was Archita of Taranto, a distinguished thinker and mathematician.
Proclus, last of the great representatives of neo-Platonism and of the Hellenic philosophy... writes: "... Plato gave a huge boost to the whole mathematical science and in particular geometry for the keen study that dedicated and that he made known both filling his writings of mathematical reasoning, and awakening everywhere admiration for these studies in those who are dedicated to philosophy.
Plato introduced the " intermediate mathematical entities " for the following reasons: the numbers on which operates the 'arithmetic’, as well as the dimensions of which works geometry, are not sensitive realties, however intelligible. But, such intelligible realties can not be Ideal Numbers nor ideal geometric shapes because the arithmetic operations involve the 'existence of many identical numbers (take for example an equation where, say, number 6 occurs several times) and demonstrations and geometrical operations involve many equal figures and many figures that are a variation of the same essence (think of many equal triangles and many figures which are variations of the same essence, i.e. triangles of various types: equilateral, isosceles ...). Instead, each of the Ideal Numbers (as well as each ideal form) is unique, and also the Ideal Numbers are not operable. If one considers this, there are clear the Platonic conclusions on the  existence of mathematical entities having characters "intermediate" between the intelligible and the sensible world.
If the above is common knowledge, it is still discussed Plato's position in favor of the reality of mathematical entities. In the part of Metaphysics dedicated to the Platonic doctrine of causes, Aristotle (384-322 BC) states, after recalling among other things that it is both like and unlike the Pythagorean theory, that for Plato, "exists beyond sensitive forms and real objects something in between, mathematical entities. They differ from sensible things because they are eternal and non-mobile, and differ from the ideal forms because there is a plurality of mathematical entities that are similar, while each ideal form is in itself unique, individual, "(Metaphysics, I, 6, 987b). For Aristotle, then, Plato admits the existence of "archetypal ideas" of numbers from which, in a similar way to other ideas, derive mathematical numbers. Indeed, in various works of Plato, the Philebus, the Republic, the Letter VII, we find an allusion to the existence of ideal numbers that are archetypes of the numbers used by mathematicians. In Plato one can therefore assume the existence of numbers, but with the prudence to remember that he speaks only as archetypal ideas, a concept very different from the number of mathematical reality that results.
With this conception Plato gives later philosophers the illusion that mathematics can draw the absolute entities introducing too sharp a division between mathematics and technique; the illusion will impinge on the conduct of philosophical thought for a very long period and will be exceeded only in modern times. It is an attempt of Plato to save with math his "theory of ideas" and come to grasp the essence of reality. To this function of mathematics Plato unites the other sciences, but excludes drastically physics, which he considers a simple study of phenomena.
We should underline that mathematics remains in its intermediate condition, suspended between opinion and science. It is science if we consider its demonstrative rigor; instead it is an opinion for its inability to fully account of the hypotheses from which his compelling arguments start: the hypotheses are only assumed to be true, but their determination is, in every way, questionable.
Undoubtedly there are other possible readings and other interpretations, says Professor Domenico Massaro of the  University of Siena, such as the one very acute that envisages mathematical entities to be in effect intermediate and real, but not necessarily with a separate existence; here, however, it is not intended to draw definitive conclusions, but  much more modest and temporary supposition so that" we can say with relative certainty that ... there is no founded reason why the doctrine of mathematical intermediate bodies, in the terms in which Aristotle in Metaphysics refers, can not be present in the platonic system ".
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Perhaps the attachment may give you an extensive answer! (Use the Table of Contents as a guide, in particular pages x ff.)
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Compassion is a sentiment by which an individual feels emotionally the suffering of others and tries to alleviate pain. In the fifth century BC the sophist Gorgias used the ‘word’ as a tool of persuasion which derives, not from a Socratic dialogue, but from a skillful motion of feelings. The ‘word’ does not serve to know or to arrange moral action, but it is a persuasive art used for the purpose of establishing a political power for sharing passions in the listener that makes him believe in the poetic deception of the orator. He, says Gorgias, is "better" than those who do not deceive, because the orator is able to create an "aesthetic truth", and "it is wiser who is deceived than those who are not," because through compassion he participates emotionally in this intense truth.
The rejection - instead - of compassion as a political tool is typical of stoicism which breaks down the old political tradition of the Greek world that appealed to this feeling to cure the ills of mankind. Yet, the interest for politics originated in the Stoics because of their cosmopolitan dimension, which springs from that very feeling of compassion and participation in world events of ‘sympatheia’, that is of the intimate connection between the human sphere and that of the 'Cosmic Soul’: they are subjects of a universal homeland; there is no event that does not affect and involve them.
It is true that through the feeling of compassion we would be aware of the suffering, for example of a slave, giving birth to our desire to free him but compassion attaches importance to external circumstances as if human dignity is not viable ... Wisdom is what is enough to make men free.  (See the works by Martha Craven Nussbaum,  for example “Plato's Republic : the good society and the deformation of desire”).
How compassion gives strength to the philosophical message is clear in the poetry of Lucretius, the Roman poet and philosopher who - with poetic art - makes the Epicurean thought penetrate not only into the mind but also into the hearts of men. All the poetry of Lucretius is inspired by the consideration of a cosmic pain that led him to sympathize especially with the fate of the unwise man, who lacking the truth revealed by Epicurus, drags a useless and absurd life in trouble and boredom to get lost into ‘nothing’.
The importance of compassion in the formation of morality has been the subject of analysis of the philosophers of the eighteenth century that can generally be identified  into two currents: a first one that bases moral judgment on reason and a second one that researches into the origins and passions of human feelings. The debate is also about the innate presence of moral sense, or its assimilation after birth as a cultural element.
The rejection of any feeling of compassion in the moral sphere distinguishes the Kantian ethics. Kant himself tells us that for some time he was attracted by the moral principles of the British sentimentalists that then he left, unsatisfied, because their method of inquiry was reduced to a simple psychological analysis and because their excessive optimism did prevent what for him was the essential element of morality: compulsion.
Moreover, it is affirmed the independence of the moral act from science and its irreducibility to the feeling that will never be confused with morality. The feeling of compassion is something impulsive, weak, erratic on which morality cannot rely.
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Reason brings order to our social communal life. It is a clear guide to our moral life as it stresses some universal application on the way we judge human acts. We are fair to the world when we give moral judgments based on the principle of right reason and not on anything else. However, in real life, in our day to day experience, the existential is always. It is what makes us alive and human. Some laws based on reason are hard. It is our compassion that breaks them as in the case of forgiveness. Our compassion tells us that while reason is superior, the existential-spiritual dimension of our existence have greater impact in our lives.
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The perfect action that has its end in itself is called by Aristotle: final act or final realization (entelechia). While the movement is the process that leads gradually to acting what was only potential, the 'entelechia' is the final term (telos) of the movement, its perfect conclusion. But as such, 'entelechia' is the accomplished realization and therefore the perfect form of what is becoming; it is the species and substance. Then, the act identifies itself in each case with the species and, when it is a perfect act or final realization, it coincides with the substance. This is the same reality under way and its principle. In front of it, the matter considered in itself, that is as pure material or raw material, absolutely deprived of actuality or form, is indeterminable and unknowable and is not substance.
Thus, entelechia is the term used by Aristotle in opposition to "power" to describe the reality that has reached the full level of its development; it is sometimes identified with the word 'act', but the two terms are different as the latter indicates the active realization of power, and the entelechia, instead, constitutes the perfect reached implementation by the substance. It is therefore not to be confused with the ‘endelechia’, term initially used by Aristotle and transmitted by Cicero, which is used to indicate the human soul understood as the ‘fifth nature’ (different from any other known to us), immortal, common to the gods and the heavens (divine beings).
The term entelechia was revived by Leibniz to indicate the Monad, as it has in it the perfect organic end of its development.
Now, in other words, the term ‘entelechia’ was coined by Aristotle to describe his particular philosophical conception of a reality that has registered in itself the ultimate goal toward which to evolve. It is in fact composed of en + telos, which in Greek means "inside" and "purpose", to mean a kind of "inner purpose".
Speaking of entelechia’ Aristotle opposed the Platonic theory of ideas, to assert how each entity develops starting from a final cause internal to it, and not by external ideal reasons as, instead, Plato argued by locating them in the hyperuranium sky. Entelechia is therefore the tension of an organism to realize itself according to its own laws, passing from potentiality to action.
It is known, in fact, as, according to Aristotle, ‘becoming’ can be considered fully explained when its four causes are identified: Material Cause, Formal Cause, Efficient Cause and the Final Cause. To designate the accomplishment of the purpose Aristotle used precisely the term entelechia that indicates the state of perfection of something that has reached its end.
Neo-platonists came in part to the Aristotelian concept that the shape of a body should also be immanent to it and not only Platonic transcendent, but found reductive the identification of the soul with entelechia, since the soul is something prior to the body and still independent of it.
A synthesis of the Aristotelian and neo-Platonic conception is in Tommaso Campanella, for whom nature is a complex of living realities, each animated and tending to its end, but then all unified and harmoniously directed toward a common goal by the same universal ‘Anima mundi’.
Leibniz also conciliated the Aristotelian entelechia with the Neo-Platonic vision, making it an essential property of the Monad, that is, of every "energy center", capable of developing independently towards their goal or destiny: each monad receives no impetus from the outside, but all together they form a single complex, regulated in the inside by a harmony preset by God, the supreme Monad. They are, in fact, equal to the coordinates of so many clocks, functioning on their own but synchronized with each other.
In the twentieth century the term ‘entelechia’ has been recalled by the philosopher and biologist Hans Driesch to designate the ‘vital energy’ which he considered immanent to embryos and responsible of their development, as opposed to mechanistic theories which they saw as a "machine."
In the light of the Aristotelian distinction between entelechia, as an action, a realized term of the action that contains no further progress, and ‘energeia’, that is the action understood as actualization of entelechia in the making, the misstep is configured as an impasse, a slip out of 'energeia’, out of the direct realization of ‘entelechia’. On the other hand, the concept of the raid of entelechia takes to a deviation whose subject is the ‘entelechia’ itself. The totality of the act is not only the purpose in the pure state, but a purpose enriched by all outings that can branch from it. The ‘real’ is the product of an ongoing process of experimentation, and "the rare flower of the event comes from a multiplicity of attempts and a renewal of evidence". A world without baroque deviations would be poor, schematic, unable to realize all the possibilities contained in the entelechia. The energeia has an ontological weight greater in a nature and in a story that integrate the missteps ".
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According to Joe Sachs, Aristotle's entelechy is a form. He considers entelecheia, a word invented by Aristotle as a combination of the words endelecheia, enteles and telos. Therefore, he translates entelecheia as being at work staying itself or as being at work staying complete or as being at an end, The being at work staying itself,(endelecheia, persistence) is for the sake of staying complete (enteles, complete or perfect) in the confrontation with deprivation and corruption. Completeness is the completed achievement of telos, the inner purpose. Thus, entelechy is "being at work staying itself for the sake of preserving the completed achievement of the inner purpose".  The soul is the entelechy of an organism, motion is the entelechy of a potentiality of being somewhere and thinghood is the entelechy of a material. The difference between Aristotle's hylomorphism and Plato's ideas is that Aristotle denies the separate existence of the forms.
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Compassion is a sentiment by which an individual feels emotionally the suffering of others and tries to alleviate pain. In the fifth century BC the sophist Gorgias used the ‘word’ as a tool of persuasion which derives, not from a Socratic dialogue, but from a skillful motion of feelings. The ‘word’ does not serve to know or to arrange moral action, but it is a persuasive art used for the purpose of establishing a political power for sharing passions in the listener that makes him believe in the poetic deception of the orator. He, says Gorgias, is "better" than those who do not deceive, because the orator is able to create an "aesthetic truth", and "it is wiser who is deceived than those who are not," because through compassion he participates emotionally in this intense truth.
The rejection - instead - of compassion as a political tool is typical of stoicism which breaks down the old political tradition of the Greek world that appealed to this feeling to cure the ills of mankind. Yet the interest for politics originated in the Stoics because of their cosmopolitan dimension, which springs from that very feeling of compassion and participation in world events of ‘sympatheia’, that is of the intimate connection between the human sphere and that of the 'Cosmic Soul’: they are subjects of a universal homeland; there is no event that does not affect and involve them.
It is true that through the feeling of compassion we would be aware of the suffering, for example of a slave, giving birth to our desire to free him but compassion attaches importance to external circumstances as if human dignity is not viable ... Wisdom is what is enough to make men free.  (See the works by Martha Craven Nussbaum,  for example “Plato's Republic : the good society and the deformation of desire).
How compassion gives strength to the philosophical message is clear in the poetry of Lucretius, the Roman poet and philosopher who - with poetic art - makes the Epicurean thought penetrate not only into the mind but also into the hearts of men. All the poetry of Lucretius is inspired by the consideration of a cosmic pain that led him to sympathize especially with the fate of the unwise man, who lacking the truth revealed by Epicurus, drags a useless and absurd life in trouble and boredom to get lost into ‘nothing’.
The importance of compassion in the formation of morality has been the subject of analysis of the philosophers of the eighteenth century that can generally be identified  into two currents: a first one that bases moral judgment on reason and a second one that researches into the origins and passions of human feelings. The debate is also about the innate presence of moral sense, or its assimilation after birth as a cultural element.
The rejection of any feeling of compassion in the moral sphere distinguishes the Kantian ethics. Kant himself tells us that for some time he was attracted by the moral principles of the British sentimentalists that then he left unsatisfied because their method of inquiry was reduced to a simple psychological analysis and because their excessive optimism did prevent what for him was the essential element of morality: compulsion.
Moreover, it is affirmed the independence of the moral act from science and its irreducibility to the feeling that will never be confused with morality. The feeling of compassion is something impulsive, weak, erratic on which morality cannot rely.
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Dear Roberto and Constantine,
thank you for your contributions. Now, from: The Four Sublime States: Contemplations on Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity, by Nyanaponika Thera I quote the following passage: "Compassion prevents love and sympathetic joy from turning into states of self-satisfied complacency within a jealously-guarded petty happiness. Compassion stirs and urges love to widen its sphere; it stirs and urges sympathetic joy to search for fresh nourishment. Thus it helps both of them to grow into truly boundless states (appamañña)".
Best regards, Gianrocco.
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Bernhard of Chartres says in his Glosses on Plato, that such an ideal state cannot exist in this world. Is this now his own opinion, or does he refer to Republic IX 592ab? Because: As far as I know there was no copy of the Republic in his time, only Calcidius' Timaeus. So how could he refer to the Republic in such a detailed way?
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The answer to your question is most probably that Bernard is referring to a passage in the Republic that he does not know directly but has seen quoted in one of the many authors listed in the previous answer. If I were trying to find the exact source, I would refer to the work of Stephen Gersh and Peter Dronke. Here are two starting points.
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Plato’s Cave: see Plato’s “The Republic” (514a to 520a) or just the Wikipedia entry
Gilbert’s Barrier:
“The human soul uses reason, sees many things, investigates many more; but, however well equipped, it gets light and the beginnings of knowledge from the outer senses, as from beyond a barrier -- …”
          (William Gilbert, De Magnete, 1600 AD)
Are Plato and Gilbert essentially referring to the same subjective phenomenon and the same objective reality? If so, which is more fundamental, the subjective phenomenon or the objective reality? Is there major disagreement between the two, or are they merely offering somewhat different interpretations of the same subjective evidence? Or what?
NB William Gilbert was an English physician, natural philosopher and early experimental scientist in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1 of England. He particularly studied magnetism and wrote an influential book thereon from which comes this quotation.
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Hello James,
interesting question. In my opinion Plato and Gilbert do not describe the same phenomenon. Plato describes a human being who discovers a world beyond his world totally referring to outer phenomenons. The shadows might be reflections. Still they are true phenomenons. We do not know about internal states of this person other than we as onlookers might be able to observe when looking at this person. Other than those which are represented. And one essential point: Plato describes how this person is before, how he is after. Also you might not miss the point: He gets pulled out of his missery done to him by others or anything. But the point is: There are others who free him. And you might say: The helping person is a person who knows while man in the cave is in a state he does not know about his missery. One aspect we can clearly see as standing outside of the whole situation: There is obviously a person who is in the cave and one who lives in both worlds. So we have here the aspect of slavery which turns into freedom.
This motiv gets later on transformed into self-imposed immaturity.
When it comes to Gilbert the onlooker steps into the background and manifests as the auther. The author is not anymore a person standing outside the whole scene but a helping person. He himself understands himself as a person who is free. A person who is the onlooker and helping person at the same time. Freedom is here understood as knowledge. Shadow and object are the very same thing saying: An object has different perspectives. When it comes to Plato shadow and object are two different things yet intervolven with each other. Also: We do not have a different world here anymore. And you might say: Cave is here an internal state.
The only similarity here: 'get light'... to see something else or to know some more.
But does it describe the same phenomenon? If you asked me... Not at all. When it comes to Plato people still believe in a world beyond their world which is the ultimative cause of everything. This cause cannot be found in your 'cave' which is our world. We are speaking here of two different worlds. And freedom is here not only knowing but knowing that there exists another world with real objects. When we look at Gilbert humanities understanding has already transformed. There is only one world and the cave is an internal state of not knowing. Freedom also becomes an internal process away from self-imposed immaturity to at least a state in which a person wants to discover. And in a way you might say we can see here also a transformation of teaching skills.
Another difference: While for Plato the philosopher is the observer of this whole scene and not active when it comes to Gilbert he transforms into the helping person. So you might also understand: There is missing some kind of self-reflection. As an active helper you are not anymore a passive observer.
But as you were mainly interested in the phenomenons which gets described: I can only repeat I do not think that they describe the same phenomenon. Platos description is by far much richer including ideas which cannot be found anymore when it comes to Gilbert. Also Gilbert uses the term soul it has nothing to do anymore with soul how Plato understands it.