Five ways of reading Plato

When approaching Plato’s dialogues, we are led to a quandary concerning several contradictory positions held, and yet attributed to Socrates. The most blatant of these is between the positions held in Protagoras and Gorgias regarding the Socrates’ view(s) on pleasure. In the former he equates what is ‘good’ with pleasure; while in the latter he rejects this equation put forward by one of his interlocutors (Callicles). I am not interested in resolving this contradiction. Many respected academics […]

On Socrates and his trial

“there could never have been a Platonic philosophy without such beautiful young men in Athens: the sight of them is what first puts the philosopher’s soul in an erotic rapture and won’t let it rest until it has sunk the seed of all high things into such beautiful soil [reference to Symposium 206a-207b] . . . At the very least, you have to think that people in Athens had a different way of philosophizing, especially […]

Buridan’s bridge, which makes an ass out of Socrates

After connecting the paradox of choice to Buridan’s ass yesterday (it also connects to Protagoras vs. Euathlus case discussed before that), another one came to mind. Buridan’s bridge, as this paradox is primarily known, although Buridan simply called it ‘You will throw me in the water’, involves Plato, Socrates and a …. bridge. As Buridan recounts the story: “Let us posit the case that Plato is the master of the bridge and that he guards it […]