The Philebus to 36C. Philosophy 190: Plato Fall, 2014 Prof. Peter Hadreas Course website: http://www.sjsu.edu/people/peter.hadreas/cour ses/Plato Plato’s.
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<p>PowerPoint Presentation</p> <p>The Philebus to 36C. Philosophy 190: PlatoFall, 2014Prof. Peter HadreasCourse website:http://www.sjsu.edu/people/peter.hadreas/courses/Plato </p> <p>Platos Academy, a mosaic in the Museo Nazionale, Naples, (Photo: Giraudon)</p> <p>Cosimo di Giovanni de' Medici (1389 1464) was the first of the Medici political dynasty. They were the de facto rulers of Florence during much of the Italian Renaissance. He was known "Cosimo Pater Patriae" (Latin: 'father of the nation'). His power derived from his great wealth as a banker, and he was also a great patron of learning, the arts and architecture.The Death of Cosimo de Medici1As Cosimo lay on his deathbed in the late July we learn from Ficino himself in a letter to Lorenzo that at last Cosimo heard the Philebus: So, as you yourself know since you were there, he died not long after we had read him Platos dialogues on the one principle of things [the Parmenides] and on the highest good [the Philebus]. It was as if he did not want to wait to enjoy fully the good which had been the theme of the discussion. The not long after was, in Ficinos recollection, twelve days. </p> <p>1. Marsilio Ficino: The Philebus Commentary, A critical edition and translation by Michael J. B. Allen, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975), p. 6:</p> <p>Once again, this is evidence for the felt connection between the two dialogues, though, parenthetically, Ficino was to postpone the commenting on the Parmenides until much later. From the ensuing discussion on the Philebus and the other nine dialogues which Ficino manages to complete before Cosimo died, Marcel suggests the meetings of the Academy as a religio-philosophical society were informally inaugurated among Cosimos frends. Till then the Academy had been simply an unrealized ideal.1</p> <p>1. Ibid. </p> <p>Characters of the Philebus: </p> <p>SocratesProtarchusPhilebusProtarchus is a young man, son of Callias (19B), pupil of Gorgias, the famous teacher of rhetoric and sophistic philosopher (58Aff.). I see no reason to doubt that he is the Protarchus mentioned by Aristotle at Physics 197B as the author of an apparently sophistic argument.</p> <p>1. Robin A, H. Waterfield in the Penguin Edition to the Philebus (Plato, Philebus, London: Penguin, 1986), p. 10, The Character of Philebus </p> <p>It is not certain whether Philebus was a real or fictional person. But, since both Socrates and Protarchus are real people, it would be odd for Philebus not to be so also. His name is appropriate for his hedonism (Mr. Loveboy, as one commentator has put it) is neither here nor there: a better translation might be Youth-friend. The portrayal of Philebus is just vivid enough to make it likely that Plato has a real person in mind: he is sullenly stubborn (12A-B), a bad loser (11C) and, of course a hedonist. He might be an older man (16B), or of a similar age, to Socrates. </p> <p>1. Adapted from Robin A, H. Waterfield in the Penguin Edition to the Philebus (Plato, Philebus, London: Penguin, 1986), p. 10. </p> <p>Aristotles reference to Protarchus, Physics 197b1: </p> <p>Chance and what results from chance are appropriate to agents that are capable of good fortune and of action generally. Therefore necessarily chance is in the sphere of actions. This is indicated by the fact that good fortune is thought to be the same, or nearly the same, as happiness, and happiness to be a kind of action, since it is well-doing. . . . Thus an inanimate thing or a beast or a child cannot do anything by chance, because it is incapable of choice; nor can good fortune or ill fortune be ascribed to them, except metaphorically, as Protarchus, for example, said that the stones of which altars are made are fortunate because they are held in honour, while their fellows are trodden under foot.</p> <p>In the opening sentence of the argumentum, Ficino in his commentatary on the Philebus talks of the wonderful order Plato employed in composing the Philebus. All but the most recent editors of the Philebus have had great reservations.1 Ficinos twelve parts presumably correspond to the following in the Stephanus pagination:Part I: 11A-11DPart II: 11D-15CPart III: 15C-20APart IV: 20B-23BPart V: 23C-27CPart VI: 27C-30A</p> <p>Part VII: 30A-31BPart VIII 31B-55CPart IX: 55C-59CPart X 59C-61CPart XI: 61D-66APart XII: 66A-67B</p> <p>1. Marsilio Ficino: The Philebus Commentary, A critical edition and translation by Michael J. B. Allen, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975)Statement of the issue: The Good for Man (11A-12B )11B, p. 399: Socrates: Philebus holds that what is good for all creatures is to enjoy themselves to be pleased and delighted and whatever else goes together with that kind of thing. We contend that not these, but knowing, understanding and remembering, and what belongs with them, right opinion and true calculations, are better than pleasure and more agreeable to all who can attain them; those who can, get the maximum benefit possible from having them, both those now alive and future generations. Isnt that how we represent our prospective opinions, Philebus?II. 12B-13D Pleasure as a generic unity, containing a variety of species.Socrates: . . . But as to pleasure, I know that it is complex and, just as I said, we must make our starting point and consider carefully what sort of nature it has. If one just goes by the name it is one single thing, but in fact it comes in many forms that are in some way even quite unlike each other. Think about it: we say that a debauched person gets pleasure, as well as a sober-minded person takes pleasure in his very sobriety. Again, we say that a fool, though full of foolish opinions and hopes, gets pleasure, but likewise we say a wise man takes pleasure in his wisdom. But surely anyone who said in either case that these pleasures are like one another would rightly be regarded a fool. (p. 400, 12D)III. 13E-15C: The Problem of the One and the Many. Socrates States His MethodBeginnings of the explanation of dialectic:14C, p. 402: Socrates: It is this principle that has turned up here, which somehow has an amazing nature. For that the many are one and the one many are amazing statement, and can easily be disputed, whichever side of the two one may want to defend.Protarchus uses for an example of unity his own personal identity. The issue of personal identity and the unity of the self is a perennial problem in philosophy. It has become elemental to distinguish different senses of personal identity, for example the empirical ego, the transcendental ego, the moral ego, etc.</p> <p>But Socrates at this point dismisses the issue as a childish question. You, dear Protarchus, are speaking about those puzzles about the one and many that have become commonplace. [Socrates may be thinking of the puzzle of the ship that was sent to Delos.] They are agreed by everybody, so to speak, to be no longer even worth touching; they are considered childish and trivial but a serious impediment to argument if one takes them on. (p. 402,14E)15A, 403: Socrates restricts the issue of the one and many to those things which are not generated and perish. </p> <p>Protarchus: But what other kinds of such puzzles [such as an objects identity over time] with respect to the same principle do you have in mind, Socrates, that have not yet admittedly become commonplace?</p> <p>Socrates: When, my young friend, the one is not taken from the things that come to be or perish, as we have just done in our example. For that is where the sort of one belongs that we were just discussing, which we agreed is not worthy of scrutiny. But when someone tries to posit man as one, or ox as one, or the beautiful as one and the good as one, zealous concern with division of these unities and the like gives rise to controversy. Socrates is aware that pleasures differ qualitatively, not only quantitatively a distinction in modern philosophy associated with Jeremy Benthams hedonism versus J. S. Mills. Socrates even claims that pleasures may be opposite to themselves.12E: Socrates: Just as color is most like color! Really you surprise me: Colors certainly wont differ insofar as each of them is a color; but all know that black is not only different from white but is in fact its very opposite. And shape is most like shape in the same way.IV. The Manner that DialecticShpould Proceed in Relation to the One-and-the- Many (15D-17A)The entrance of the dialectic15D, p. 403: Socrates: Quite so. Now, where should we make our entry into that complex and wide-ranging battle about this controversial issue? Is it best not to start here?Protarchus: Where?Socrates: By making the point that it is through discourse that the same thing flits around, becoming one and many in all sorts of ways, in whatever it may be that is said at any time, both long ago and now. And this will never come to an end, nor has it just begun, but it seems to me that this is an immortal and ageless [customary epithet of the gods in the Iliad, cf. Iliad viii.539] condition that comes to us with discourse. Whoever among the young first get a taste of it is as pleased as if he had found a treasure in. [continued on next slide]The entrance of the dialectic [continued]15D, p. 403: Socrates: [continued] He is quite beside himself with pleasure and revels in moving every statement, now turning it to one side and rolling it all up into one, then again unrolling it and dividing it up. He thereby involves first and foremost himself in confusion, but then also whatever happens to be nearby, be they younger or older or of the same age, sparing neither his father or his mother nor anyone else who might listen to him. He would almost try it on other creatures, not only humans being, since he would certainly not spare any foreigner if only he could find an interpreter somewhere.Son: Well then, isnt it right for me to be equally fond of you, and there hit you, if as you say being fond of a person is the same as hitting him? If I used to get whacked such a lot it wouldnt be proper for you to go scot-free, would it? Im a free man just as much as you are, you know I expect youll say that its the custom only for children to be beaten; but my answer to that is that old men are in their second childhood and that they ought to be beaten more than the young because they have less excuse for being naughty.</p> <p>cf. Aristophanes satire of Socratic method in the Clouds (ll. 1400-1430 approx.):Son: Please answer this question: did you ever hit me when I was small?Old Man: Yes, but only for your own good and because I was fond of you. Aristophanesc. 446 c. 386 BCcf. Aristophanes satire of Socratic method in the Clouds (ll. 1400-1430 approx.) [continued]:O. M. But all over the world its against the law for a son to beat his father.Son: But wasnt that law instituted by a man just like you or me? And didnt he have to win over out ancestors to get it adopted? Why shouldnt I be able to pass a new law, that in future some should hit their fathers back? Take roosters and other creatures like that look at the punishing they give to their fathers. And theyre no different from us, are they?... O. M.: Well, if you want to model yourself on a rooster, why dont you go eat dirt or go and roost on a perch?Son: Dont be absurd. Thats got nothing to do with it; Socrates wouldnt think so anyway. The immortal and ageless condition of the wandering flitting about -- that comes with discourse. </p> <p>Some diverse philosophical complaints of this condition:</p> <p>Words impede me and I am nearly deceived by the terms of ordinary language.Descartes Meditations, Second Meditation. </p> <p>The immortal and ageless condition of the wandering flitting about -- that comes with discourse. </p> <p>Some diverse philosophical complaints of this condition.The Cambridge School of Analysis as led by Frege, Russell and the early Wittgenstein The paradigm of analysis at this time was Russells theory of descriptions, which (as we have seen in relation to Russell and Wittgenstein above) opened up the whole project of rephrasing propositions into their correct logical form, not only to avoid the problems generated by misleading surface grammatical form, but also to reveal their deep structure. Embedded in the metaphysics of logical atomism, this gave rise to the idea of analysis as the process of uncovering the ultimate constituents of our propositions (or the primitive elements of the facts that our propositions represent).1</p> <p>1. Beaney, Michael, "Analysis", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta(ed.), URL = .Confucianism and the Rectification of Names1Social and Political Ramifications of shifting meaningsHere is a father but look at what he does! he is a drunkard, he allows his lodgings to fall into disrepair, he does not care about his appearance. Yes, he may have a family but everyone in the village knows that he does not truly deserve the name of father.And so there is this concern in Confucianism for things to truly correspond to the name given to them. Here is a quote from The Analects:Duke Jing of Qi asked Confucius about government.Confucius replied, There is government, when prince is prince, and the minister is minister; when the father is father, and the son is son.Good, said the duke, if indeed; the prince be not prince, the minister not minister, the father not father, and the son not son, although I have my revenue, can I enjoy it?Confucius, Analects12.11.1. Dowloaded 11/16/2014 from http://andrewhong.net/2011/08/11/confucianism-and-the-rectification-of-names/Confucianism and the Rectification of Names1Social and Political Ramifications of shifting meanings</p> <p>And so the Rectification of Names was a means by which things were either to be called their correct names (that is, the name corresponding to behaviour), or people are meant to live up to the name that they have. Either the people go about calling that government official a thief or he behaves like a government official should!This was important for Confucius in the task of governing the state. Unless this is done, affairs cannot be carried on to success.</p> <p>1. Ibid.16A, p. 404 Protarchus rallies in defense of the young.</p> <p>Protarchus points out that the crowd hes speaking to is young.</p> <p>Protarchus: . . . And are you not afraid that we will gang up against you with Philebus if you insult us? Still, we know that you want to say, and if there are some ways and means to remove this kind of disturbance from our discussion in a peaceful way, and to show us a better solution to the problem, then just go ahead, and we will follow you as best we can. For the present question is no mean thing, Socrates.Platos Revision of the method of Collection and Division, as sketched in the Phaedrus, and the Method of Diaeresis (Bifurcation) as used in the Sophist and Statesman16C, p. 404: Protarchus: What is this way? Let us have it.Socrates: It is not very difficult to describe it, but extremely difficult to use. For everything in any field...</p>
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