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1. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Gaetano Chiurazzi On the Concept of “Radical Understanding”
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“Radical understanding” – an expression recalling Quine’s “radical translation” and Davidson’s “radical interpretation” – concerns that necessary presupposition of every understanding that is shown in extreme cases of indecipherability. Such a minimum content consists in understanding an existence. Indeed, Heideggerian ontological hermeneutics has weaved together understanding and existence to the point that it is possible to establish an analogy between the existential analysis and the several grades of text decipherability: the passage from the inauthentic to the authentic existence can be read as a passage from the semantic (radical interpretation) to the syntactic (radical translation) and to the ontological level (radical understanding). The level of radical understanding is the one in which the minimal content of understanding coincides with its formal condition of possibility, in which understanding is to understand an existence.
2. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Gaetano Chiurazzi The Diagonalization of Being: Definition and Incommensurability in Plato’s Theaetetus
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Plato’s Theaetetus sets the problem of the definition of science; moreover, what there is in question is the problem of the definition in general. Defining means measuring, referring to definite parameters what is initially indefinite. But it is not a case that the dialogue opens with the discussion about the commensurable and incommensurable numbers: the search for what is common to all sciences is the search for their common measure, for the term to which various elements are or can be commensurated. The apories Plato is showing in refuting the Protagorean thesis appear clearly as an objection against the absolute commensurability of all things: each sense is a parameter of a determinate sensible object and then results as quite incommensurable with another sense; a present sensation is incommensurable with a non present one, either past or future; all these facts question the possibility of the definition, for they reduce the knowledge, and the reality, to a set of atomic and quite unrelated elements. In the same way, the other definitions of science are rejected because of their incompleteness. But the negative conclusion of the Theaetetus regarding the definition of science must be assumed in a positive way: every operation of defining constantly presents an excess which belongs to the incommensurability and leaves every definition in a state of incompleteness. Through a comparison with the problem of the commensurable and incommensurable numbers, what is eventually shown is that the Being itself, as a mean between subject and predicate in the proposition, constitutes the diagonal element of every process of definition, irreducible to the elements that come into play. Being is, literally said, the incommensurable.
3. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Ting-Chao Chou A New Look at the Ancient Asian Philosophy through Modern Mathematical and Topological Scientific Analysis
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The unified theory of dose and effect, as indicated by the median-effect equation for single and multiple entities and for the first and higher order kinetic/dynamic, has been established by T.C. Chou and it is based on the physical/chemical principle of the massaction law (J. Theor. Biol. 59: 253-276, 1976 (質量作用中效定理) and Pharmacological Rev. 58: 621-681, 2006) (普世中效指數定理). The theory was developed by the principle of mathematical induction and deduction (數學演繹歸納法). Rearrangements of the median-effect equation lead to Michaelis-Menten, Hill, Scatchard, and Henderson-Hasselbalch equations. The “median” serves as the universal reference point and the “common link” for the relationship of all entities and is also the “harmonic mean” of kinetic dissociation constants. Over 300 mechanism-specific equations have been derived and published using the mathematical induction-deduction process. These equations can be deduced into several general equations, including the median-mediated whole/part equation, combination index theorem, isobologram equation, and polygonogram. It is proven that “dose” and “effect” are interchangeable, thus, “substance” and “function” are interchangeable, which leads to “the unity theory” (劑效、心物、知行一元論) in quantitative mathematical philosophy (數學的定量哲學) in functional context. Therefore, a general theory centered on the “median” and based on equilibrium dynamics has evolved. In other words: [「中」的宇宙觀: 以「中」爲基凖的動力學生態平衡]. Based on the median-effect equation of the mass-action law, the fundamental claim is that we can draw “a specific cure” for only two data points, if they are determined accurately. This claim has far reaching consequences since it defies the general held belief that two points can dray only a straight line. Remarkably, the unity theory (一元論) providesscientific/mathematical interpretation in equations and in graphics of Chinese ancient philosophy, including Fu-Si Ba Gua (伏羲八卦), Dao’s Harmony (和諧), the Confucian doctrine of the mean (儒家中庸之道), Chou Dun-Yi’s (周敦頤, 1017-1073) From Wu-ji to Tai-ji and Taiji Tu Sho (無極而太極及太極圖說). The moderntopological analysis for trinity yields an exact correspondence to the Ba-Gua, which was introduced over 4,000 years ago. Furthermore, the median-centered algorithm, promotes modern ecological content (生態學) in the equilibral dynamic state of harmony. It is concluded that Western science and Eastern philosophy are directly linked and complementary to each other. Since the truth in mathematical quantitative philosophy (數學的定量哲學) has no boundaries, East and West philosophies can flourish together for the common goal and ideal in science and in humanity (世界大同).
4. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Fulvia De Luise The Philosopher’s Pleasure: A Matter of Style?
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The subject I intend to discuss deals with a problem which is central in the debate of ancient greek philosophy: the quest for happiness as the final end, the highest good for a human being. Fixing in the achievement of a life worth living the strategic aim of actions, ancient philosophers tried to define as well what a man should desire for himself to fully develop all the capabilities which lie inside human nature. On the one side they proposed major normative models of wisdom, on the other side they gave an important practical indication: the “care of the self”, as a self-control discipline that aims to build a virtuous form of subjectivity, that is able to design and deserve the eudaimonia. In this context, my analysis will focus on the issue of pleasure. The hedone surely represents the critical point of all happiness models of Socratic origin, centred in different ways on the practice of the “care of the self”. While this practical proposal appears to be a complex and demanding alternative in the search for a life worth living, the hedonistic way seems to be much easier and simpler, as far as pleasure is intended as an unequivocal sign of goodness and wellness, immediately recognisable in the experience of happiness. The hedonism of the many appears to the philosophers as a serious menace to society and to the individual, because it conveys unlimited desires and interior disharmony, though, on the other hand, it not possible to deny the value of pleasure without making philosophical happiness unattractive. In the field of the important contemporary re-evaluation of bios models of ancient philosophers (Hadot, Foucault, Nussbaum, Annas) to test their strength and operative capabilities in human subject’s condition in the present days, I would like to outline a comparison between Plato’s and Aristotle’s views on the dilemmas set by pleasure in the enterprise of self-construction: their positions appear, as usual, close and at the same time opposite in the well-known “gigantomachy”.
5. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Bogdan Dembiński Platonian Philosophy of Mathematics
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6. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Christos C. Evangeliou The Place of Hellenic Philosophy: Between East and West
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The appellation “Western” is, in my view, inappropriate when applied to Ancient Hellas and its greatest product, the Hellenic philosophy. For, as a matter of historical fact, neither the spirit of free inquiry and bold speculation, nor the quest of perfection via autonomous virtuous activity and ethical excellence survived, in the purity of their Hellenic forms, the imposition of inflexible religious doctrines and practices on Christian Europe. The coming of Christianity, with the theocratic proclivity of the Church, especially the hierarchically organized Catholic Church, sealed the fate of Hellenic philosophy in Europe for more than a millennium. Since the Italian Renaissance, several attempts primarily by Platonists to revive the free spirit and other virtues of Hellenic philosophy have been invariably frustrated by violent reactions from religious movements, the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, and the bloody wars which followed their appearance in Europe. Modern science succeeded to a certain extent, after struggle with the Catholic Church, in freeing itself from the snares of medieval theocratic restrictions. Thus, it managed to reconnect with the scientific spirit of late antiquity and its great achievements, especially in the fields of cosmology, physics, mathematics, and medicine, which enabled modern science to ad-vance further. But it seems that the mainstream European philosophy has failed to follow the example of science and to liberate itself, too. As in the Middle Ages, so in modern and post-modern times the “European philosophy” has continued to play the undignified and servile role of handmaiden of something. In addition to the medieval role of “handmaiden of theology” (ancilla theologiae), since the seventeenth century philosophy in Europe assumed the role of “handmaiden of science” (ancilla scientiae) and, with the coming of the Marxist “scientific socialism,” the extra role of ‘handmaiden of ideology” (ancilla ideologiae). In this respect, the so-called “Western philosophy,” as it has been historically practiced in Christian and partially Islamized Europe, is indeed a very different kind of product from the autonomous intellectual and ethical human activity, which the Ancient Hellenes named philosophia and honored as “the queen of arts and sciences.” In this historical light, Hellenic philosophy would appear to be closer to the Asian philosophies of India, China, Japan, and Korea than to Western or “European philosophy.” So as we stand at the post-cold war era, witnessing the collapse of Soviet-style Socialism and the coming of the post-modern era; as we look at the dawn of a new millennium and dream of a new global order of freedom and democracy, the moment seemspropitious for reflection. We may stop and reflect upon our philosophical past as exemplified in the free spirit of Hellenic philosophy and its misfortunes, its great “passion” in Christian Europe in the last two millennia or so.
7. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Daniel W. Graham Anaxagoras and the Meteor
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A meteor that fell in northern Greece in 467 BC was said to have been predicted by Anaxagoras. It seems rather that his theory entailed (“predicted”) the possibility of such bodies. The meteor provided a rare case of an observation confirming a theory. The subsequent recognition of the meteor shows that early philosophical theories could have testable consequences and that empirical evidence was being sought to evaluate theories at this early time.
8. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Edward Halper Aristotle’s Rethinking of Philosophy
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For Aristotle and other Greek thinkers, philosophy is itself a rethinking. There are other branches of knowledge, like medicine and mathematics, that each grasp some particular subject matter. Since philosophy or, as it has come to be called, metaphysics is the highest science, its job is to grasp somehow all the other sciences and all their subjects. If the science of a subject requires a type of thinking proper to the subject, then the science of that science requires a rethinking of this and all other subjects. In this paper I explore some of Aristotle’s modes of rethinking philosophy. I am interested in the connection between rethinking philosophy and the kinds of philosophical principles that emerge from this rethinking. I argue that reflexive principles are implicit in rethinking but that theyare projected onto things for systematic reasons. Because my time is short, my discussion is limited to broad brush strokes, but there are so many textual details and so much that is contentious about them that a broad sketch may be the best way to set out my point. It is plausible to proceed this way because Aristotle’s main themes are often much clearer than the details of his discussions and my argument relies only on the broad lines of his organization.
9. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Ballakh Kirill Abnormalizing in Development Processes
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Thinking about abnormalization, the author views abnormalizing as one of the means of entering the space where everything is born, and evaluates the place of this means in modern society. Over the course of human history, society established norms and taboos of all kinds, and the system of norms and taboosdetermined the society itself. This is especially important in modern society, the society where, besides self-reproduction, development is also one of the main objectives, which presupposes constant creation of new norms. How are norms created? What are the requirements for this? What kind of people can create new norms? What are the threats of this process? The author answers these questions and many others in the outlines of thought. While dwelling upon abnormalization, the author involuntarily touched the borders, the limits of the human world, took a look beyond the horizon of something totally different.
10. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Kamladevi Kunkolienker Inalienable Pan-Indian, Tantric Eco-Feminist Pattern of Pre-Vedic Period
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In the present research paper an attempt has been made to unravel the mysterious connection feminine life and mother Earth. The tantra pattern of “eco-feminist consciousness” is the earliest and the most archaic in the Indian tradition. It is intrinsically tied up with land related activities. Land culture, material culture and body culture are 3 important dimensions of tantric life. The tantra model of Earth-Woman identity based on the fertility motif represents a materialist and maternalist world view. Epistemologically, pre-vedic people sought the significance of knowledge, not in the realization of any illusory absolute but in the day today activities of life, like agriculture. Connected to this they had further fundamental insight that microcosm and macrocosm are identical – the truth revealed bymodern science today. Elements of tantric world view gradually found a place in Brahmanical world view. The later world view is not sympathetic to the cult of mother Goddess possibly because it leads to social supremacy of female. Tantric eco-feminism suggests a positive, radical change in our attitudes towards the feminine and nature.
11. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Yuji Kurihara Plato on Injustice in Republic Book I
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To understand Plato’s Republic as a whole, we must know his notion of injustice as well as that of justice, since he makes a comparison between the life of justice and the life of injustice. Prior to his detailed analyses of injustice in Books IV, VIII, and IX, Plato discusses injustice philosophically even in Book I. In this paper I deal with 351b-352b where Plato clarifies the function of injustice by appeal to the analogy between city and individual. According to Plato, injustice in the city causes hatred in each citizen, which results in the civil war and fighting among them, leading to the destruction of the city. Analogously, Plato discusses the function of injustice in the individual, showing that hatred is the most fundamental function of injustice. Plato’s analogy, though, includes two remarkablediscrepancies between city and individual. First, justice in the individual causes a conflict among beliefs and desires, which makes him incapable of doing anything, while social injustice still allows the city lacking its unity to do something. Second, hatred or hostility social injustice engender in each citizen is directed toward others, whereas injustice in the individual produces self-disgust of the whole soul, functioning as the destructive principle of the soul. This is howthis argument serves to foreshadow Plato’s analyses of injustice in the remainder of the Republic.
12. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Vladimir Lobovikov Parmenides of Elea: A Mathematical Simulation of his Metaphysics
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There is a hitherto not recognized possibility effectively to use computer-based scientific investigating, teaching and learning strategies and resources in history of philosophy. This is especially interesting for comparative scientific investigations in history of philosophy, for distance learning and teaching it. Effectively to apply modern computer technologies one has to have an adequate mathematical simulation of the sphere of application. Therefore the paper starts with submitting a mathematical simulation of metaphysics (in general). Then this mathematical machinery is applied to a representative concrete example, namely, to the metaphysical system of Parmenides of Elea. By means of the method submitted in this paper (and by virtue of computer) a user himself can create (construct) an adequate digital simulation of some computable aspect of any specific philosophical system. Here the digital method of investigating the history of philosophy is exemplified by applying it to the metaphysical system of Parmenides. According to the hypothesis underlying the mentioned method, metaphysics is formal axiology. Hence algebra of metaphysics is algebra of formal axiology. Therefore metaphysics of Parmenides is represented below as a system of equations of the formal-axiology algebra. This system of equations could be computer-generated and investigated by any user autonomously.
13. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Hee-young Park The Greek Theos and its Influence on the Formation of Platonic Philosophy
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The purpose of this study is to elucidate how the Greek concept of God influenced the formation of Platonic philosophy by examining the terms 'theios' & Theos, as used in his dialogues. In the first chapter, we have highlighted how the collective representation brought by the immediate ‘participation mystique’ with the sacred force(mana) is evolved into the notion of Daimon or Theos as a mediator which will tie the human-being with the sacred force, & how the Greek Theos evolves from the Daimon as a primitive emotional personification acting as a subject of magical rituals into the Theos as a rational personification acting as a subject of selfconsciousness & free-will of the human-being. In the second chapter, we have clarified how the polysemy of the terms: Theios & Theos allows Plato to elaborate a new concept of God & to thereby successfully transform mythological story of the world into a philosophical explanation. In the third chapter, we have brought into relief the process in which Plato has formed unconsciously the concept of Idea from the notion of Theos. In fact, it seems inevitable that the philosopher attempting to construct the system of reasonable explanation of the harmonic cosmos resorts to the property of wholeness & perfectness of Theos. The fourth chapter was concentrated to scrutinize the structure of Platonic thought which describes Demiourgos as 'l'artisan du monde' who recreates or reorganizes the world order on seeing the Idea of the Good (bonum). From our examination of the influence the Greek concept, Theos, had on Platonic Philosophy, we are able to conclude that Plato transformed the religious perfectness into the philosophical & metaphysical perfectness. As a result, this study will open the way for a new understanding of the relation between the Greek Theos, & the Ideas, Demiourgos.
14. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Ioanna Patsioti-Tsacpounidis The Truth-Value of the Aristotelian ‘Areti’
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This paper examines the concept of ‘areti’ as encountered in the Aristotelian ethical system in order to establish its relationship to the modern concept of virtue as well as to that of moral truth, that is, to identify its truth-value. I intend to show that the Aristotelian ‘areti’ as a developed state of character and as an advanced stage of ethical understanding entails moral truth. ‘Areti’ as a good-in-itself possesses an intrinsic value which reflects moral truth, and as a means for the accomplishment of ‘eudaimonia’ (ultimate happiness) it possesses an instrumental value. I also wish to argue that this position calls for a realist as well as an objectivist (or nonrelativist) approach in Aristotle. To that effect, I examine the elements of ‘areti’ that relate it to truth, and then I use reference to some of theAristotelian virtues, such as ‘andreia’ (courage), ‘philia’ (friendship), ‘dikaiosyne’ (justice), and ‘megalopsychia’ (magnanimity), in order to examine the way moral truth functions. This examination will also try to show that Aristotle’s aretaic approach does not suffer from the ills of virtue ethics theories.
15. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Heather L. Reid The Socratic Agon: Turning Philonikia toward Philosophia in Plato’s Dialogues
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It often surprises modern readers to find the cerebral philosopher Socrates hanging out in gymnasia and wrestling schools. We tend to downplay Socrates’ association with athletes and contest as mere literary window-dressing. I would like to suggest, to the contrary, that Plato’s depiction of Socrates as an athlete goes beyond dramatic setting and linguistic metaphor. Plato actually presents Socrates as an athlete of the soul, engaged in intellectual contest, occasionally defeating his opponents, and coaching young protégées toward victory in the struggle for aretē. Socratic dialogue is itself an agōn. Sometimes it is aimed at defeating famous opponents such as Euthyphro, Euthydemus, Gorgias, or Protagoras. By refuting these challengers, Socrates elicits shame—a benevolent shame “in service of the god” that serves as a starting point to re-launch and redirect the investigation. At other times Socratic dialogue tests personal beliefs about virtue, amounting to a revelation and examination of the soul that corresponds to gymnastic nudity and competition. In every case Socratic contest aims to serve the greatest agōn: the struggle to be good. Socrates appropriates the competitive spirit (philonikia) he finds in his comrades, and he directs it beyond the relativistic goal of defeating ones opponent towards the idealistic goals of education, virtue, and wisdom. In this way he transforms philonikia into philosophia. Socrates’ approach to and engagement in agōn not only connects the worlds of philosophy and athletics, it serves as a model for how athletic agōn can be put in the service of psychic as well as physical virtue.
16. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Smita Talang Materialism in Indian Philosophy
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Materialism is the oldest known philosophy. Philosophy was born as materialism and man had been essentially materialistic in character. In general, all our earliest experiences are of the material world. Philosophy means love for knowledge which is the unique characteristic of man. Man is never satisfied with mere food and shelter. Reason impels him towards a quest for knowledge. Philosophy is born at a man's attempt to have rational explanation of the universe around him and of himself as a part of the universe out of which he had originated and where he has to live, act and think. There is strong and widely prevalent notion that we Indians are basically spiritualistic in outlook and materialism belongs to western thought. This popular view Indian Philosophy perhaps originated from the false notion that "East is East and West is West"- a notion which according to Radhakrishnan, is sign of "abysonal ignorance". Man is either naturally materialists or naturally idealist the study of the history of philosophy, on the contrary, shows that materialism is the earliest philosophy. Prof. Stace rightly points out: "Materialism is ingrained in all men. We easterns and westerns, are born materialists.
17. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Yufeng Wang The Justice of the Polis and the Justice of the Soul: A Critical Analysis of Plato’s Republic
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In order to discover the justice and argue that it is a goodness, Socrates draws an analogy between the justice of a polis and the justice of an individual in the book II of the Republic. According to him, a polis is a large version of an individual. In Book IV, Socrates proves their congruity from two perspectives --- the polis and the soul are the same “tripartite”: Both of them have the same four virtues. He thus explains why the vulgar justice is good, and makes a preliminary definition of the nature of justice as well. In his view, the justice is doing one’s own; therefore like temperance, it runs through all the notes of the scale and brings both the polis and the soul harmony and symphony. Seen in the context of the Republic as a whole, this argument of Socrates’ is obviously not convincing. Readers are reasonable in raising the following questions: First, are a polis and an individual of the same composition? Second, are virtues of the state necessarily virtues of the soul? In other words, must a good man be a good citizen? This paper is to deal with Socrates’ argument from these two aspects. In fact, a polis cannot achieve the same harmony and symphony as an individual, nor can political virtues come to the same level as philosophical ones. Hence, a good citizen is not necessarily a good man. Rather, the justice of polis is more of temperance while the justice of soul is more of wisdom. If it is true that the genuine virtue is knowledge, therefore only philosophers are the most just and happiest in the world, then more thought needs to be given to the view that the vulgar virtuesinevitably mean happiness.
18. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Zhi-Hue Wang Plato’s Third Man Argument
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This article is concerned with the problem of how to avoid the Third Man Argument which Plato put forward in Parmenides 132a1-b2. According to Gregory Vlastos, this argument is based on two tacit assumptions: the Self-Predication and the Non-Identity Assumption. In recent years there have been a number ofinterpretations which attempted to avoid the Third Man Argument by proving that the Self-Predication Assumption is not an acceptable part of Plato’s theory. However, in this article I will show that the fallacy of the Third Man Argument does not lie in the Self-Predication Assumption, but in the Non-Identity Assumption. That is, we may avoid the Third Man Argument by proving that the Non-Identity Assumption is false. Besides, in this article I will point out that in putting forward the Third Man Argument, Plato does not really intend to raise a criticism of his own theory. Rather, his device of the Third Man Argument in Parmenides 132a1-b2 should be considered as a warning against the materialistic interpretation of the relation between Forms and particulars: if we interpret the conception of“participation” in a materialistic manner, the Theory of Forms will inevitably be caught in the Largeness Regress.
19. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Jeffrey Benjamin White How Did Socrates Become Socrates?: On the Socratic Recipe for the Philosophic Life
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Socrates is philosophy’s greatest hero, and a model for the philosophic life. Yet, why did Socrates live the way he did? How did Socrates become Socrates? How can a contemporary philosopher aspire to be like Socrates, even in ways and contexts in which there is no record of a Socratic example? This short paper explores the implications of Socrates’ encounter with Callicles in the Gorgias on the aspiring philosophic life. In this dialogue, we find Socrates’ own testimony as to why he lives the way he does, how he comes to die the way he does, and also discover how it is that we can presently pursue the philosophic life by his recipe.
20. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 2
Hyeok Yu Plato’s Charmides: Temperance, Incantation, and the Unity of the Dialogue
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Plato’s Charmides has generally been regarded as an aporetic dialogue, which attempts to define temperance (swfrosu/nh) and ends in aporia, without any positive answer. My paper aims to understand the dialogue as suggesting positive answers to the questions about the nature of temperance. I am focusing on thefollowing: at the outset of the dialogue Socrates is supposed to cure Charmides’ headache; the cure is not only a matter of bodily care, but also a matter of care for one’s soul. Quoting a Thracian doctor, he maintains the soul needs to be treated by using certain charms, which are beautiful words (tou\j lo/gouj ... tou\j kalou/j), and that from such beautiful words temperance comes into being in souls; once temperance has come into being and is present in the souls, then it is easy to bring about health both for the head and for the rest of the body (157a3-b1). This was the initial point from which the interlocutors begin to investigate whether temperance is present in Charmides, and what temperance is. Even by the end of the dialogue, however, Charmides has not been proved to have temperance; he is still in need of charms. Apparently Socrates has not given any charm he promised to Charmides. In a sense, only the argument/discussionitself can be considered as a sort of incantation, insofar as it will cure the soul of Charmides. But I suggest there is actually a hint in the dialogue: the Delphic inscription –“Know thyself!”- can be taken as beautiful words which are worth reciting with a full understanding of its implications, though it is not presented by Socrates but by Critias. This will explain the unity of the Charmides.