Re: Aporreta and Plato's Unwritten Doctrines -- on Dennis and Giannis
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "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
> his 7th Letter: 7.341CD. Plato himself states that there does not,nor
> will there ever, exist any treatise of his dealing with "thissubject,"
> for knowledge of it does not at all admit of verbal transmissionfrom 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 thesoul by
> direct experience, "as light that is ignited by a leaping fire, andword
> thereafter is self-generating and self-nourishing." The written
> can only point to the "unwritten," living realities of which itspeaks.
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