Comment 59969

By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted February 18, 2011 at 11:17:25 in reply to Comment 59822

"...To me that seems like a pretty big contradiction ~ Zot"

Well Zot, I am no scholar either, but I’ll try and give it a shot!

The Republic is a fictional dialogue between Plato's teacher - Socrates, and Plato's brother Glaucon. Possibly one of the grandest of 'aporetic' gestures, Plato’s -dialogues of refutation– has the speaker pose doubts about questions signifying 'insoluble contradiction' ~ ('a paradox in a text's meanings').

The main arguments of this work are about justice and happiness. And at the end of Book 1, Plato has Socrates pondering: "...not knowing what justice is, one can hardly know whether it is a virtue; nor whether its possessor is happy."

'Aporia' as a device was used by Plato most effectively to search for higher truths. Rather than deliver instant packaged truths that many seek in our times – he left an approach for discovery by subsequent seeker of truths which formed the very basis of dialectics.

Many scholars respecting his process of arriving at truth via ambiguity - call him a ‘wise’ guy. While there are many more, who take deep offense at the contradictions arising from his process of seeking truth-and not finding well packaged propositions at the end of his inquiry-end up calling him a ‘wise-guy’ :)

His writings have allowed discerning readers over centuries to think for themselves, and apply his process to draw meaning for their time and context. His works continue to remain under-construction, awaiting fresh participation from successive generations to complete the grand search for truths he initiated.

... “Then you must not insist on my proving that the actual State will in every respect coincide with the ideal: if we are only able to discover how a city may be governed nearly as we proposed, you will admit that we have discovered the possibility which you demand; and will be contented. I am sure that I should be contented --will not you? ” ... “Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one, and those commoner natures who pursue either to the exclusion of the other are compelled to stand aside, cities will never have rest from their evils, --nor the human race, as I believe, --and then only will this our State have a possibility of life and behold the light of day. Such was the thought, my dear Glaucon, which I would fain have uttered if it had not seemed too extravagant; for to be convinced that in no other State can there be happiness private or public is indeed a hard thing”. ...

So, if Undustrial's "invisible man writes a paragraph on your whiteboard at a meeting" -- Does he feel 'just' about his need to be invisible? and was he 'happy' about taking the silverware on his way out - as payment for having made a point, or for thrills, from being invisible?

Or, were he not invisible, and chose to participate in the meeting to make a point - and then picked the silverware on his way out, would he still be happy?

... "The origin of the evil is that all men from the beginning, heroes, poets, instructors of youth, have always asserted "the temporal dispensation," the honours and profits of justice. Had we been taught in early youth the power of justice and injustice inherent in the soul, and unseen by any human or divine eye, we should not have needed others to be our guardians, but every one would have been the guardian of himself. This is what I want you to show, Socrates;--other men use arguments which rather tend to strengthen the position of Thrasymachus that "might is right;" but from you I expect better things. And please, as Glaucon said, to exclude reputation; let the just be thought unjust and the unjust just, and do you still prove to us the superiority of justice." ...

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-02-18 11:21:30

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