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Love of Wisdom: Plato #2, A Man In Training

Philosophers and rhetoricians, Welcome!

I

am a classical Platonist.
2
15%
am a neo-Platonist.
1
8%
am an anti-Platonist.
2
15%
am none of the above.
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62%
 
Total votes : 13

Love of Wisdom: Plato #2, A Man In Training

Postby blueskyboris » Sat Feb 12, 2005 3:21 am

" SOCRATES: But my dear Crito, why should we pay so much attention to what 'most people' think? The really reasonable people, who have more claim to be considered, will believe that the facts are exactly as they are.
...
SOCRATES: I only wish that ordinary people had an unlimited capacity for doing harm; then they might have an unlimited power for doing good, which be a splendid thing, if it were so. Actually, they have neither. They cannot make a man wise or stupid; they simply act at random.
...
SOCRATES: When a man is in training, and taking it seriously, does he pay attention to all praise and criticism and opinion indiscrimately, or only when it comes from the one qualified person, the actual doctor or trainer?
CRITO: Only when it comes from the one qualified person.
SOCRATES: Then he should be afraid of the criticism and welcome the praise of the one qualified person, but not the rest of public.
CRITO: Obviously.
SOCRATES: So he ought to regulate his actions and exercises and eating and drinking by the judgement of his instructor, who has expert knowledge, rather by the opinions of the rest of the public.
CRITO: Yes, that is so."


The passage above is from Plato's Crito dialogue, written early in his life.* I would like to examine Plato's argument from all angles and keep the post quality high. Does anyone have opening affirmation, critique, general comment, insight, observation, or argument they would like to share?



*(Pages 29 & 32 (44c & 47b); The Collected Works of Plato; Princeton University Press; 1969; Translation: Hugh Tredennick)

Those interested in participating in or reading other LOVE OF WISDOM debates should click here.
Last edited by blueskyboris on Mon Feb 28, 2005 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby classicalclarinet » Sat Feb 12, 2005 7:42 am

Did you pick the selection so that we can evaluate it by itself? I've actually read that part of Crito but haven't finished.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:04 pm

am a classical Platonist.
am a neo-Platonist.
am an anti-Platonist.
am none of the above.


those options scare me... people should not read these texts thinking they are some sort of eternal truth, but should be very critical. To just follow Plato's ideas ... you may be better off just going to church instead.
So, yeah, definitly not a). Not sure what option b) is exactly, but I think I can guess so not b) either (but it would be nice if you could explain....)
c) is just as bad. If you aren't open to Plato's ideas at all and don't even make an effort to try and understand what it is he was trying to say, then there is no point in reading Plato. You can't expect to learn anything if you don't try to understand him - that does not mean you have to agree with his ideas though.
option d) is the only good one here.
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Postby annis » Sat Feb 12, 2005 3:09 pm

Emma_85 wrote: Not sure what option b) is exactly, but I think I can guess so not b) either (but it would be nice if you could explain....)


Neo-Platonism is a whole different can of forms: Neo-Platonism.
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Re: Love of Wisdom: Plato #2, A Man In Training

Postby Democritus » Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:11 pm

blueskyboris wrote:SOCRATES: But my dear Crito, why should we pay so much attention to what 'most people' think? The really reasonable people, who have more claim to be considered, will believe that the facts are exactly as they are.


DEMOCRITUS: But sometimes reasonable people are wrong, too.

blueskyboris wrote: SOCRATES: When a man is in training, and taking it seriously, does he pay attention to all praise and criticism and opinion indiscrimately, or only when it comes from the one qualified person, the actual doctor or trainer?
CRITO: Only when it comes from the one qualified person.


DEMOCRITUS: Well, you are setting up another one of your false choices, dear Socrates. Usually one follows the advice of experts. But sometimes experts make mistakes, don't they? It can happen. It would be foolish to pay no attention at all to the advice of non-experts. Sometimes the amateurs are right and the experts are wrong.

blueskyboris wrote:SOCRATES: Then he should be afraid of the criticism and welcome the praise of the one qualified person, but not the rest of public.
CRITO: Obviously.


DEMOCRITUS: No, not obviously. One should pay attention to the praise that makes sense, regardless where it comes from. After all, how did we figure out who the experts are, in the first place? What do we do before we identify the experts? On what basis do we label them "experts" ? Somehow we must be able to identify good advice, regardless of the source it comes from. Well, if we can do that before we identify the experts, we can also do it after we identify them, too. In fact it would be foolish not to do this. What happens when the experts don't agree with each other?

blueskyboris wrote: SOCRATES: So he ought to regulate his actions and exercises and eating and drinking by the judgement of his instructor, who has expert knowledge, rather by the opinions of the rest of the public.
CRITO: Yes, that is so.


DEMOCRITUS: Ouch, ouch.
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Postby blueskyboris » Sun Feb 13, 2005 6:48 am

classicalclarinet
Did you pick the selection so that we can evaluate it by itself? I've actually read that part of Crito but haven't finished.

Bascially, but if the debate expands to include all of Crito it would not bother me, but I do want to concentrate on the content of the OP first.



Emma_85
those options scare me...

Please stay on topic.

people should not read these texts thinking they are some sort of eternal truth, but should be very critical. To just follow Plato's ideas ...

Very True.

you may be better off just going to church instead.

People often equate Plato's philosophical arguments with Judeo-Christianity, which is unjustified. Aristotle & Plato certainly influenced the development of Christianity, but did not create Judeo-Christianity.

c) is just as bad. If you aren't open to Plato's ideas at all and don't even make an effort to try and understand what it is he was trying to say, then there is no point in reading Plato.

Yet many people with no prior understanding of platonism become anti-platonic after reading Plato's dialogues and many anti-platonic individuals read Plato even though they know they already oppose Plato's arguments.




annis
Neo-Platonism is a whole different can of forms: Neo-Platonism.

Yeah, my bad. I should of typed 'New-Platonist' or 'Modern-Platonist' to avoid confusion.
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Postby chad » Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:10 pm

One of Aristotle's topics is useful here to see the limits of what Socrates is saying: see 100a15.

to quote a bit of the loeb translation:

For instance, you ought to lay it down that things ought to be described in the language used by the majority, but when it is asked what things are of certain kinds and what are not, you must no longer pay attention to the majority. For example, you must say, as do the majority, that 'healthy' is that which is productive of health; but when it is asked whether the subject under discussion is productive of health or not, you must no longer use the language of the majority, but that of the doctor.
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Postby blueskyboris » Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:10 am

Democritus
DEMOCRITUS: But sometimes reasonable people are wrong, too.


BLUESKYBORIS: Nonetheless, we seek the doctor whose reputation is best.

DEMOCRITUS: Well, you are setting up another one of your false choices, dear Socrates. Usually one follows the advice of experts. But sometimes experts make mistakes, don't they? It can happen. It would be foolish to pay no attention at all to the advice of non-experts. Sometimes the amateurs are right and the experts are wrong.


BLUESKYBORIS: A mistake made by an expert does not make the ignoramous or amateur an expert.

DEMOCRITUS: No, not obviously. One should pay attention to the praise that makes sense, regardless where it comes from. After all, how did we figure out who the experts are, in the first place? What do we do before we identify the experts? On what basis do we label them "experts" ? Somehow we must be able to identify good advice, regardless of the source it comes from. Well, if we can do that before we identify the experts, we can also do it after we identify them, too. In fact it would be foolish not to do this. What happens when the experts don't agree with each other?


BLUESKYBORIS: Granted, even when following an expert's programme we are guarded, but by the very act of consulting an expert with a good reputation we are suspending our right to comment, because we know we are basically ignorant. If we did not know concede ignorance we would not consult an expert, now would we! We would take care of the problem ourselves and go on our merry way.

As for experts who disagree, there is the rock-solid evidence of being cured, which in-itself creates a good reputation for the expert who is right.
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Postby Emma_85 » Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:50 pm

I don't think there is much to say against the fact that if we're ill we'll go to the doctor, because the doctor knows more than we do normally. The question is whether this analogy can be made here or not.
To become a doctor one has to learn many things like how to treat a certain injury, what are the symptoms of this or that illness etc.
Same goes for the trainer... all he does is learn what exercises are best to build muscles and such.
They are basically a crafts which one has to learn and study to become a specialist in, what it does not require normally is any real form of moral judgment - in the case of the doctor maybe, but he will make such decisions according to the laws, those written down or the unspoken ones in the society he lives in or just according to his personal beliefs. A doctor will normally have a high reputation for mending bones maybe, because he learned his craft well and paid attention when his master was setting bones, but I don't believe you can say that doctors are more suited to make any ethical decisions than other people, even if their job may involve making such a decision once in a while (but not very often really).
There is a huge difference between asking questions such as: "how do I set this broken bone, so that it heals?" or "how many mg of benzoic acid does it take to burn a patch of human skin?"
as opposed to ones of a more general nature e.g.: "How should a human act in such a situation?"
While there are correct answers for the first type of question (if only one does enough experiments one can tell which way of setting a bone is more effective etc.) and require specific knowledge of bones and such like the other sort of question can be pondered by anyone and as no human has lucky had the misfortune of living for a million years and so having experienced all situations a man might possibly find himself in no one can really claim to be an expert in such an area. Some people have put more thought into it maybe than others, but in the end we are all humans and all think alike to some degree. Not everyone may be able to come up with a good solution to an ethical or moral dilemma, but everyone will be able to use their brain and think it through, where as not everyone has enough prior knowledge to even start to contemplate how many mg of acid it takes to burn a cm^2 of skin. All we can do is guess, but that's all we'd be able to do without outside help (i.e. setting up an experiment using acid and skin). But everyone can ponder a question on ethics and come to some sort of an answer.
Now Plato would probably counter that the specialist are the ones who really think things through hard - but in that case how come Plato, who obviously put a lot of thought into his work - come to some very appalling conclusions? Plato himself would be one of my first examples to show that 'experts' can some times be wrong and that their opinion should of course be contemplated, but that in the end I would rather most people thought hard about the situation themselves as the conclusions they come to are certainly not to be dismissed as opinions of armatures.
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Postby blueskyboris » Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:15 am

Emma_85
I don't think there is much to say against the fact that if we're ill we'll go to the doctor, because the doctor knows more than we do normally.


BLUESKYBORIS: Normally? Why do you tag 'normally' onto the end of your thought? Even the worst trained doctor knows more than you about medical issues.

A doctor will normally have a high reputation for mending bones maybe, because he learned his craft well and paid attention when his master was setting bones, but I don't believe you can say that doctors are more suited to make any ethical decisions than other people, even if their job may involve making such a decision once in a while (but not very often really).


BLUESKYBORIS: Very true, but you must concede that a trained doctor is better suited, by experience or training, than the everyday person to make a medical-ethical decision?

While there are correct answers for the first type of question (if only one does enough experiments one can tell which way of setting a bone is more effective etc.) and require specific knowledge of bones and such like the other sort of question can be pondered by anyone and as no human has lucky had the misfortune of living for a million years and so having experienced all situations a man might possibly find himself in no one can really claim to be an expert in such an area.


BLUESKYBORIS: While it's true a person trained in ethics can not reach perfection, it does not follow from this truth that a person trained in ethics is not an expert in ethics. A person trained in ethics is still more of an expert than a person not trained in ethics. Aftter all, an untrained person can still think about medical issues, just as an untrained person can still think about ethical issues.
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Postby Emma_85 » Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:03 am

blueskyboris wrote:Emma_85
I don't think there is much to say against the fact that if we're ill we'll go to the doctor, because the doctor knows more than we do normally.


BLUESKYBORIS: Normally? Why do you tag 'normally' onto the end of your thought? Even the worst trained doctor knows more than you about medical issues.


Because even doctors make mistakes sometimes and I was trying to be a bit more general with my statement. You may trust the doctors where you live to make the right diagnosis, but I've known patients here who were unhappy with the incorrect diagnosis of a doctor and just googled around and soon found what it was they were actually suffering from. Most doctors have no idea how to treat some illnesses anyway. I know from personal experience that sometimes it's best just to ignore the doctor and his medicine and use the traditional remedies instead as the prescribed medicines just don't work.

A doctor will normally have a high reputation for mending bones maybe, because he learned his craft well and paid attention when his master was setting bones, but I don't believe you can say that doctors are more suited to make any ethical decisions than other people, even if their job may involve making such a decision once in a while (but not very often really).


BLUESKYBORIS: Very true, but you must concede that a trained doctor is better suited, by experience or training, than the everyday person to make a medical-ethical decision?


I don't agree really. For example: in the US they have these abortion clinics. So a doctor working there might have to decide whether or not a woman is allowed to have an abortion (if he has any say at all in the matter). Now why would his opinion on the abortion matter more than that of someone else's? I fail to see how.
Or if it is ethical or not to start human trials of a medicine that promises huge benefits, but at a high risk of the patient suffering from side effects too.
The doctor's opinion on this is not to be dismissed and normally the general population has no say in this at all, but if an unqualified person did, I don't think his opinion would be worth so much less. Given enough information on the situation he can pass ethical judgement too.

While there are correct answers for the first type of question (if only one does enough experiments one can tell which way of setting a bone is more effective etc.) and require specific knowledge of bones and such like the other sort of question can be pondered by anyone and as no human has lucky had the misfortune of living for a million years and so having experienced all situations a man might possibly find himself in no one can really claim to be an expert in such an area.


BLUESKYBORIS: While it's true a person trained in ethics can not reach perfection, it does not follow from this truth that a person trained in ethics is not an expert in ethics. A person trained in ethics is still more of an expert than a person not trained in ethics. Aftter all, an untrained person can still think about medical issues, just as an untrained person can still think about ethical issues.


A person trained in ethics will be able to recite and quote, but I doubt that they will actually be better people. And I have to disagree. An untrained person cannot really think about medical issues. As I said I can think as much as I want to, I can't come to any kind of conclusion for my problem of how much acid it takes to burn a patch of skin. As I can only guess really there is no way at all for me actually think things through. First off I don't know how toxic benzoic acid is, I don't know what concentration we are talking about here nor anything much of how much acid of any kind skin can endure. So where should I start trying to work out my problem? All I can do is say... uh...maybe 4 or 5 drops?
Where as with an ethical issue anyone can immediately say something like: "Well, if he does this or that, then the consequences will be such and such"
We all have experiences in the field of ethics. And I do agree that people who are trained in ethics may come to a better decision, but as I said, everyone's opinion holds some kind of wait. And those trained in ethics, for example the ethics council, who advise the government, what sort of ethics were they taught? If you are trained in any field what so ever it first all means that you just learn, like a doctor learns to set bones. You've got to be able to quote Miller, Plato etc. and they'll then teach you what the modern theories are on the issues. Then they'll use their own judgement maybe (some might think like the professor they so admire tells them to).
So... our trained ethicist knows all the different ethical views that exist.
The judgement that someone 'normal' uses and that the ethicist uses is the same. Is option one to solve the problem any good? I think that the views of anyone there count. A person trained in ethics may still lack judgement.
So why it is wise to consult someone trained in ethics, as they will know all the options and will have thought about the problem more, that does not necessary mean that their opinion is better than my own. It may very well be, but the disparity between how good my opinion and that of an ethics specialist is, is not comparable to my lack of understanding the medical field and the knowledge a trained physician has.
As anyone can start to think about ethical issues and most have had to some time in their life we all have some sort of qualification in the field and the necessary background knowledge to form an opinion, but that is not the case at all in most issues on medicine. We know next to nothing normally and don't have the qualification to make an opinion on whether or not to operate on this patient now and where exactly to make the incision, which organs to avoid cutting through etc... :P
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Postby Democritus » Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:06 pm

blueskyboris wrote:
Emma_85 wrote:I don't think there is much to say against the fact that if we're ill we'll go to the doctor, because the doctor knows more than we do normally.


BLUESKYBORIS: Normally? Why do you tag 'normally' onto the end of your thought? Even the worst trained doctor knows more than you about medical issues.


Can a doctor ever make a mistake, in your opinion?

Are you claming that it is impossible for a layperson to have a better opinion than a doctor, ever? That's a very strong statement. Doctors are smart, but smart is not omniscient.

This is what that extra word "normally" is for. It leaves a little bit of wiggle room for the exceptional cases. Are you claming that there are never any exceptional cases?

blueskyboris wrote:BLUESKYBORIS: Very true, but you must concede that a trained doctor is better suited, by experience or training, than the everyday person to make a medical-ethical decision?


So here are our choices:
A. Always obey the doctor.
B. Ignore the doctor.
C. Obey the doctor most of the time. Ignore him only if you are quite sure he is wrong.

You seem to be advocating A. I advocate C.

Socrates is making a false syllogism here: "Well, if you don't accept A, then you must think B!" But that's not true at all. I think C. I don't even see the need to think about option B.

Socrates seems to be unaware that choice C might exist. I will send him an email and let him know. :)
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Postby blueskyboris » Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:00 am

Emma_85
Because even doctors make mistakes sometimes and I was trying to be a bit more general with my statement. You may trust the doctors where you live to make the right diagnosis, but I've known patients here who were unhappy with the incorrect diagnosis of a doctor and just googled around and soon found what it was they were actually suffering from. Most doctors have no idea how to treat some illnesses anyway. I know from personal experience that sometimes it's best just to ignore the doctor and his medicine and use the traditional remedies instead as the prescribed medicines just don't work.

Democritus
Can a doctor ever make a mistake, in your opinion?


All trained professionals make mistakes, but so what? Socrates is not arguing that trained professionals do not make mistakes; he is arguing that trained professionals are better qualified than the masses and that the masses should follow he or she who has been trained professionally, because the professional knows what is best by virtue of being trained. I therefore see no reason to believe that a mistake by a professional kills this line of argument.

As for the other arguments Socrates makes my critiques are en route.


Democritus: Are you claming that it is impossible for a layperson to have a better opinion than a doctor, ever? That's a very strong statement. Doctors are smart, but smart is not omniscient.


No, but I reject the argument that the untrained should follow their random successes instead of following the regimen or cure prescribed by the professional.

This is what that extra word "normally" is for. It leaves a little bit of wiggle room for the exceptional cases. Are you claming that there are never any exceptional cases?


Such an argument does not negate the argument that we should follow the professional instead of randomly flailing about in ignorance. The exception is rare by definition and hence it would be ridiculous to reject professional wisdom on these grounds. A well-trained professional should be followed.

So here are our choices:
A. Always obey the doctor.
B. Ignore the doctor.
C. Obey the doctor most of the time. Ignore him only if you are quite sure he is wrong.

You seem to be advocating A. I advocate C.

Socrates is making a false syllogism here: "Well, if you don't accept A, then you must think B!" But that's not true at all. I think C. I don't even see the need to think about option B.

Socrates seems to be unaware that choice C might exist. I will send him an email and let him know.


I see no reason to believe that Socrates believed trained professionals could not make mistakes. I therefore think option C is in line with Socrates' argument, but I would qualify this conclusion by arguing that Socrates would argue that in the great majority of cases the lay person would not have the requisite knowledge to even conclude that a mistake has been made even if that mistake occured right in front their eyes in plain view.




Emma_85
I don't agree really. For example: in the US they have these abortion clinics. So a doctor working there might have to decide whether or not a woman is allowed to have an abortion (if he has any say at all in the matter). Now why would his opinion on the abortion matter more than that of someone else's? I fail to see how.
Or if it is ethical or not to start human trials of a medicine that promises huge benefits, but at a high risk of the patient suffering from side effects too


A pro-choice doctor has already made the descision to support abortion morally, so there is no reason to conclude that within an abortion setting that doctor is not the best qualified to deal with the ethical issues that arise in his or her clinic. The general public is irrelevant.

I can only guess really there is no way at all for me actually think things through. First off I don't know how toxic benzoic acid is, I don't know what concentration we are talking about here nor anything much of how much acid of any kind skin can endure. So where should I start trying to work out my problem? All I can do is say... uh...maybe 4 or 5 drops?


Coming to ethical conclusions on your own is much the same in its 'maybeness'. Ideology, after all, is not ethics, it is bias.

The judgement that someone 'normal' uses and that the ethicist uses is the same. Is option one to solve the problem any good? I think that the views of anyone there count. A person trained in ethics may still lack judgement.


You mean common sense as expressed as bias. The NAZIS exhibited a form of common sense, a deep bias.

So why it is wise to consult someone trained in ethics, as they will know all the options and will have thought about the problem more, that does not necessary mean that their opinion is better than my own.


I would argue that it does. Systematic thought about a subject, long-term contemplation, and memorization of important arguments are exactly the same tools that a doctor learns.
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Postby Democritus » Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:22 pm

blueskyboris wrote:...Socrates would argue that in the great majority of cases the lay person would not have the requisite knowledge to even conclude that a mistake has been made even if that mistake occured right in front their eyes in plain view.


But what about the exceptional cases? Please tell me about those. Tell me about the case where a member of the so-called "great majority" actually does have the requisite knowledge to conclude this. What should he do?

Should the experts ever be overruled by non-experts? Yes or no?

Suppose your answer to this question is, "Well, almost never, but yes, it could happen. It would be rare, but it could happen." Then would I be justified in jumping all over you, as if you had advocated "flailing about in ignorance" ?


blueskyboris wrote:Socrates is not arguing that trained professionals do not make mistakes; he is arguing that trained professionals are better qualified than the masses and that the masses should follow...


Socrates himself did not qualify his statements with words like "in the great majority of cases." Socrates himself never conceded that experts make mistakes. That's not in the text. (If I am mistaken about that, please show me.)

Socrates is implicitly making a very strong argument. He is arguing that we only have two choices -- obey the experts, or flail about in ignorance.

I am rejecting the idea that these are the only two choices available.
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Postby blueskyboris » Wed Feb 16, 2005 7:12 pm

Democritus
But what about the exceptional cases? Please tell me about those. Tell me about the case where a member of the so-called "great majority" actually does have the requisite knowledge to conclude this. What should he do?


A rare occurance such as this would not cause a rejection of professionalism. Think about it. The person who has experienced the exception is still ignorant and hence will need to find another expert.

Should the experts ever be overruled by non-experts? Yes or no?


Once the mistake has been made and comprehended as a mistake the non-professional must make a decision: should I find a new expert? Not: should I abandon all experts?

Socrates himself did not qualify his statements with words like "in the great majority of cases." Socrates himself never conceded that experts make mistakes. That's not in the text. (If I am mistaken about that, please show me.)


You mean 'Plato himself'.

In Plato's Republic Plato argues that philosopher kings should be selected from a long, arduous selection process. Why do you think he argues this?

Socrates is implicitly making a very strong argument. He is arguing that we only have two choices -- obey the experts, or flail about in ignorance.

I am rejecting the idea that these are the only two choices available.


I think you are ignoring the fact that Crito is a philosophical treatise, and I think you are overplaying Plato' love of dialectics and logic. As Plato points out, in may places, he is writing about utopia, so it is obvious that the dialogues must be taken as 'very good arguments written on paper', aka the Ideal. Therefore, one can not conclude that Plato and Socrates were binary blind to the real world.
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Postby Democritus » Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:35 pm

blueskyboris wrote:
Democritus wrote:Tell me about the case where a member of the so-called "great majority" actually does have the requisite knowledge to conclude this. What should he do?


A rare occurance such as this would not cause a rejection of professionalism. Think about it. The person who has experienced the exception is still ignorant and hence will need to find another expert.


OK, well, it's clear that we do not agree. The thing is, I am not rejecting professionalism. But I have run out of ways to try to convince you of this.

I stand by my original statement. I think that Plato and/or Socrates are setting up a false dichotomy, in that little passage. I am explicitly rejecting this dichotomy, and the reasoning based on it.
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Postby blueskyboris » Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:44 pm

OK, well, it's clear that we do not agree.


Then you are obviously ignoring what Plato said very clearly in other dialogues. There are no 'false dichotomies' to speak of if one takes these statements into account.
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Postby Democritus » Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:25 am

blueskyboris wrote:
OK, well, it's clear that we do not agree.


Then you are obviously ignoring what Plato said very clearly in other dialogues. There are no 'false dichotomies' to speak of if one takes these statements into account.


Well, that could be. :) I studied a fair bit of Plato. But that was a long time ago, so I've forgotten most of it.

It was so long ago, in fact, that if Plato ran into me today, he probably wouldn't even recognize me. ;)
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Postby venus_man » Tue Mar 08, 2005 5:31 pm

Isn't it a question of authority and professionalism? Especially for young Plato’s writing.

Plato admired antiquity very much. The glory of days passed intrigued him, and it is clear in many of his dialogs. Order and priesthood of Egypt and Atlantis fascinated him. It is an idealism, for Plato was an idealist trying to establish (in writing, and not only) a utopian living on Earth based on the thousands of years of proven experience of the ancient civilizations. That utopian society (see Republic) is a hierarchical society where every level occupied by professionals, masters of certain social responsibility.

That is almost the only way to go, according to Plato. If you do poetry-you better be a master of it, or do not do it at all. Same regarding everything else. This professionalism comes, according to Plato, from alignment with the soul, thus memorizing a true purpose of the individual as oppose to the mere act of imitation.
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