Re: MD NAZIs and Pragmatism

From: Elizaphanian (
Date: Sat Feb 08 2003 - 13:09:34 GMT

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    Hiya Squonk, (welcome back - you still seem incorrigibly rude, but that's
    your style and you're free to choose it)

    Plato is our main source for Socratic method - whether we call it irony,
    elenchus or dialectic I think you're being Jesuitical about the distinction.
    (In other words, do you mean that the dramatic form of dialogue was Plato's
    invention? Agreed. Is the mode of philosophical argumentation invented by
    Plato? I disagree.) Plato's views on the good came later - they were
    attempts to answer what Socrates had started. My point is about the Socratic
    beginning; to be specific, the search for definitions of ethical terms.

    The Athenian polis was run by such thugs that lovers of free speech flocked
    there from all across Greece. The real thugs were the pro-Spartan autocrats
    who overthrew the democracy, who took sustenance from the Socratic attack on
    Athenian values, and who were the cause of Socrates' trial. IMHO Socrates
    bears some responsibility for the subsequent execution.

    The Platonic conception of love involved taking children away from their
    natural parents and teaching them to deny the body, focussing instead on the
    intellectual ascent to the Forms. Ultimate source of all totalitarian
    societies - that's why the Nazi's welcomed study of Plato in their


    "I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my
    side, if you understand me... And there are some things, of course, whose
    side I'm altogether not on; I am against them altogether." -- Treebeard

    > Hello there,
    > Socrates used elenchus and not dialectic. Dialectic is Plato's invention.
    > The good cannot be defined and this is explicitly stated by Plato in The
    > Republic.
    > However, the good is the source of everything and as such begins to sound
    > like Quality; it is those later thinkers who wished to use the
    > for their own social purposes that cause perturbation and despair.
    > The Athenian polis was run by thugs, and Plato simply wished for these
    > individuals to love each other. He wished for them to 'beget in love'
    > of how things ought to be when we look the absolute in the face and
    > in its presence.
    > Squonk.

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