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Shvoong Home>Arts & Humanities>Philosophy>Plato’s letters, V Summary

Plato’s letters, V

Article Summary   by:Ikomak     Original Author: Plato
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© Petrushevski Iliya Plato’s letters, V

As for the third issue of philosophical
interest it is about the status of philological knowledge; the most surprising
part, almost strange to all we find in his books is the attitude he took about
status of philosophical knowledge - very clear and strict claim that he never
wrote anything of his own. This notion previously
expressed in the second letter seems so suspicion to us that one might find it
is not an authentic letter; but the same or similar claims is present in the
seventh letter said in different manner but yet not less explicit, that man of
worth should never put in writing what he consider as a most worth. This is a
highly controversial statement and puts all of his writings in doubt, but yet
it seems there might be some internal, hidden motives: the whole knowledge that
was existing all around the ancient Hellenic world was full of esoteric
knowledge - there was no such thing as a public teaching among the Chaldeans
which stood at high respect among older philosophers, among the Egyptians he
visited and where he was thought by the Egyptian priests; also his distant
predecessor Pythagoras took the esotericism as a first and most significant
rule of transfer of teaching. So in all it seems that it is most reliable that
Plato just continued this tradition speaking in a metaphoric way. But yet the plentitude of works he had wrote
leaves us little space for taking that suspicion sustainable - that in no
writing of his he told nothing but the other’s opinions. Maybe he didn’t tell
as the most intimate he thought, as he was willing often to illustrate in his
letter about seriousness and truthfulness of anyone’s writing.

It seems that in a long time history of
Platonism and idealism the hidden and mystical has been the most neglected
aspect of that teaching, but yet had never stopped to inspire even till the
begging of the XX th century - as British philosopher and idealist Mc Tagart
said in his final words of commentaries on Hegel’s logic that philosophy must
be mystical not indeed in its methods but in its outcomes.
Published: July 23, 2007   
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