The Other Plato
The Tübingen Interpretation of Plato's Inner-Academic Teachings
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: State University of New York Press
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I would like to thank the publishers, Academia Verlag, De Gruyter, Ferdinand Schöningh Verlag, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, and the Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal for permission to include translations of the essays in this volume...
ONE Plato: Testimonia et fragmenta
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Plato is a unique character among the dramatis personae in the history of philosophy. No other thinker arouses so much emotion and dissent among readers and interpreters. Passions are inevitably stirred when one tries to answer a simple question: What does Plato want to say, and what does he actually say? Plato wrote dialogues...
TWO Epekeina tes ousias
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It is well known that the allegory of the sun in Plato’s Republic includes the difficult proposition: just as the sun is the cause (αἰτία) of becoming, without itself being becoming (οὐ γένεσιν αὐτὸν ὄντα), so the good is the cause of being, without itself being a being, i.e., is superior to being in its dignity and power: “the good gives being [εἶναι] and substance [οὐσία] to what is known, while the good itself is no substance....
THREE Plato’s Unwritten Doctrine
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When a lecture with the same title was announced on a different occasion, someone wrote the following question under the announcement: “Was Plato illiterate?” This term’s lecture series has sufficiently shown that this is not the case. Today we will not be concerned with the teachings of Plato, but with his unwritten philosophy, which existed alongside of what has been laid down in writing. Certainly...
FOUR Plato’s Synopsis of theMathematical Sciences
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This essay was presented at several occasions where there was an opportunity to convey the “Tübingen Plato interpretation” and discuss the question of how it should be represented.1 Hence, here again we are pursuing the attempt to relate Plato’s literary dialogues, which were intended for the public, to the “esoteric”...
FIVE The Idea of the Good as Arkhe in Plato’s Republic
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The Socrates of the Republic—a literary character whom we will not directly equate with its author—says the following about the “highest point of knowledge” in the middle books: (1) There is for humans a highest object of instruction and learning, a μεγίστον μάθημα (504D2–3, E4–5). (2) This μεγίστον μάθημα,...
SIX Monism and Dualism in Plato’ sDoctrine of Principles
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Plato’s inner-Academic doctrine of principles—of which the most significant twentieth-century interpreter was H. J. Krämer1—puts forth, as is now familiar, two final principles: the absolute one (αὐτὸ τὸ ἕν) and the indefinite dyad (ἀόριστος δυάς) of the great and small (μέγα καὶ μικρόν). According to this doctrine, every being can be led back to the interaction of these principles. The question...
SEVEN Plato’s Foundation of the Euclidean Character of Geometry
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Following numerous failed attempts during the last century, Gauss, János Bolyai, and Lobachevski became convinced that Euclid’s fifth postulate could not be proven; it was this conviction, in turn, that established the most important basis for the development of so-called non-Euclidean geometries.1 Now, the curious structure...
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Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2012