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Re: Aporreta and Plato's Unwritten Doctrines -- on Dennis and Giannis

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  • Melanie Brawn Mineo <melonyfelony@yahoo.
    I ve been reading this string of messages with interest, and wanted to say that I am familiar with the article on the Third Man argument you mention. For
    Message 1 of 12 , Dec 14, 2002
      I've been reading this string of messages with interest, and
      wanted to say that I am familiar with the article on the "Third Man
      argument" you mention. For myself, the "Unwritten Doctrines" that
      particularly interest me are the ones that Plato may be pointing to in
      his 7th Letter: 7.341CD. Plato himself states that there does not, nor
      will there ever, exist any treatise of his dealing with "this subject,"
      for knowledge of it does not at all admit of verbal transmission from a
      teacher like other studies. Coming as a result of individual, continued
      application to the subject itself and communion (sunousia) therewith,
      knowledge of it is suddenly (exaiphnes) brought to birth in the soul by
      direct experience, "as light that is ignited by a leaping fire, and
      thereafter is self-generating and self-nourishing." The written word
      can only point to the "unwritten," living realities of which it speaks.
    • vaeringjar <vaeringjar@yahoo.com>
      ... in ... nor ... subject, ... from a ... continued ... therewith, ... soul by ... word ... speaks. Yes, I am are referring to the same doctrines. Hard to
      Message 2 of 12 , Dec 14, 2002
        --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "Melanie Brawn Mineo
        <melonyfelony@y...>" <melonyfelony@y...> wrote:
        >
        > I've been reading this string of messages with interest, and
        > wanted to say that I am familiar with the article on the "Third Man
        > argument" you mention. For myself, the "Unwritten Doctrines" that
        > particularly interest me are the ones that Plato may be pointing to
        in
        > his 7th Letter: 7.341CD. Plato himself states that there does not,
        nor
        > will there ever, exist any treatise of his dealing with "this
        subject,"
        > for knowledge of it does not at all admit of verbal transmission
        from a
        > teacher like other studies. Coming as a result of individual,
        continued
        > application to the subject itself and communion (sunousia)
        therewith,
        > knowledge of it is suddenly (exaiphnes) brought to birth in the
        soul by
        > direct experience, "as light that is ignited by a leaping fire, and
        > thereafter is self-generating and self-nourishing." The written
        word
        > can only point to the "unwritten," living realities of which it
        speaks.

        Yes, I am are referring to the same doctrines. Hard to ignore what
        Plato says here, isn't it, as wrenching as it is, making you wonder
        then exactly how he valued all the dialogues that were written down?
        Unless of course, as some, you discount the entire letter, so that
        this particular point just disappears as evidence.

        But what he says about not writing such a specific type treatise
        actually makes sense to me, when I consider that through dialectic
        one attempts to arrive at the truth, and dialectic implies engaged
        discussion, not merely passive reading. (I think this would be true
        also for even the ancient Greek habit of reading a text aloud in
        preference to the modern practice of silent reading.)

        And if I may, I know from my own experience that something about the
        physicality of the back and forth of discussion, the drama of it, if
        you will, brings me to a heightened perception of whatever I am
        considering, and often insights come to me that probably wouldn't if
        I were just sitting and thinking, or just reading to myself. So I
        think that Plato's very clear statement in this letter that he will
        never write down such things in a final form, is actually quite
        consistent with the method of his dialogues. They are after all often
        investigations, not pronouncements and include a lot of loose ends.

        Whether he tied them together in his own mind, and then shared that
        only with his students, and occasionally if also embarassingly with
        some public, as at the infamous lecture on the Good attended by
        Aristotle and others, is another matter and not so easy to determine
        with assurance.

        Dennis Clark
        San Francisco
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