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2973Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Odysseus in the myth of Er

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  • dgallagher@aol.com
    Jan 4, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      Les,

      I'm not at all into numerology or divination and had no intention to point
      the discussion in that direction.

      Further, I don't read Greek and must rely on translation. Regarding
      Republic, I'm happy with Jowett, but compare as well with Shorey, Bloom, and
      Taylor.

      Jowett: And when I speak of the other division of the intelligible, you
      will understand me to speak of that other sort of knowledge which reason
      herself attains by the power of dialectic, using the hypotheses not as first
      principles, but only as hypotheses --that is to say, as steps and points of
      departure into a world which is above hypotheses, in order that she may soar
      beyond them to the first principle of the whole; and clinging to this and
      then to that which depends on this, by successive steps she descends again
      without the aid of any sensible object, from ideas, through ideas, and in
      ideas she ends.

      Shorey: Understand then…that by the other section of the intelligible I
      mean that which the reason itself lays hold of by the power of dialectic,
      treating its assumptions not as absolute beginnings but literally as
      hypotheses, underpinnings, footings, and springboards so to speak, to enable it to
      rise to that which requires no assumption and is the starting point of all,
      and after attaining to that again taking hold of the first dependencies from
      it, so to proceed downward to the conclusion, making no use whatever of
      any object of sense but only of pure ideas moving on through ideas to ideas
      and ending with ideas.


      Bloom: Well, then, go on to understand that by the other segment of the
      intelligible I mean that which argument itself grasps with the power of
      dialectic. Making the hypotheses not beginnings but really hypotheses – that
      is, steppingstones and springboards – in order to reach what is free from
      hypothesis at the beginning of the whole._[1]_
      (aoldb://mail/write/template.htm#_ftn1) When argument has grasped this, argument no longer depends on
      that which depends on this beginning and in such fashion goes back down again
      to an end; making no use of anything sensed in any way, but using forms
      themselves, going through forms to forms, it ends in forms too.


      ____________________________________

      _[1]_ (aoldb://mail/write/template.htm#_ftnref1) [Bloom] Or another
      possible rendering: “…the beginning which is the whole.”
      Taylor: Understand, now, that by the other section of the intelligible, I
      mean that which reason itself attains, making hypotheses by its own
      reasoning power, not as principles, but really hypotheses, as steps and handles,
      that, proceeding as far as to that which is unhypothetical, viz., the
      principle of the universe, and coming into contact with it, again adhering to
      those things which adhere to the principle, it may thus descend to the end;
      using nowhere anything that is sensible, but forms themselves, proceeding
      through some to others, and at length in forms terminating its progression.
      In this context, I do so wish I had the language skills to do my own
      rendering as there are important nuances of variation across the several
      translations.
      Regarding the solids and calculation, I need to assemble a separate
      response. Involves the distinction between substantial and quantitative number
      and the idea of tangency. Each is relevant with reference to the renderings
      of 511b-c. Other responsibilities beckon at the moment. Give me a few
      days, please.
      Plato's meaning and experience? I have opinions on the former, which
      must be dependent on the latter. The 'content' of his experience seems to me
      more a matter of speculation in terms of a possible mystical component. The
      mist in mystical is dissolved through the power of dialectic; duality
      re-solved in, by, and through Reason -- the substance of self-knowing.
      David










      In a message dated 1/3/2010 11:35:10 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
      neoplatonist2000@... writes:




      Hi David

      Thanks for the thoughtful remarks and information. I will try to find the
      Slaveva-Griffin work this week. Some of your thoughts, though, seem to
      involve numerology. That's a fairly rocky road to travel.

      There is always something interesting to discuss about the Divided Line.
      However, your reference to 511b was great. Compare H.D.P. Lee's
      translation of the the sentence that ends (b) and starts (c). "The whole procedure
      involves nothing in the sensible world, but moves solely through forms to
      forms, and finishes with forms."

      R. Waterford translates this as: "It makes absolutely no use of anything
      perceptible by the senses: it aims for types by means of types alone, in
      and of themselves, and it ends its journey with types."

      Some of the group read Greek. What do they think of both translations?
      And what does Plato mean? Is this his opinion or has he had some kind of
      expernence that does not easily translate into words. If he has done as much
      work with geometry as his works suggest, then I would readily accept that
      he has had some kind of experience. I can give some sort of example in
      this regard. We are all familiar to a greater or lesser degree with the five
      Platonic solids. An in-depth examination of certain features shows that
      the features can transform as they "move" from one shape to another: angles
      can turn into lines (e.g. 72 degrees into 72 units). Or angles can turn
      into square numbers or cubic numbers or numbers to the fourth power. All
      this can be found without the aid of a computer or a calculator. I can tell
      you this with absolute certainty, if you rely solely on a calculator for
      results you will miss the point of some of the
      marvellous formulations that can be found in some ancient works.

      Les


      P.O. Box 314
      Mentone, Victoria 3194 Australia
      Email: _neoplatonist2000@neoplaton_ (mailto:neoplatonist2000@...)

      --- On Mon, 4/1/10, _dgallagher@..._ (mailto:dgallagher@...)
      <_dgallagher@..._ (mailto:dgallagher@...) > wrote:

      From: _dgallagher@..._ (mailto:dgallagher@...)
      <_dgallagher@..._ (mailto:dgallagher@...) >
      Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Odysseus in the myth of Er
      To: _neoplatonism@neoplatonismneo_ (mailto:neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com)
      Received: Monday, 4 January, 2010, 6:19 AM



      In a message dated 1/3/2010 6:39:11 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
      neoplatonist2000@ yahoo.com writes:

      Hi David

      Your email of the 9th December just arrived. I understand what you are
      saying about numbers and geometry. I feel that you might feel as strongly
      about numbers and geometry as I do. However, as someone who deals in
      dreams
      as well, I'm not so sure that we can be so sure what numbers and geometry
      are all about anyway. In Carl Jung's "Synchonicity - an acausal connecting
      principle" he writes: "There is something peculiar, one might even say
      mysterious, about numbers...".

      Les,

      Mystery and number are synonymous.

      Below is a quote from Plotinus that I have cited before:

      “The metaphysician, equipped by that very character, winged already and
      not like those others, in need of disengagement, stirring of himself
      towards
      the supernal but doubting of the way, needs only a guide. He must be
      shown, then, and instructed, a willing wayfarer by his very temperament,
      all but
      self-directed.

      Mathematics, which as a student by nature he will take very easily, will
      be prescribed to train him to abstract thought and to faith in the
      unembodied; a moral being by native disposition, he must be led to make
      his virtue
      perfect; after the Mathematics he must be put through a course in
      Dialectic
      and made an adept in the science.” (The Six Enneads - first Ennead.)
      Indeed, I.3.3. Related, in my opinion, to Republic, VI, 511b.

      Personally, I don't take 'very easily' to quantitative mathematics.

      Now, here is a question. How many in this group have thought about what
      the "Six Enneads" may encrypt in its title? The number 54 (6 x 9) perhaps?
      If you can tell me to what it refers, we can, perhaps, start a marvellous
      conversation.
      You really must get/read Slaveva-Griffin, Plotinus on Number (OUP, 2009)
      [978-0-19-537719- 4], most especially pp. 17-21 and 131-140 regarding the
      number 54 and sixes and nines. I expect you'll savor the book like an
      exceptional meal or bottle of fine wine.

      A quote from Plutarch - the passage is from his essay “The E at Delphi” -
      which is published in Moralia, Volume V, immediately following the essay
      on “Isis and Osiris”. The interlocutor is Plutarch.

      “When Nicander had expounded all this, my friend Theon, whom I presume you
      know, asked Ammonius if Logical Reason had any rights in free speech,
      after being spoken of in such a very insulting manner. And when Ammonius
      urged
      him to speak and come to her assistance, he said, “That the god [Apollo]
      is a most logical reasoner the great majority of his oracles show clearly;
      for surely it is the function of the same person both to solve and to
      invent
      ambiguities. Moreover, as Plato said, when an oracle was given that they
      should double the size of the altar at Delos (a task requiring the highest
      skill in geometry), it was not this that the god was enjoining, but he was
      urging the Greeks to study geometry. And so, in the same way, when the god
      gives out ambiguous oracles, he is promoting and organizing logical
      reasoning as indispensable for those who are to apprehend his meaning
      aright.”
      (Babbitt, pp. 209-211/Stephanus 386)
      The pleasure and travail of philosophy.

      So, let's hear about the number 54. It's half 108. Remember Penelope's
      108 suitors?
      108/360 = thauma (irrational ratio). Also the sum of the least and most
      acute angles in a Phi triangle. Are you interested in the geometry of
      Plato's divided line (Rep. VI, 509d) and its juxtaposition with 511b,
      recalling
      Enneads, I.3.3?

      5+4=9

      Five is the mean/median/ mode in 1-9. One-half root 5 is implicate in
      Plato's divided line and is essential to the generation of six. Five
      interpenetrating hexahedrons form the vertices of a dodecahedron;
      associated by Plato
      with the fifth and most subtle element: ether (space).

      4x9 = 36. 3+6 =9. 36 x 9 = 324 + 36 = 360. If 9 is completion, is 10
      continuous? Continuous completion? What's the distinction between complete
      and continuous?

      David

      Les

      P.O. Box 314
      Mentone, Victoria 3194 Australia
      Email: _neoplatonist2000@ neoplaton_ (mailto:neoplatonisEmail: _neoplatoni

      --- On Wed, 9/12/09, _dgallagher@ aol.dga_ (mailto:dgallagher@--- On Wed
      <_dgallagher@ aol.dga_ (mailto:dgallagher@_dgallaghe> wrote:

      From: _dgallagher@ aol.dga_ (mailto:dgallagher@:dgallaghe
      <_dgallagher@ aol.dga_ (mailto:dgallagher@_dgallaghe>
      Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Odysseus in the myth of Er
      To: _neoplatonism@ neoplatonismneo_ (mailto:neoplatonisTo: _neoplatonism@
      ne
      Received: Wednesday, 9 December, 2009, 1:24 AM

      In a message dated 12/4/2009 7:56:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
      neoplatonist2000@ yahoo.com writes:

      P.S. I don't think that life is all about number and geometry.

      Les,

      Consider the subtleties of the preposition 'about' (think spherically,
      which implicates the solids), and a possible rephrasing: Number and
      geometry
      are all about life. The suggestion involves recognition of cosmos existing
      'within' soul rather than soul embodied in cosmos.

      David

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