Enthusiasm

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AtariKo
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Enthusiasm

Post by AtariKo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:06 pm

In Plato’s Ion, we find Socrates conversing with the poet and rhapsode Ion. Ion has just won first prize at the festival of Asclepius, and his arrogance is on full display:
I think I speak more beautifully than anyone else about Homer; neither Metrodorus... nor Stesimbrotus... nor Glaucon nor anyone else past or present could offer as many beautiful thoughts about Homer as I can... Really, Socrates, it’s worth hearing how well I’ve got Homer dressed up. I think I’m worthy to be crowned by the Sons of Homer [a renowned guild of poets] with a golden crown. (530d)
And again:
I speak about Homer more beautifully than anybody else and I have lots to say; and everybody says I do it well. (533c)
Now what does Ion have to be arrogant about? As noted above, he’s a rhapsode, that is, he’s someone who memorizes and recites poetry. But it’s not just any kind of poetry he recites: he memorizes and recites the most famous and renowned of Greek poets: Homer.

This is significant. The Homeric corpus is the closest thing to a biblical text that the ancient Greeks had. No doubt you’ve read some of the Iliad and the Odyssey, perhaps in high school, and there you’ll recall we learn of the tales of gods and men, of Agamemnon, Achilles, Paris, Penelope, and so on. We learn of the seige of Troy and of Odysseus‘s perilous journey home.

A recurring theme throughout these works — indeed, the dominant theme — is the danger and consequences of excessive self-confidence. According to Homer, and to the later Greek culture that he so powerfully influenced, the great threat facing the human race was hubris.

So Ion specializes in a religious text. You might view Ion as you would a priest, or a pastor, or a theologian (although he’s not strictly any of these). And he’s arrogant because he’s the one who speaks most beautifully about Homer.

What’s involved in speaking beautifully about Homer? Well, he says that he “has a lot to say” on the topic, and that he’s received the approval and praise of those around him. He also assumes that speaking beautifully involves knowing Homer well (530c). (We’ve hit a pivotal contrast in Plato, that between appearance and reality. But more next time.)

Leave it to Socrates to unhinge all of this. Consider Ion’s claim to know in the context of another one of Plato’s dialogues, the Meno. Socrates is conversing with Meno, who like Ion has the “habit of answering… fearlessly” and in the “style of men who know” (70c). These are interesting expressions: Ion and Meno answer fearlessly. They’re overconfident. The answer is obvious. They answer as if they know, with the implication of course being that they don’t. (Every time I read this passage in the Meno I can’t help but think of political pundits — Ben Ferguson answers fearlessly, and that’s not a compliment.)

Meno is soon befuddled by Socrates’s questioning. He compares Socrates to a stingray, a danger to Mediterranean swinmers, saying that Socrates has managed to numb and paralyze him with his incessant questioning. (Socrates grants the analogy only if we also concede that the stingray numbs himself. The explanation of this will be apparent in the next post). What he previously took for granted and as obvious is now up for grabs.

Likewise, Socrates is about to numb Ion. In response to Ion’s claim that he speaks and knows Homer the best, Socrates retorts:
[T]hat’s not a subject you’ve mastered — speaking well about Homer; it’s a divine power that moves you, as a “Magnetic” stone moves iron rings... This stone not only pulls those rings, if they’re iron, it also puts power in the rings, so that they in turn can do just what the stone does — pull other rings — so that there’s sometimes a very long chain of iron pieces and rings hanging from one another. And the power in all of them depends on this stone. In the same way, the Muse makes some people inspired herself, and then through those who are inspired a chain of other enthusiasts is suspended. You know, none of the epic poets, if they’re good, are masters of their subject; they are inspired, possessed, and that is how they utter all those beautiful poems. (533d-e)
This is breathtaking. Ion knows nothing. He hasn’t mastered Homer. He thinks he has, but he hasn’t. Instead of having mastered Homer, Ion is “possessed” or “inspired” — he’s an enthusiast. The iron rings cannot in themselves attract other iron rings (they lack that power in themselves), but a magnet can impart it to them. So too Ion lacks understanding (he himself is no expert of Homer), but, if he has some power to impart, it’s only because it’s been given to him from the gods.

Ion is an enthusiast. He speaks well, but knows nothing. He claims to know, but he’s ignorant. He has a power to move people, because his power is based on emotion, not truth. He’s emotionally intoxicated. (It’s no coincidence that an ion in chemistry is a particle that is electrically charged. Now does Socrates view Ion as an anion or cation?)

Thus enthusiasm is believing something because one believes that one is divinely inspired. It’s not the product of reason or a sincere search for truth, although enthusiasts may claim as much. In what follows, I shall often extend this use to believing anything that isn’t based on a sincere search for truth, whether the divine factors in or not.

So Socrates claims that Ion knows nothing (of significance with respect to Homer). Is he merely making a clarification, or is he making a more substantive claim? I think it’s the latter. I can’t help but detect a bit of sarcasm in the dialogue’s ending. It proceeds:
Socrates: But if you’re not a master of your subject, if you’re possessed by a divine gift from Homer, so that you make many lovely speeches about the poet without knowing anything — as I said about you — then you’re not doing me wrong. So choose, how do you want us to think of you — as a man who does wrong, or as someone divine?
Ion: There’s a great difference, Socrates. It’s much lovelier to be thought divine.
Socrates: Then that is how we shall think of you, Ion, the lovelier way: it’s as someone divine, and not as a master of a profession, that you are a singer of Homer’s praises. (542a-b).


Should we view Ion as human or divine? This gets at another big distinction Plato, and it doesn’t bode well for Ion. That next time.

------------

Please feel free to comment; I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you found this interesting, feel free to check out some follow up posts at my new home, which will be available soon. I'll post them here too. As I mentioned in the "Introduce Yourself" section, I'm a soon-to-be Ph.D. in Philosophy, and I've been teaching it for seven years or so. I love engaging with a nonacademic audience, however, so let me know you're thoughts if you're not a professional philosopher.

All the best,

--- Xan Bozzo

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Eodnhoj7
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Re: Enthusiasm

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:02 pm

AtariKo wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:06 pm
In Plato’s Ion, we find Socrates conversing with the poet and rhapsode Ion. Ion has just won first prize at the festival of Asclepius, and his arrogance is on full display:
I think I speak more beautifully than anyone else about Homer; neither Metrodorus... nor Stesimbrotus... nor Glaucon nor anyone else past or present could offer as many beautiful thoughts about Homer as I can... Really, Socrates, it’s worth hearing how well I’ve got Homer dressed up. I think I’m worthy to be crowned by the Sons of Homer [a renowned guild of poets] with a golden crown. (530d)
And again:
I speak about Homer more beautifully than anybody else and I have lots to say; and everybody says I do it well. (533c)
Now what does Ion have to be arrogant about? As noted above, he’s a rhapsode, that is, he’s someone who memorizes and recites poetry. But it’s not just any kind of poetry he recites: he memorizes and recites the most famous and renowned of Greek poets: Homer.

This is significant. The Homeric corpus is the closest thing to a biblical text that the ancient Greeks had. No doubt you’ve read some of the Iliad and the Odyssey, perhaps in high school, and there you’ll recall we learn of the tales of gods and men, of Agamemnon, Achilles, Paris, Penelope, and so on. We learn of the seige of Troy and of Odysseus‘s perilous journey home.

A recurring theme throughout these works — indeed, the dominant theme — is the danger and consequences of excessive self-confidence. According to Homer, and to the later Greek culture that he so powerfully influenced, the great threat facing the human race was hubris.

So Ion specializes in a religious text. You might view Ion as you would a priest, or a pastor, or a theologian (although he’s not strictly any of these). And he’s arrogant because he’s the one who speaks most beautifully about Homer.

What’s involved in speaking beautifully about Homer? Well, he says that he “has a lot to say” on the topic, and that he’s received the approval and praise of those around him. He also assumes that speaking beautifully involves knowing Homer well (530c). (We’ve hit a pivotal contrast in Plato, that between appearance and reality. But more next time.)

Leave it to Socrates to unhinge all of this. Consider Ion’s claim to know in the context of another one of Plato’s dialogues, the Meno. Socrates is conversing with Meno, who like Ion has the “habit of answering… fearlessly” and in the “style of men who know” (70c). These are interesting expressions: Ion and Meno answer fearlessly. They’re overconfident. The answer is obvious. They answer as if they know, with the implication of course being that they don’t. (Every time I read this passage in the Meno I can’t help but think of political pundits — Ben Ferguson answers fearlessly, and that’s not a compliment.)

Meno is soon befuddled by Socrates’s questioning. He compares Socrates to a stingray, a danger to Mediterranean swinmers, saying that Socrates has managed to numb and paralyze him with his incessant questioning. (Socrates grants the analogy only if we also concede that the stingray numbs himself. The explanation of this will be apparent in the next post). What he previously took for granted and as obvious is now up for grabs.

Likewise, Socrates is about to numb Ion. In response to Ion’s claim that he speaks and knows Homer the best, Socrates retorts:
[T]hat’s not a subject you’ve mastered — speaking well about Homer; it’s a divine power that moves you, as a “Magnetic” stone moves iron rings... This stone not only pulls those rings, if they’re iron, it also puts power in the rings, so that they in turn can do just what the stone does — pull other rings — so that there’s sometimes a very long chain of iron pieces and rings hanging from one another. And the power in all of them depends on this stone. In the same way, the Muse makes some people inspired herself, and then through those who are inspired a chain of other enthusiasts is suspended. You know, none of the epic poets, if they’re good, are masters of their subject; they are inspired, possessed, and that is how they utter all those beautiful poems. (533d-e)
This is breathtaking. Ion knows nothing. He hasn’t mastered Homer. He thinks he has, but he hasn’t. Instead of having mastered Homer, Ion is “possessed” or “inspired” — he’s an enthusiast. The iron rings cannot in themselves attract other iron rings (they lack that power in themselves), but a magnet can impart it to them. So too Ion lacks understanding (he himself is no expert of Homer), but, if he has some power to impart, it’s only because it’s been given to him from the gods.

Ion is an enthusiast. He speaks well, but knows nothing. He claims to know, but he’s ignorant. He has a power to move people, because his power is based on emotion, not truth. He’s emotionally intoxicated. (It’s no coincidence that an ion in chemistry is a particle that is electrically charged. Now does Socrates view Ion as an anion or cation?)

Thus enthusiasm is believing something because one believes that one is divinely inspired. It’s not the product of reason or a sincere search for truth, although enthusiasts may claim as much. In what follows, I shall often extend this use to believing anything that isn’t based on a sincere search for truth, whether the divine factors in or not.

So Socrates claims that Ion knows nothing (of significance with respect to Homer). Is he merely making a clarification, or is he making a more substantive claim? I think it’s the latter. I can’t help but detect a bit of sarcasm in the dialogue’s ending. It proceeds:
Socrates: But if you’re not a master of your subject, if you’re possessed by a divine gift from Homer, so that you make many lovely speeches about the poet without knowing anything — as I said about you — then you’re not doing me wrong. So choose, how do you want us to think of you — as a man who does wrong, or as someone divine?
Ion: There’s a great difference, Socrates. It’s much lovelier to be thought divine.
Socrates: Then that is how we shall think of you, Ion, the lovelier way: it’s as someone divine, and not as a master of a profession, that you are a singer of Homer’s praises. (542a-b).


Should we view Ion as human or divine? This gets at another big distinction Plato, and it doesn’t bode well for Ion. That next time.

------------

Please feel free to comment; I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you found this interesting, feel free to check out some follow up posts at my new home, which will be available soon. I'll post them here too. As I mentioned in the "Introduce Yourself" section, I'm a soon-to-be Ph.D. in Philosophy, and I've been teaching it for seven years or so. I love engaging with a nonacademic audience, however, so let me know you're thoughts if you're not a professional philosopher.

All the best,

--- Xan Bozzo

Ion's emphasis on the importance of emotion, embodied subjectively in his hubris, observes that with one great extreme comes a polar extreme that either cancels it out or synthesizes a further median.

Ion, by his very nature, was bound to meet a man like Socrates considering his extreme was bound to attract another extreme. In these respects the actions of Ion, are merely a medial point for further medial points. Ion's hubris is neutralized into a form of shame, through the synthetic dialogue he had with socrates.

A movement from one pole of materialistic hubris, to spiritual divinity occurs with socrates acting in one respect as a neutral median of questions and the extreme polar opposite of Ion in regards to the type of questions he poses.

Where hubris claims a truth, Socrates reacts through a dual question. Where hubris is befuddled into a form of shameful ignorance, Socrates observes statements of truth.

In these respects we can observe that truth exists through the inherent perspective of the users through a dual means. In one respect it is an extension of hubris, in a seperate respect it is an extension of the divine. In one respect its is silence under a weakened hubris, in another respect it is a question through an absence of hubris.

What we observe, through Ion, is a dual state of extreme hubris and weaken hubris embodied under the concept of "I". Ion's extreme hubris is made in his statements of truth, or maybe half truths, as the "I", while his silences observes the weakness of his own hubris.


Through Socrates, a dual state of no-hubris and a transcendence past the "I" is observed. Socrates absence of hubris is observed in the question, while his statement of divine truth (with socrates as the median) is a dual transencendence which acknowledges the hubris as what it is and allows it to be moved past itself.

What we observe in Ion is a High degree of Hubris and a Low Degree of Hubris.
What we observe in Socrates is an absence of Hubris (as a polar dual to Ion's hubris) and a transcendence past the hubris (by embodying Ion's hubris and moving past it).

In these respects what we observe of this dialogue is a dual set of duals which provides a matrix from which other dialogues, probably Plato, will be synthesized.

AtariKo
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Re: Enthusiasm

Post by AtariKo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:18 pm

Eodnhoj7 writes:
Ion's emphasis on the importance of emotion, embodied subjectively in his hubris, observes that with one great extreme comes a polar extreme that either cancels it out or synthesizes a further median.

Ion, by his very nature, was bound to meet a man like Socrates considering his extreme was bound to attract another extreme. In these respects the actions of Ion, are merely a medial point for further medial points. Ion's hubris is neutralized into a form of shame, through the synthetic dialogue he had with socrates.

A movement from one pole of materialistic hubris, to spiritual divinity occurs with socrates acting in one respect as a neutral median of questions and the extreme polar opposite of Ion in regards to the type of questions he poses.

Where hubris claims a truth, Socrates reacts through a dual question. Where hubris is befuddled into a form of shameful ignorance, Socrates observes statements of truth.

In these respects we can observe that truth exists through the inherent perspective of the users through a dual means. In one respect it is an extension of hubris, in a seperate respect it is an extension of the divine. In one respect its is silence under a weakened hubris, in another respect it is a question through an absence of hubris.

What we observe, through Ion, is a dual state of extreme hubris and weaken hubris embodied under the concept of "I". Ion's extreme hubris is made in his statements of truth, or maybe half truths, as the "I", while his silences observes the weakness of his own hubris.

Through Socrates, a dual state of no-hubris and a transcendence past the "I" is observed. Socrates absence of hubris is observed in the question, while his statement of divine truth (with socrates as the median) is a dual transencendence which acknowledges the hubris as what it is and allows it to be moved past itself.

What we observe in Ion is a High degree of Hubris and a Low Degree of Hubris.
What we observe in Socrates is an absence of Hubris (as a polar dual to Ion's hubris) and a transcendence past the hubris (by embodying Ion's hubris and moving past it).

In these respects what we observe of this dialogue is a dual set of duals which provides a matrix from which other dialogues, probably Plato, will be synthesized.
Say what? :D

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Re: Enthusiasm

Post by -1- » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:39 am

My earlier reply disappeared. I have no clue why. If this disappears, I'll quit the site.

Ahem. Socrates' argument can be turned against himself. He explained Ion's alleged talent as an appendix of a chain of talents borne of an original one, and as such, Socrates shows (or, rather, does not show, but asserts, and does so without any evidential proof) that Ion has no right to be proud of himself. Socrates juxtaposes "nice talk" about Homer vs. knowledge or wisdom, or rather, truth gained from Homer, and S puts a merit badge on truth-seeking and discounts artistic originality of reciting Homer. Plus, he discredits artistic originality of recitation, as according to Socrates it has nothing to do with seeking truth in Homer's verses.

However, S supplies no proof of this. He simply asserts it. It is his opinion.

A similar opinion founded on nothing, much like Socrtes's, can be asserted, on the same "logic". That is, someone can assert, and since proof is not required to be uttered by Socrates, this person can utter this without proof and get his utterance accpeted as truth, much like S did, the following:

This similar opinion in the same vein as Socrates's "reasoning" would say that seeking truth is not an original task; much like iron rings form a chain following a magnetic stone, reason and truth-seeking would not exist without truth being there first. Much like, therefore, Muses or Homer commands a chain of "hangers-on" who form the rings of the chain of nice talking, the people who seek truth are similarly unoriginal, uninspired, enthusiasts with hubris, because they don't create truth, they just follow it like some groupies follow a rock band.

But aside from providing a parallel reasoning that destroys the existence of original thought of reason in all of Socrates's intellectual endeavours, the biggest criticism of the Enthusiast argument by Socrates is that it stands without proof, it is a mere opinion, and yet everyone accepts it's true, on the sole strength that it had been uttered by Socrates.

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Re: Enthusiasm

Post by -1- » Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:47 am

AtariKo wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:18 pm
Say what? :D
Ask JohnDoe7 to put his argument in symbolic equational form.

You ain't seen nothing yet.

JohnDoe7, in my opinion, is either lightyears faster and smarter than me, or else the reason I don't understand his argument is that he speaks no reason.

But he does speak with well-thought-out reason. I put him twice to the task of breaking down his arguments into smaller steps, so I can follow his reasoning, and lo and behold, he produced flawless arguments that even I could understand.

JohnDoe7's problem is that he visualizes some argument, and he presents it in by humans incomprehensible fashion. But he ain't no slouch. If you ask him nicely, and precisely pointing out which part you need clarified, then he will lead you through his argument step-by step, in sizes of steps that mortal humans are capable of.

I don't know why, after months or even years of being ununderstood, he insists on leaving posts that don't communicate at all. They describe, and perhaps describe precisely, but they don't communicate.

And that's a shame.

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Re: Enthusiasm

Post by AtariKo » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:10 pm

-1- wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:39 am
My earlier reply disappeared. I have no clue why. If this disappears, I'll quit the site.

Ahem. Socrates' argument can be turned against himself. He explained Ion's alleged talent as an appendix of a chain of talents borne of an original one, and as such, Socrates shows (or, rather, does not show, but asserts, and does so without any evidential proof) that Ion has no right to be proud of himself. Socrates juxtaposes "nice talk" about Homer vs. knowledge or wisdom, or rather, truth gained from Homer, and S puts a merit badge on truth-seeking and discounts artistic originality of reciting Homer. Plus, he discredits artistic originality of recitation, as according to Socrates it has nothing to do with seeking truth in Homer's verses.

However, S supplies no proof of this. He simply asserts it. It is his opinion.

A similar opinion founded on nothing, much like Socrtes's, can be asserted, on the same "logic". That is, someone can assert, and since proof is not required to be uttered by Socrates, this person can utter this without proof and get his utterance accpeted as truth, much like S did, the following:

This similar opinion in the same vein as Socrates's "reasoning" would say that seeking truth is not an original task; much like iron rings form a chain following a magnetic stone, reason and truth-seeking would not exist without truth being there first. Much like, therefore, Muses or Homer commands a chain of "hangers-on" who form the rings of the chain of nice talking, the people who seek truth are similarly unoriginal, uninspired, enthusiasts with hubris, because they don't create truth, they just follow it like some groupies follow a rock band.

But aside from providing a parallel reasoning that destroys the existence of original thought of reason in all of Socrates's intellectual endeavours, the biggest criticism of the Enthusiast argument by Socrates is that it stands without proof, it is a mere opinion, and yet everyone accepts it's true, on the sole strength that it had been uttered by Socrates.
I’m not sure it’s quite right to say that Socrates begs the question, or assumes what he’s seeking to show. Most of the dialogue, as with them all, is Socrates bringing up inconsistencies in Ion’s account. So he does seem to show that Ion doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I don’t relate that here, but have a look at the dialogue to see what I mean.

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Re: Enthusiasm

Post by AtariKo » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:06 pm

Here's ("Athens Meets Jerusalem") the second entry in this series, if interested!

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Re: Enthusiasm

Post by -1- » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:54 pm

Dear AtariKo,

I respond to thread posts. I don't do outside reading.

If you present a case, please don't leave out important stuff. Otherwise your write will suffer.

This is not the first time this has come up.

I beg you to present a case in a reasonable way to show what you want to show, and not refer AFTER THE PRESENTATION to things said in other places.

I think I am fair in this request.

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Re: Enthusiasm

Post by AtariKo » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:54 pm

With all due respect Andrew, I find your patronizing tone unacceptable. My thread post was an elucidation of the phenomenon of enthusiasm in Plato’s dialogue Ion. Did I ever say that this was Socrates’s full defense? Did I even ever say that I agree with Socrates? I was introducing a concept — enthusiasm.

It seems to me that you’re the one making a judgment about Socrates’s defense in the entire dialogue without having ever read it, and indeed while refusing to read it.

I have been teaching philosophy at the university level for seven years. I have published in premier academic journals. I don’t need to be instructed by you about how to do research. So stop it.

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Re: Enthusiasm

Post by -1- » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:17 pm

AtariKo wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:54 pm
With all due respect Andrew, I find your patronizing tone unacceptable. My thread post was an elucidation of the phenomenon of enthusiasm in Plato’s dialogue Ion. Did I ever say that this was Socrates’s full defense? Did I even ever say that I agree with Socrates? I was introducing a concept — enthusiasm.

It seems to me that you’re the one making a judgment about Socrates’s defense in the entire dialogue without having ever read it, and indeed while refusing to read it.

I have been teaching philosophy at the university level for seven years. I have published in premier academic journals. I don’t need to be instructed by you about how to do research. So stop it.
Justis Christo.

Did I say you did not teach philosophy at the university level for seven whole long years? NO I did not say that.

Did I say you haven't published in premier academic journals? No I did not say it.

DID I INSTRUCT YOU HOW TO DO RESEARCH? NO I DID NOT.

I asked you to present a case without leaving out important stuff. This does nothing to do with research, with university, with premier publications.

I asked you to do this. You can refuse (and I sense you have). What's the big deal?

All of a sudden today everyone is propelling irrelevant stuff at me.

Did Socrates leave out important stuff in his arguments? No? Then why do you? An essay should be convincing on its own merit and content. If there are outside references, necessary to the understanding of the essay, then the essay should contain it, not posts after the essay's content has been criticized. This is common sense, and I think (although I have never published) it is also a requirement in academic publishing. It certainly was a requirement in my grade 12 essay writing class.

Maybe things have changed in academia in the last 45 years. Now people throw names around, and that's sufficient to be published. I don't know, it's only conjecture.

What was the point of your essay, AtariKo? This is not a rhetorical question. To prove Socrates right? You did not present a proof. To show your enthusiasm for Socrates? Yes, you did that, but is that enough content "yay, Socrates, rah, rah, rah" for a post on a philosophy website?

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Re: Enthusiasm

Post by AtariKo » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:54 pm

Act 1: AtariKo elucidates a concept in Plato (there's the answer to your question... again).

Act 2: Andrew claims Socrates's defense begs the question.

Act 3: AtariKo says there is a defense in the dialogue.

Now what's the proper response here? What does someone who can take disagreement do in this situation? '

Not this:

Act 4: Andrew scolds AtariKo for not presenting things "reasonably." He "begs" him not to do this anymore because this is SO frustrating. It's not the first time it's come up after all. He teaches him how to improve his writing.

Yep. That's the way to handle it.

Bye Andrew. I don't have time for you anymore. Sorry for blasting you with irrelevant stuff.

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Re: Enthusiasm

Post by Celebritydiscodave2 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:42 am

Enthusiasm requires a positive cause and effect history in order to exist at a healthy level in the present. This healthy level being neither too much nor too little of the commodity. Sufficient life experience eventually catches up with over enthusiasm.

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Re: Enthusiasm

Post by Eodnhoj7 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:01 pm

-1- wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:47 am
AtariKo wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:18 pm
Say what? :D
Ask JohnDoe7 to put his argument in symbolic equational form.

You ain't seen nothing yet.

JohnDoe7, in my opinion, is either lightyears faster and smarter than me, or else the reason I don't understand his argument is that he speaks no reason.

One man's fool is another man's genius. One man's genius is another's fool. The fool and the wise man share the same judgement, what differ's one from the other?

But he does speak with well-thought-out reason. I put him twice to the task of breaking down his arguments into smaller steps, so I can follow his reasoning, and lo and behold, he produced flawless arguments that even I could understand.

JohnDoe7's problem is that he visualizes some argument, and he presents it in by humans incomprehensible fashion. But he ain't no slouch. If you ask him nicely, and precisely pointing out which part you need clarified, then he will lead you through his argument step-by step, in sizes of steps that mortal humans are capable of.

The above sums it up, you don't even need to ask nicely...but ask you must. The simple truth is that I do not understand what is going on in the heads of other people, and vice versa. In all truth most people do not even understand what is going on in their own heads. That is the problem with the "axiom" in many respects, there is a subjective element akin to "randomness" that is inherent within its very nature.

So what is one logical chain to one person is merely a set of contradictions to another. The reason why? Contradiction is merely a deficiency in structure, nothing more nor less, and because structure both originates and ends in the "axiom" as the center point what we observe in many respects is merely a deficiency in our own awareness.

So what may appear as either "genius" or completely "foolish" is really a mix of both in some respect as any misunderstood piece of work is really contradictory in the sense it is either unfinished through the writer, the observer(s) or both. Hence the need for "questions" in the observation of truth, as questions provide the necessary unifying median that allows the synthesis between multiple axioms (or you could say observers).

We see this within the Socratic method as evidence by this Ph.d. thesis.




I don't know why, after months or even years of being ununderstood, he insists on leaving posts that don't communicate at all. They describe, and perhaps describe precisely, but they don't communicate.

And that's a shame.

Communicate to whom exactly?
To get back on course:

In regards to the Socrates/Ion dialogue what we observe is a universal principle called polarity. I will post a reading excerpt from one book I read, in the metaphysics section dealing with this subject for further clarity. One of the points, I was attempting to observe, is that in the course of all dialectics we observe the process of synthesis being the foundational element for all dialogues stemming back to the socratics and pre-socratics.

Now when the question of synthesis arises, the first recourse the modern philosopher moves towards is the Hegelian Dialectic. While Hegel and Fichte are synonymous with this process, its origins existed long before as a natural process which not only provides the foundation for all "arguments" but are also equated to an inherent process equivalent to "reproduction".

Opposites attract, much in the same manner as male and female, through a process of polarity which is universal amidst all structures (both physical and abstract) which are composed of and end in "space". Dialectics are part of this framework. The point I am trying to make is that in regards to the Socrates/Ion dialogue in many respects their dialogue is a natural process of reality, much in the same manner we observe reproductive cycles in nature or how certain mineral elements are more likely to attract eachother and form further elements.

Impenitent
Posts: 1760
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Enthusiasm

Post by Impenitent » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:33 am

AtariKo wrote:
Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:06 pm
...


Should we view Ion as human or divine? This gets at another big distinction Plato, and it doesn’t bode well for Ion. That next time.

------------

Please feel free to comment; I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you found this interesting, feel free to check out some follow up posts at my new home, which will be available soon. I'll post them here too. As I mentioned in the "Introduce Yourself" section, I'm a soon-to-be Ph.D. in Philosophy, and I've been teaching it for seven years or so. I love engaging with a nonacademic audience, however, so let me know you're thoughts if you're not a professional philosopher.

All the best,

--- Xan Bozzo
Ion claims that it is more lovely to be thought divine; yet neither he nor Socrates knows if that actually is the case.

Ion should be viewed as human - at least as human as Socrates. If Ion's actions or recitations are interpreted as divine, that is an extra qualification.

fearlessness should not be confused with confidence

if Ion's habitual recitations lead to a "perfection" of performance, is that necessarily divine? (as "knowledge" of said habit is Socratically impossible.)

"no victor believes in chance" - Nietzsche

-Imp

Celebritydiscodave2
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:52 pm

Re: Enthusiasm

Post by Celebritydiscodave2 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:07 pm

In philosophy it tends to be assumed that the only credible answers lie in a place seldom ever accessible by ordinary folk. This is its failing, for such a mentality creates a so called elite, a club, an institution if you will, where members are of single mind first and individuals only in after thought, and taking it there is still enough time. It is however an institution that in greater reality actually owns no part of philosophy at all. It is led by a succession of gods, sat in ivory towers, that have both themselves and their followers, of which I`m definitely not to be included,, believing only in them. It is the nearest process to brain washing I know.

They begin with a bias, complexity, and all bias tends one further rather than closer to actual truth. If the truth were genuinely out there chances are that mortgages would not get paid. Why, because philosophy would be understood by the masses, as it indeed could just as easily be. Philosophy and its progression, not that we see any progression, is never more than a little harder than straight forward answers, and the only true genius is indeed to be discovered in the midst of simplicity. If it cannot be communicated in a single line, perhaps two, no more, then it wont be remembered, or for that matter likely much read. Other of course than by members of its own already likely brain washed institution. The whole exercise, beyond teaching, would for purposes of application have been a virtual sterile one, such, it becomes a case of money for old rope. The students would do better training in the gym. Not quite, the degree might be money in the bank once again.

The measure for enthusiasm is to be discovered in terms of the number of times any individual will, in the wake of each set back, get up and give it another try. Enthusiasm cannot be measured in present time.

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