Monday, February 09, 2015

Reflecting on Plato and his Cave

On Thursday evening last week we in the Ealing Philosophy class had a slightly sparse Philosophy session (The London bus strike having put off some of our number).

The session did remind me of how important the discussion and interchange of ideas is, the downside being the opportunities of straying from the issue - I did get some other perspectives on Plato's Cave one being the scale that applies to the enlightenment   of the escapee, a view that paralleled the Polish Ghetto  of WW II was worthy of consideration too.

I had a feeling that Plato's view on the masses and the role of the Philosopher makes him appear a little arrogant but as Alfred North Whitehead said Western Philosophy is best summarised as follows:

The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a 

 series of footnotes to Plato" (Process and Reality,)

then it is perhaps better to reflect on my own shortcomings!

Plato's ideas of Forms where a sort of ideal exists beyond the physical (limited) version we encounter 
has been useful in coming to terms with ideas of objects and abstractions too.

I had a feeling that Plato may have influenced the Marxist perspective of false consciousness, I was 

also intrigued to hear that writer Iris Mrurdoch is considered something of a Platonist.

Having a brief look at Plato is was good to see how Aristotle took a contrary view on much of what his teacher (Plato) had put forward, this is a theme in Philosophy (and other disciplines)  where the student distances themselves from what has come before, often because of their temporal adjacency the differences may be exaggerated but it still remains significant.

An Exhibition with  something; perhaps of a Philosophical perspective at London's  Tate Modern

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