Plato's Laws - Book IV: Leadership by Reason
Plato's Pod: Dialogues on the works of Plato
by James Myers
4d ago
Book IV of Plato's longest dialogue, The Laws, places the spotlight on the qualities of virtuous leadership as the three characters - the unnamed Athenian, Clinias from Crete, and Megillus from Sparta - discuss the establishment of Crete's new colony. The skill of the leader, says the Athenian, must help guide the colony through the risks and rewards of chance and opportunity. These, he says, reign supreme in the universe where God, not man, is the measure of all things. A spirited discussion ensued when members of the Toronto, Calgary, and Chicago Philosophy Meetup groups convened on April 28 ..read more
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Plato’s Laws – Book III: Finding Unity and Reason in the Balance of Reason
Plato's Pod: Dialogues on the works of Plato
by James Myers
2w ago
Our discussion on Book III of Plato’s longest dialogue, The Laws, began by considering the consequences of natural cataclysms that invariably befall humanity. Plato opens the book with the emergence of early human communities that begin with goodwill when people are few and resources are relatively abundant, and many fascinating observations emerged when members of the Toronto, Calgary, and Chicago Philosophy Meetup groups convened on April 14, 2024 to consider this and the other themes of Book III. One participant asked whether humans are inherently bad, and others highlighted Plato’s underst ..read more
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Plato's Laws - Book II: Learning the Pleasure of the Good and Beautiful
Plato's Pod: Dialogues on the works of Plato
by James Myers
1M ago
Our coverage of Plato’s longest dialogue, The Laws, continues with a discussion on Book II, building on the connection of virtue and happiness that was emphasized in Book I. As the Athenian, Cretan, and Spartan proceed in considering the ideal framework for a constitution, the theme of harmony in the soul and in the community is central to Book II. How are children to be educated, to instill in them a sense of virtue and to find happiness in its pursuit? When members of the Toronto, Calgary, and Chicago Philosophy Meetup groups convened on March 24, 2024, questions were raised about a perceive ..read more
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Plato's Laws - Book I, Part 2: Mastering Pain and Pleasure in a Virtuous Society
Plato's Pod: Dialogues on the works of Plato
by James Myers
2M ago
If the constitution for Crete’s new colony, Magnesia, is to succeed in setting the conditions for virtue among its citizens, self control and courage will be required to conquer the pains but equally the pleasures that visit every human life. This is the conclusion of the Athenian, Clinias, and Megillus in the second part of Book I of Plato’s dialogue The Laws, which highlights the benefits of harmony to a society that equips citizens both to govern and to be governed. Members of the Toronto, Calgary, and Chicago Philosophy Meetup groups met on March 3, 2024 to explore these themes and conside ..read more
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Plato's Laws - Book I, Part 1: A Constitution for Peace and Virtue
Plato's Pod: Dialogues on the works of Plato
by James Myers
3M ago
Plato’s Pod began discussing Book I of Plato’s longest dialogue, the Laws, which advances the argument for the constitution of Crete’s new colony to cultivate the virtue of its citizens. It’s unlike the war-focussed constitution of Crete itself, represented in the discussion by the character Clinias, and the laws of Sparta whose spokesman is Megillus, but together with the unnamed Athenian they agree that a society of virtuous citizens will be peaceful and enduring. On February 18, 2024, members of the Toronto, Calgary, and Chicago Philosophy Meetup groups turned to the dialogue’s beginning ar ..read more
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Plato's Laws - Book X, Part 2: Reason as the Cause in the Middle of It All
Plato's Pod: Dialogues on the works of Plato
by James Myers
3M ago
Plato's Pod continues its series on Plato's longest work, The Laws, picking up where we left off two weeks ago with the second part of Book X, near the end of the dialogue. In Book X, the three characters - an unnamed Athenian speaking with Clinias (from Crete) and Megillus (from Sparta) - set out the logic for reason as the primary cause of the universe, and reason's central function in the soul's moderation of need and desire. But have the three gone too far in prescribing the death penalty for any citizen of Crete's new colony, Magnesia, who refuses after every attempt at explanation and re ..read more
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Plato's Laws - Book X, Part 1: Universal Patterns
Plato's Pod: Dialogues on the works of Plato
by James Myers
3M ago
On January 21, 2024, Plato's Pod began its extended series on Plato's longest and perhaps most enigmatic and impenetrable dialogue, The Laws, which is said to have been his final work. Members of the Toronto, Calgary, and Chicago Philosophy Meetup groups began by discussing Book X, near the end of the dialogue, which features Plato's cosmology. The immaterial soul, says the unnamed Athenian speaking with a Cretan and Spartan, is the oldest thing in the universe, older than material physical matter and therefore the primary cause of all motion. Our discussion ranged from Plato's definition of ..read more
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Plato's Critias Revisited: The Tale of Atlantis and the Harmonics of Memory
Plato's Pod: Dialogues on the works of Plato
by James Myers
3M ago
Plato brought the legend of Atlantis to the world in the Timaeus, and in the Critias provided many details of the fabulously wealthy and technologically advanced society that fell into disharmony and disappeared in a great earthquake 9,000 years earlier. As the character Critias relates the story, over time the Atlanteans gradually forgot their divine origin from the god Poseidon and began to pursue material wealth, losing their harmony and bringing upon themselves the punishment of Zeus. On December 3, 2023, members of the Toronto, Calgary, and Chicago Philosophy Meetup groups addressed the c ..read more
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Plato's Timaeus Revisited: Part IV - The Soul's Perceptions in the Universal Middle
Plato's Pod: Dialogues on the works of Plato
by James Myers
3M ago
Plato’s Pod concluded its revisiting of Plato’s Timaeus, covering from 53(a) to 72(d) with a focus on sensory perception in relation to triangles and what have come to be known as the five Platonic solids because of this dialogue. It was 2,400 years ago, when Plato wrote Timaeus, that he revealed to the world knowledge of the only five regular solids in the universe. Why did Plato, who was a geometer as well as a philosopher, go to great lengths to make the character Timaeus discuss triangles and the five regular solids in such detail? A fascinating discussion ensued on November 18, 2023 when ..read more
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Plato’s Timaeus Revisited, Part III: Perceiving Imitations of Being as they Become
Plato's Pod: Dialogues on the works of Plato
by James Myers
3M ago
How does perception of shape relate to our understanding of time, when everything we see, touch, taste, smell, and hear is in a constant state of motion and change? The question occupied members of the Toronto, Calgary, and Chicago Philosophy Meetup groups on November 5, 2023 in reading the assertions of the astronomer Timaeus on the interplay of proportions and probabilities in a spherical universe with a soul circling around its middle. Beginning at 48(a) in the dialogue, Timaeus introduces the concepts of Necessity, a container for the limits of things in the process of Becoming, and the fo ..read more
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