Reading Plato's "Phaedo"
mar. 9 avril à 01:00
This dialogue will initiate a new series on Plato. We shall start with this one because it has strong relevance to history and politics and to fundamental issues concerning personal identity, and value. In spite of my naturalistic methods and assumptions, I think that Plato is still the best introduction to the philosophic quest. There are very deep reasons why Plato mixes evaluative or practical discussions with metaphysics. In this and afterward, we shall begin to question the modern and distinctively Western assumption that fact is divorced from value. While Plato is Western, he does not accept this view which arrived in Europe during the 1600s or 1700s. In spite of this skepticism about the fact/value distinction, we shall not question any findings of empirical science. On the contrary, my entire reading shall be based on the strategy of seeing Plato's project as fundamentally continuous with science, both formal and empirical. If you think that metaphysics is BS, and only science can give up answers, you are half right. Only science can do that, but metaphysics is the one true science. If this is a success, the "Republic" will be next.