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Re: [existlist] Re: exposition

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  • eupraxis@aol.com
    Louise. As far as Western philosophy is concerned, is it not true that all metaphysics can be traced back to Plato?? Response: The formal beginning of
    Message 1 of 20 , Jan 25, 2009
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      Louise.

      "As far as Western philosophy is concerned, is it not true that all
      metaphysics can be traced back to Plato??"

      Response: The formal beginning of metaphysics-proper (that is, as a formal
      discipline) is usually put at the feet of Aristotle. But the general range of
      speculative philosophies go as far back as Thales.

      It is nevertheless fairly common to attribute many Western notions to Plato,
      including the subject-object dualism, or dualism itself. Plato's foot print is
      enormous. But it would be misleading to say that all metaphysics is therefore
      Platonic, or that the term "Platonic" is used always in a strict manner.

      Whitehead once quipped that all Western thought is involved in an ancient
      wrestling match between Plato and Aristotle, which would make one infer that
      Aristotle was un-Platonic in a significant way, for example. Or again, the
      Neo-"Platonists" are seen as being significantly different from the Atomists and
      Epicureans, etc.

      Plato is not completely consistent throughout the dialogues on the real/ideal
      thing. I do not have the time to go through all of this right now, but if
      memory serves me right you will see some equivocation in the Laws, for example.
      Aristotle contradicts himself in the Metaphysics as well, first criticizing
      Plato's Ideas as impossible, but then exploiting the very same concept with his
      discussion of the Summum Bonum and thought thinking itself.

      The point is that all such slogans and sayings become problematic when
      investigated with any sense of detail.

      Wil

      In a message dated 1/25/09 11:36:10 AM, hecubatoher@... writes:


      > Jim and Wil,
      >
      > I am puzzled. Are you both asserting that the final sentence here
      > should read, "Metaphysics does not necessarily imply Platonism (or
      > Aristotelianism, the formal source of metaphysics, as such)?
      >
      > It seems to me that the statement was correct the first time round.
      > There is metaphysical thinking, I suppose, in, for instance, the
      > ancient Sanskrit holy texts, but this is a quite different kind of
      > philosophical thought, surely? As far as Western philosophy is
      > concerned, is it not true that all metaphysics can be traced back to
      > Plato??
      >
      > Louise
      >




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