The problem of unwritten philosophy and the nature...

The problem of unwritten philosophy and the nature of Plato's philosophical thought.

When studying the legacy of Plato, a number of complexities arise that have long been accepted to be explained on the basis of the hypothesis of some "system" hidden behind the "surface" Platonic texts. Especially many problems were added by the fact that all the disciples of Plato abandon the theory of ideas - at least in its "classic" form. Moreover, in Aristotle's texts, which are devoted to criticism of his teacher's views, one can find several versions of Plato's "idealism". Aristotle challenges not only the concept of ideas, but also the notion that ideal numbers and mathematical objects lie at the base of existence.

This was one of the reasons that in the 1950s. a number of scientists put forward a hypothesis (we note, by no means the first in the history of European thought) about the existence of Plato's "unwritten philosophy." According to the hypothesis of I. Kremer and K. Gaizer from the University of Tübingen, as well as the professor of the Milan University, J. Reale, Plato's dialogues do not contain his true teaching. Designed for open access & quot ;, they only initiate interest in philosophy and serve as a kind of promotional product. The original teaching was presented orally by Plato, and only traces of it can be found in dialogues. According to the "Tübingen", much more information about this doctrine is contained in the writings of Aristotle (which in his "Physics" really refers to "Unwritten Platonist dogmates"), in the fragmentarily preserved works of Speusippus and Xenocrates, Plato's successors in leading the Academy, and also in testimonies about Plato's only public lecture on the subject of Good, in which he used a mathematical apparatus to expound the academic doctrine.

Supporters esoteric theories suggest that the Pythagorean teaching had a decisive influence on Plato and that he did not believe in ideas, but ideal numbers, as the basis for everything. The number and mathematical formulas really are ideal ways of modeling natural processes. Following the Pythagoreans, Plato allegedly transferred this simulation to all spheres of existence, including the spheres of morality, politics and social relations.

Attempts to reconstruct ontological mathematics Plato is quite numerous. However, this approach has an obvious methodological problem. We are called upon to interpret Plato's philosophy on the basis of its interpretations by the disciples of the philosopher (and these texts are not well preserved, known fragmentarily and often from the "third hands"), and Aristotle, who treated her critically. The Platonic texts themselves become only a secondary source of data on his philosophy: Plato's numerous instructions on the complexity of topics crucial to his dialectical thought, and the arguments about the impossibility of verbal expression of certain truths are interpreted as principal omissions, clues, hints of the existence of a different, oral tradition, not leaving behind the walls of the school.

Esoteric the version of Platonism that is the last of the available variants of treating Plato as a dogmatist has repeatedly been criticized for both this methodological problem and for contradictions in a number of places in Plato's writings, where it is explicitly said about the impossibility of transferring mathematical modeling to all spheres of existence without exception.

Yes, and the mention of a public lecture, where the founder of the Academy used a mathematical apparatus to expound his understanding of the Good (ie, making the secret well known) also contradicts this version of Platonism. However, she posed a whole series of new questions concerning approaches to the interpretation of the Platonic heritage.

We adhere to a more restrained and traditional approach to studying the heritage of the great Athenian thinker. In our opinion, Plato did not create dogmatic philosophy in its systematic expression. Of course, his teaching was built around several important principles: ethical, ontological and cosmological. However, they received different interpretations in various of his dialogues, which may be due to the different dating of their writing, and the philosopher's desire to show the need for different description languages ​​for key problems that occupy him. In addition, we will see that Plato considers the oral form of philosophical search and education (as well as the written recording of oral conversations) only as a preparation for proper thinking, that is, to an activity that does not directly have verbal expression. From this point of view, both the dialogues and the activities that Plato conducted in the Academy really had as their main task the internal degeneration of his students, their turn toward a philosophical and genuinely moral way of life, the development of a clear social and political position. Doctrines, put forward in various dialogues of Plato, performed an important, but nevertheless official, educational function. As for Socrates, for Plato the highest expression of the philosophical position is not the totality of the teachings, but the true way of life, which is aimed at caring for the justice of the soul and makes it invulnerable to evil - both in this incarnation and in the future. It is possible that the pages of the Platonic dialogues were not transferred to the whole range of topics discussed within the walls of the Academy, and some of Aristotle's remarks allow us to see the intra-academic discussions more fully. Anyway, the fact that each of the disciples of Plato became the creator of his own philosophical doctrine, shows that there was no dogmatism inside the Platonic school.

Studying the Platonic works, one must remember that their author was primarily interested in creating an effective and convincing ethical concept. The theoretical basis for this concept was the "method of logos", i.e. dialectics, which Socrates also used. However, ethical issues, as Plato notes, force us to turn to all the most important aspects of existence. That is why we will begin the presentation of his teachings from the questions of ontology and the theory of knowledge.

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