Platos theory of recollection

Both motion and rest, then, must necessarily occupy time. They sailed to the island of Corsica, and occupied it after a terrible sea battle with the navies of Carthage and the Etruscans. Just ten years later, in BC, the Carthagians and Etruscans regained the island, driving the Phocaean refugees once again into the sea. This time they landed on the southwestern coast of Italy and founded the colony of Elea, seizing the site from the native Oenotrians.

Platos theory of recollection

These features represent the contributions of scholars of many generations and countries, as does the ongoing attempt to correct for corruption.

SparkNotes: Phaedo: 72e - 78b

Important variant readings and suggestions are commonly Platos theory of recollection at the bottom of each page of text, forming the apparatus criticus.

In the great majority of cases only one decision is possible, but there are instances—some of crucial importance—where several courses can be adopted and where the resulting readings have widely differing import.

The work of the translator imports another layer of similar judgments. Some Greek sentences admit of several fundamentally different grammatical construals with widely differing senses, and many ancient Greek words have no neat English equivalents.

A notable artifact of the work of translators and scholars is a device of selective capitalization sometimes employed in English. Others have employed a variant of this convention in which capitalization is used to indicate a special way in which Plato is supposed to have thought of the forms during a certain period i.

Still others do not use capital letters for any such purpose. Readers will do best to keep in mind that such devices are in any case only suggestions.

In recent centuries there have been some changes in the purpose and style of English translations of ancient philosophy. The great Plato translation by Benjamin Jowett —93for example, was not intended as a tool of scholarship; anyone who would undertake such a study already knew ancient Greek.

At the other extreme was a type of translation that aimed to be useful to serious students and professional philosophers who did not know Greek; its goal was to indicate as clearly as possible the philosophical potentialities of the text, however much readability suffered in consequence.

Exemplars of this style, which was much in vogue in the second half of the 20th century, are the series published by the Clarendon Press and also, in a different tradition, the translations undertaken by followers of Leo Strauss — Except in a few cases, however, the gains envisioned by this notion of fidelity proved to be elusive.

This is particularly true of the short, Socratic dialogues. In the case of works that are large-scale literary masterpieces, such as the Phaedrus, a translation of course cannot match the artistry of the original.

Platos theory of recollection

Finally, because translators of difficult technical studies such as the Parmenides and the Sophist must make basic interpretive decisions in order to render any English at all, reading their work is very far from reading Plato.

In the case of these dialogues, familiarity with commentaries and other secondary literature and a knowledge of ancient Greek are highly desirable. Yet he also made notoriously negative remarks about the value of writing.

Similarly, although he believed that at least one of the purposes—if not the main purpose—of philosophy is to enable one to live a good life, by composing dialogues rather than treatises or hortatory letters he omitted to tell his readers directly any useful truths to live by.

Platos theory of recollection

Plato conversing with his pupils, mosaic from Pompeii, 1st century bce. Moreover, it is a possession that each person must win for himself.


The writing or conversation of others may aid philosophical progress but cannot guarantee it. Contact with a living person, however, has certain advantages over an encounter with a piece of writing. As Plato pointed out, writing is limited by its fixity:Plato: Phaedo The Phaedo is one of the most widely read dialogues written by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato.

It claims to recount the events and conversations that occurred on the day that Plato’s teacher, Socrates ( B.C.E.), was put to death by the state of Athens. Socratic Ignorance in Democracy, the Free Market, and Science. Democracy. Much controversy continues over Socrates's attitude towards democracy.

I.F. Stone, embarrassed that the first democracy should have killed a man for exercising freedom of speech and freedom of religion, attempted to justify this by going after Socrates as an enemy of democracy (The Trial of Socrates); but since Stone was.

Plato is one of the world's best known and most widely read and studied philosophers. He was the student of Socrates and the teacher of Aristotle, and he wrote in the middle of the fourth century B.C.E.

in ancient Greece. Though influenced primarily by Socrates, to the extent that Socrates is. Introduction PLATO's Divided Line, his Cave Allegory and the Sun analogy, occur together in the central section of the Republic and arguably express the core message of this most important of philosophical works.

Of the Divided Line, Smith (, p. 25) wrote: "Scholars seem generally to agree that what Plato is doing here is extremely important; but they cannot seem to agree about exactly.

Plato's epistemology holds that knowledge of Platonic Ideas is innate, so that learning is the development of ideas buried deep in the soul, often under the midwife-like guidance of an interrogator.

In several dialogues by Plato, the character Socrates presents the view that each soul existed before birth with the Form of the Good and a. Acknowledgments. This entry is loosely based on my introduction to a volume I edited, Plato’s Myths, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, There is some inevitable overlap, but this entry is sufficiently different from the above-mentioned introduction to be considered a new text.

Plato | Life, Philosophy, & Works |