Progressive vs Platonic Education

For all things philosophical.

Moderators: AMod, iMod

fooloso4
Posts: 246
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 4:42 pm

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by fooloso4 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:18 am

Nick:
“[Education] isn’t the craft of putting sight into the soul. Education takes for granted that sight is there but that it isn’t turned the right way or looking where it ought to look, and it tries to redirect it appropriately.”
(The Republic, Book VII)

You either get it or you don't.
And it is evident that you don’t. It looks like you got the quote here:
“[Education] isn’t the craft of putting sight into the soul. Education takes for granted that sight is there but that it isn’t turned the right way or looking where it ought to look, and it tries to redirect it appropriately.”
(The Republic, Book VII) https://medium.com/@amandasong/turning- ... 0e4d361db1
rather than from the text itself.

From the Bloom translation:
"Then, if this is true," I said, "we must hold the following about: these things: education is not what the professions of certain men assert it to be. They presumably assert that they put into the soul knowledge that isn't in it, as though they were putting sight into blind eyes."
"Yes," he said, "they do indeed assert that."
"But the present argument, on the other hand," I said, "indicates that this power is in the soul of each, and that the instrument with
which each learns—just as an eye is not able to turn toward the light from the dark without the whole body—must be turned around from
that which is coming into being together with the whole soul until it is able to endure looking at that which is and the brightest part of that which is. And we affirm that this is the good, don't we?"
"Yes."
"There would, therefore," I said, "be an art of this turning around, concerned with the way in which this power can most easily
and efficiently be turned around, not an art of producing sight in it. Rather, this art takes as given that sight is there, but not rightly turned nor looking at what it ought to look at, and accomplishes this object. (518b-d).
You lack the self-awareness to see that you make the exact mistake that Plato is correcting. When you talk about “the perennial teaching that has always existed”, “objective meaning and purpose”, and a “higher reality” these are things that have been put in your mind, not things that your soul has been turned around to see.

The distinction between what is heard and what is seen is a well known distinction between religion/revelation and philosophy. You take what you are told and imagine they are things you have seen or know or that you have the potential to see or know. That is not philosophical education, it is indoctrination.

fooloso4
Posts: 246
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 4:42 pm

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by fooloso4 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:40 am

A bit more on the turning around of the soul. The discussion of education begins with the prisoners bound to the cave wall unable to turn around. When one is released and is able to turn what he sees are the makers of the images and how they made them. You have not been able to turn around to see the image makers who have made the images you take to be real.

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 4215
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by Greta » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:02 am

.
Last edited by Greta on Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Nick_A
Posts: 3480
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by Nick_A » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:45 pm

fooloso4 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:18 am
Nick:
“[Education] isn’t the craft of putting sight into the soul. Education takes for granted that sight is there but that it isn’t turned the right way or looking where it ought to look, and it tries to redirect it appropriately.”
(The Republic, Book VII)

You either get it or you don't.
And it is evident that you don’t. It looks like you got the quote here:
“[Education] isn’t the craft of putting sight into the soul. Education takes for granted that sight is there but that it isn’t turned the right way or looking where it ought to look, and it tries to redirect it appropriately.”
(The Republic, Book VII) https://medium.com/@amandasong/turning- ... 0e4d361db1
rather than from the text itself.

From the Bloom translation:
"Then, if this is true," I said, "we must hold the following about: these things: education is not what the professions of certain men assert it to be. They presumably assert that they put into the soul knowledge that isn't in it, as though they were putting sight into blind eyes."
"Yes," he said, "they do indeed assert that."
"But the present argument, on the other hand," I said, "indicates that this power is in the soul of each, and that the instrument with
which each learns—just as an eye is not able to turn toward the light from the dark without the whole body—must be turned around from
that which is coming into being together with the whole soul until it is able to endure looking at that which is and the brightest part of that which is. And we affirm that this is the good, don't we?"
"Yes."
"There would, therefore," I said, "be an art of this turning around, concerned with the way in which this power can most easily
and efficiently be turned around, not an art of producing sight in it. Rather, this art takes as given that sight is there, but not rightly turned nor looking at what it ought to look at, and accomplishes this object. (518b-d).
You lack the self-awareness to see that you make the exact mistake that Plato is correcting. When you talk about “the perennial teaching that has always existed”, “objective meaning and purpose”, and a “higher reality” these are things that have been put in your mind, not things that your soul has been turned around to see.

The distinction between what is heard and what is seen is a well known distinction between religion/revelation and philosophy. You take what you are told and imagine they are things you have seen or know or that you have the potential to see or know. That is not philosophical education, it is indoctrination.
At one time in my life I was fortunate to experienced metanoia or this turning towards the light Plato wrote of. It changed everything for me. I understand why the concept must be hated by secularists but at the same time I know the value of experiencing the third dimension of thought for those open to the experience. I know why some are attracted to spirit killing and the harm it does. I learn from you the nature of resistance to what is natural for the human essence so I support efforts to protect the young from spirit killing and at the same time support what is necessary to open the mind. It is that simple.

Do you know the difference between the light of the fire in the cave and the light of the sun coming from outside the cave? Do you know why the whole body must turn towards the light and how it pertains to education? If you don't, how can you expect to understand what was written?

Nick_A
Posts: 3480
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by Nick_A » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:12 pm

Greta
No, SW was a person following an unusual life path. What's wrong with that? It doesn't mean one has to believe everything she says. Your assumptions about "professional help" are mildly amusing, but lack basis or merit.
SW was following a path with the goal to become human. This is clearly unacceptable. You could say that both Jesus and Socrates followed a path with the goal of becoming human. This is too offensive to be tolerated so they had to be killed. There is nothing more offensive to society or the Great Beast than the need to become human.

You shouldn’t believe what those like Simone have written. You should intellectually doubt. You should feel the contradiction so as to invite the experience of noesis to reconcile the contradictions. But it is easier to just to condemn Trump and avoid the whole situation. Practice emotional denial. It sustains self justification for those needing to remain closed to the reality of the human condition.

SW is called the Patron Saint of Outsiders because of her relationship with the Catholic Church. She knew that in the beginning it expressed something pure and valuable for the human essence. But over time it devolved and became its opposite. Those who understand this became outsiders. They know the value but cannot become part of the corruption. Simone was that way and became the Patron Saint of Outsiders.

fooloso4
Posts: 246
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 4:42 pm

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by fooloso4 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:48 pm

Nick:
At one time in my life I was fortunate to experienced metanoia or this turning towards the light Plato wrote of. It changed everything for me.
Your experience may have been a conversion but is not what Socrates describes here as a philosophic education. You did not see the Forms themselves or the Good itself. You do not know the truth of the whole from arche to telos, from beginning to end. You simply spout what you have heard from others. It may have changed you but you are still ignorant of your ignorance. You mistake your opinions, the shadows on the cave walls of your mind, for something real. Perhaps someday you will have another conversion experience and come to see that you are living in the cave of your own imagination.

We have been through all this before. You imagine you know what you do not know. No one can make you see that, but perhaps someday you will. You can continue to cycle through the same worn out arguments with your back turned toward the source of your imagined reality, seeing only the things others have put into your mind, but I have no interest in going through this yet again.

Nick_A
Posts: 3480
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by Nick_A » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:45 pm

fooloso4 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:48 pm
Nick:
At one time in my life I was fortunate to experienced metanoia or this turning towards the light Plato wrote of. It changed everything for me.
Your experience may have been a conversion but is not what Socrates describes here as a philosophic education. You did not see the Forms themselves or the Good itself. You do not know the truth of the whole from arche to telos, from beginning to end. You simply spout what you have heard from others. It may have changed you but you are still ignorant of your ignorance. You mistake your opinions, the shadows on the cave walls of your mind, for something real. Perhaps someday you will have another conversion experience and come to see that you are living in the cave of your own imagination.

We have been through all this before. You imagine you know what you do not know. No one can make you see that, but perhaps someday you will. You can continue to cycle through the same worn out arguments with your back turned toward the source of your imagined reality, seeing only the things others have put into your mind, but I have no interest in going through this yet again.
Turning towards the light doesn't mean seeing the GOOD. It means having the experience of the third dimension of thought. Those like you, living in flat land, fixated on the shadows and seeking to derive human meaning from the shadows dominate the secular world and assure that collective human condition will remain as it is. I support the potential human beings who will survive the influence of spirit killing. We have different pursuits. The goal of Platonic education is one of the means for experiencing what it means to become human.

Nick_A
Posts: 3480
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by Nick_A » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:10 pm

Continuing with the Ubersax link on the Divided Line we come to the section on Dilectic:
Dialectic

As Plato explains in Book 7 (7.532e ff.), it is by dialectic that we rise from the cave of ignorance to noesis. By dialectic the eye of the soul, which, as in the Orphic myth, is otherwise buried in a slough of mud, is by her gentle aid lifted upwards (7.533c-d).

For Plato, dialectic is more than logical analysis. It is a focusing of ones attention and intentions on the search for and reconnection with Truth. It coincides with a turning away from sensual pleasure as the organizing principle of ones thought life.

In a broad sense dialectic might include any activity by which, through the exertion of one's intellect and will, greater mental sharpness occurs. Plato does seem to suggest that this mental ability can be improved by the study of mathematics (and also of music, gymnastics, and astronomy — or whatever these serve as allegories for in Book 7).

Dialectic is a topic of central importance to Plato, and he also discusses it throughout his other dialogues (e.g., Meno, Parmenides, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Philebus, Sophist, Statesman, and Theaetetus).

The late Neoplatonist, Proclus, in a famous passage of his commentary on the Parmenides, describes three different forms — or, as he calls them energies — of dialectic: (1) arguing both sides of an issue; (2) trying to uncover truth; and (3) refutation of a false view (In Parm. 653; Morrow & Dillon, p. 43f; cf. section 989).

Specific Platonic/Socratic techniques for the second of Proclus' categories include collection (gathering together of similar examples), division (seeking principles which distinguish some examples from others), and the method of hypothesis (exploring the implications of a hypothesis). For further details see Benson (2010), Kinney (1983), Robinson (1953), etc.

Note that the very effort to define dialectic and discover its essence is a form of dialectic.
The process of indoctrination forces the desired conclusions. The process of thought according to Platonic education is taught in a way that opens the mind. Instead of a student being conditioned to define right and wrong they are invited to impartially experience all sides and the contradictions they create. We can observe even on a philosophy site for example the aim is argument as opposed to understanding. It is the way of the cave.

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 4215
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by Greta » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:42 pm

.
Last edited by Greta on Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

fooloso4
Posts: 246
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 4:42 pm

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by fooloso4 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:54 pm

Nick:
Turning towards the light doesn't mean seeing the GOOD.
If one follows Plato, turning toward the light means being temporarily blinded by it. It is only with time that one is first able to see anything at all. The good is the last thing seen. Prior to this what one sees is what each thing is itself. If you have not seen what each thing is and cannot say what each thing is in itself then you don’t have the Platonic education you chant slogans about.
It means having the experience of the third dimension of thought.
Where does Plato say this?
The goal of Platonic education is one of the means for experiencing what it means to become human.
Where does Plato say this?
Continuing with the Ubersax link on the Divided Line we come to the section on Dilectic:
More of what you have been told. If one wants to know what Plato says about dialectic read Plato. Let’s look once again at what Plato himself has to say.

What you miss in your story of turning toward the light is that Plato insists that it is only through dialectic that this occurs:
"... only the dialectical way of inquiry proceeds in this direction, destroying the hypotheses, to the beginning itself in order to make it secure; and when the eye of the soul is really buried in a d barbaric bog, dialectic gently draws it forth and leads it up above, using the arts we described as assistants and helpers in the turning around. (533d)
Now is should be clear that you have not completed the dialectical journey and so despite what you imagine you have not been turned around, you are buried in a barbaric bog.
"And do you also call that man dialectical who grasps the reason for the being of each thing? And, as for the man who isn't able to do so, to the extent he's not able to give an account of a thing to himself and another, won't you deny that he has intelligence with respect to it?"

"How could I affirm that he does?" he said.

"Isn't it also the same with the good? Unless a man is able to separate out the idea of the good from all other things and distinguish it
in the argument, and, going through every test, as it were in battle—eager to meet the test of being rather than that of opinion—he comes through all this with the argument still on its feet; you will deny that such a man knows the good itself, or any other good? And if he somehow lays hold of some phantom of it, you will say that he does so by opinion and not knowledge, and that, taken in by dreams and slumbering out his present life, before waking up here he goes to Hades and falls finally asleep there?" (534b-c)
If it is still not clear to you that you are in no way suited to provide, let alone understand what a Platonic education is, or dialectic entails:
"Then will you set it down as a law to them that they pay special attention to the education on the basis of which they will be able to question and answer most knowledgeably?" (534d)
Are you prepared to do this? Can you question and answer most knowledgeably about what is at the beginning free of hypothesis? Can you give an account of the reason for the being of each thing?

One more point. Following the statement about the assistants and helpers of dialectic in the turning around:
Out of habit we called them kinds of knowledge several times, but they require another name, one that is brighter than opinion but dimmer than knowledge. Thought was, I believe, the word by which we previously distinguished it. But, in my opinion, there is no place for dispute about a name when a consideration is about things so great as those lying before us." (532d)
It is easy to miss what is going on here. What he is suggesting is that it is by thought that we are able to free ourselves from thought. But it has been made clear that we cannot think our way free of thought, we cannot exceed its limits. Dianoia does not lead to noesis.

Glaucon asked what is known by the power of dialectic. Socrates answer is:
"You will no longer be able to follow, my dear Glaucon," I said, "although there wouldn't be any lack of eagerness on my part. But you
would no longer be seeing an image of what we are saying, but rather the truth itself, at least as it looks to me. Whether it is really so or not can no longer be properly insisted on. (533a)
It would be one thing for Socrates to say that Glaucon cannot know via thought and images what can only be grasped noetically, but since Socrates cannot attest to the truth, only what it looks like to him, he does not possess noetic knowledge via dialectic. What something looks like is an image of the thing. Socrates like the rest of us must rely on reasoned deliberation regarding seems to be true.

Until you learn this you have learned nothing about a Platonic education.

Nick_A
Posts: 3480
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by Nick_A » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:28 pm

Greta wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:42 pm
Nick_A wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:12 pm
Greta
No, SW was a person following an unusual life path. What's wrong with that? It doesn't mean one has to believe everything she says. Your assumptions about "professional help" are mildly amusing, but lack basis or merit.
SW was following a path with the goal to become human. This is clearly unacceptable. You could say that both Jesus and Socrates followed a path with the goal of becoming human. This is too offensive to be tolerated so they had to be killed. There is nothing more offensive to society or the Great Beast than the need to become human.
Whoops, your persecution complex is showing!

People follow their various paths. I'm not like you. I don't see my life as one where I am competing for status based on how "human" I can be, lionising some and denigrating others. The "in crowd" and "out crowd". All life forms simply do the best they can with what they have.

For me, the reward of philosophising does not lie in status, recognition or bragging rights, eg. intimating that one is "more human" than others'. The reward is internal, not social or political. I have no wish or need to be above others, to be "fully human" if it means spending my life throwing contempt at those seen as "less human".
Simone Weil and Thomas Merton were born in France 6 years apart - 1909 and 1915 respectively. Weil died shortly after Merton entered the Abbey of Gethsemani. It is unclear whether Weil knew of Merton, but Merton records being asked to review a biography of Weil (Simone Weil: A Fellowship in Love, Jacques Chabaud, 1964) and was challenged and inspired by her writing. “Her non-conformism and mysticism are essential elements in our time and without her contribution we remain not human.”
You've missed the point. You want to argue. It is the secular progressives who consider themselves superior. When a person comes to experience that like Socrates they know nothing, what is there to condemn? When a person realizes they are an idiot, what sense is calling another idiot an idiot. We are all idiots in Pato's cave.It isn't a matter of a person comparing themselves to others. It is the realization through philosophy and the essence of religion that we, ourselves, are not human but with the conscious potential to become human. Certain special people have the ability to communicate this from their being. Simone had that ability. Since she wrote from her being and not from her head, she could pass along a spark. She could communicate a quality of understanding you deny.
"There neither is nor ever will be a treatise of mine on the subject [of a certain teaching]. For it does not admit of exposition like other branches of knowledge; but after much converse about the matter itself and a life lived together, suddenly a light, as it were, is kindled in one soul by a flame that leaps to it from another, and thereafter sustains itself.” Plato, Seventh Letter

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 4215
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by Greta » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:30 am

.
Last edited by Greta on Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Nick_A
Posts: 3480
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by Nick_A » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:05 am

F4
N. It means having the experience of the third dimension of thought.

F. Where does Plato say this?
He doesn’t use the term but speaks of ascent. What does it mean to ascend? Can you agree that it is a vertical movement as opposed to the horizontal life of duality. Simone Weil provides a good description of the third dimension of thought in her criticism of algebra.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/06/2 ... ve-of-god/
“What makes the abyss between twentieth-century science and that of previous centuries is the different role of algebra. In physics algebra was at first simply a process for summarizing the relations, established by reasoning based on experiment, between the ideas of physics; an extremely convenient process for the numerical calculations necessary for their verification and application. But its role has continually increased in importance until finally, whereas algebra was once the auxiliary language and words the essential one, it is now exactly the other way round. There are even some physicists who tend to make algebra the sole language, or almost, so that in the end, an unattainable end of course, there would be nothing except figures derived form experimental measurements, and letters, combined in formulae. Now, ordinary language and algebraic language are not subject to the same logical requirement; relations between ideas are not fully represented by relations between letters; and, in particular, incompatible assertions may have equational equivalents which are by no means incompatible. When some relations between ideas have been translated into algebra and the formulae have been manipulated solely according to the numerical data of the experiment and the laws proper to algebra, results may be obtained which, when retranslated into spoken language, are a violent contradiction of common sense.”

Weil argues that this creates an incomplete and, in its incompleteness, illusory representation of reality — even when it bisects the planes of mathematical data and common sense, such science leaves out the unquantifiable layer of meaning:

If the algebra of physicists gives the impression of profundity it is because it is entirely flat; the third dimension of thought is missing.

That third dimension is that of meaning — one concerned with notions like “the human soul, freedom, consciousness, the reality of the external world.” (Three decades later, Hannah Arendt — another of the twentieth century’s most piercing and significant minds — would memorably contemplate the crucial difference between truth and meaning, the former being the material of science and the latter of philosophy.)
To ascend in the direction of the Good is the ascent towards meaning. It is the vertical psychological movement from fragmentation in the direction of wholeness reconciling fragmentation. Without the inner experience of this third dimension of thought which enables the experience of connecting levels of reality, we remain blind to the experience of objective meaning. Conscience is replaced by transient morality and secular indoctrination.

The goal of Platonic education should be to unite truth and meaning. The world must reject it since being closed to the third dimension of thought it is limited to making life tolerable through imagination. Instead of freedom from cave life the puppet masters creating the shadows make cave life tolerable through imagination
The goal of Platonic education is one of the means for experiencing what it means to become human.

Where does Plato say this?


Again he doesn’t say it, he invites you to realize it. For example in the chariot analogy can we truly be human if the lower parts of our collective souls are like the corrupted dark horse? There is no connection between the white horse and the dark horse. If not, how can we be truly human?

In the section on ascents, Ubersax provides how the vertical direction develops from pure imagination to noesis. He provides a useful chart so a person can understand this intellectual process.

Do you deny the relationship between dianoia and noesis as described:
Noesis: Higher Reason; direct apprehension or intuition of moral, logical, relational, or religious first principles

Dianoia: discursive thought; ratiocination; lower reason
Where noesis is direct apprehension dianoia is lower reason

Dianoi is the intellectual path leading to noesis. You seem to believe there is nothing higher than dianoia. Is that true?

To ascend in the direction of meaning cannot be limited to the dialectic. Platonic education would include experiencing other means of ascent denied in progressive education in favor of head indoctrination necessary to create “snowflakes” for example.
In his dialogues Plato presents three methods of ascent to the Good (see Plotinus, Enneads 1.3). In the Republic there is the ascent of dialectic. In the Symposium, there is the famous ascent by Love of Beauty. The Phaedrus, especially in the Chariot Allegory, describes the ascent by Moral Virtue (harmonia). These three methods first ascend to the second-highest tier of Forms: Truth, Beauty, and Justice, respectively. One may then ascend higher to their common essence, the Form of the Good, or Goodness itself.

Are there other avenues? Plato's emphasis on just these three certainly doesn't rule out the existence of more. Could prayer and religious ritual, for example, comprise another? What about yoga? Communing with nature? The practice of charity?
Those interested in this question of the divided line and how it relates to education are entering uncharted territory. Those who feel there is tremendous value being lost in modern society and education which feeds the loss, have an obligation to keep the alternatives alive in the world. I support all those who help remind us of what it means to be human and why we are not truly human.

The true seeker of truth is in an unenviable position. The world is against them. Not an easy place to be.

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 4215
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by Greta » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:44 am

.
Last edited by Greta on Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Logik
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:48 pm

Re: Progressive vs Platonic Education

Post by Logik » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:41 am

The search for one’s Humanity is just on the other side of recognising language and words themselves as Platonic forms. Structure.

The Good can only be experienced, not described.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests