35 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2019
    1. You don't know. He's a nice enough guy, but he sure gets preachy.

      This really is an effective format, the fictional dialogue. Not unlike Plato's use of it.

    1. it, is much more Divine, lo Save a Soul from Dea1h

      Again the (Platonic) ranking of the spiritual over the physical.

    2. I-laving developed one's rational powers, one could then read as extensively (or not) as one wished.

      This reminds me of Plato's "Chariot Allegory:" the notion that the charioteer (logic, reason) attempts to drive and control the two horses (rational and irrational) toward the truth.

    1. But it would have been more difficult to have proved the superiority of the fonner, to the conviction of every by-stander.

      Even though there are those in the room who aren't fans of Plato, I'm reminded of his description of the philosopher here, where he likens the philosopher to the only one who understands navigation by the stars on a ship full of people. The other sailors laugh and deride the "stargazer," because he seems foolish to them. But of course, the philosophers are right and the sailors are wrong.

      Granted, this may just be a highly stylized and ancient form of "I'm rubber, you're glue."

  2. Jan 2019
    1. notebooks serving as memory aids. Their use as books of life, as guides for conduct

      Hm. So in the analogy above, does that mean "others" in a community serve as reminders of how not to live (in the case of non-ascetics) or how to live (other ascetics)?

      Plato wouldn't like that (Phaedrus, writing as destructive to memory).

  3. Dec 2018
    1. πῶς, φάναι, ὦ Ζήνων, τοῦτο λέγεις; εἰ πολλά ἐστι τὰ ὄντα, ὡς ἄρα δεῖ αὐτὰ ὅμοιά τε εἶναι καὶ ἀνόμοια, τοῦτο δὲ δὴ ἀδύνατον: οὔτε γὰρ τὰ ἀνόμοια ὅμοια οὔτε τὰ ὅμοια ἀνόμοια οἷόν τε εἶναι; οὐχ οὕτω λέγεις;

      Being is one

    1. The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradi- tion is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato

      But these footnotes are inscribed forms of thought. Plato is himself nothing but a series of written inscription - of which these footnotes are a part.

  4. Oct 2018
    1. All narratives of the origin take on a mythical turn, in that they speak what is: to speak what is qua what absolutely is, is always to endure Meno’s aporia, to which a positive answer cannot be given. For there to be, in becoming (there can be an origin only when becoming is; the question of origin could never arise in a world of being), something after all, for being to be itself always the same, for it to have an identity in essence, a threshold should not be crossed but experienced. This is the difficulty Rousseau will encounter in thinking originary man7 as what he is in his nature, before any determination by his becoming. This will also be the very difficulty of our question: the human / the technical. When do(es) the human / the technical begin and end?

      Stiegler: "When do(es) the human / the technical begin and end?"

    2. Responding to this question will lead Plato to the enunciation of what will inaugurate metaphysics: the myth of anamnesis. The myth ripostes to an aporia addressed by Meno to Socrates in his discourse on the essence: If you do not rely on experience, if this recourse is in principle impossible in your search for the essence, how will you look for something when you don’t in the least know what it is? How on earth are you going to set up something you don’t know as the object of your search? To put it another way, even if you come right up against it, how will you know that what have found is the thing you didn’t know? (Plato 1961, Meno, 80d) According to you, Meno, says Socrates, repeating the aporia to bring out the stakes, a man cannot try to discover either what he knows or what he does not know. He would not seek what he knows, for since he knows it there is no need of the inquiry, nor what he does not know, for in that case he does not even know what he is to look for. (80e) This aporia, crucial in the history of philosophy, sets out the very difficulty of a reflection on essence, on origin, on that whereby a thing begins to be. The stakes are incredibly high. “Aporia” means that if truth is truly something that is achieved, and achieved in dialogue, one cannot learn; there is therefore nothing new; one cannot say what is. A discourse of truth, which would not be a simple collection of facts but would unite dejure these facts in an essential unity that would speak their origin, such a discourse is a deception. Meno’s aporia, left unanswered, is the thoroughgoing victory of skepticism.

      Stiegler > Plato: Meno's "aporia" / "the myth of anamnesis" ||

  5. Sep 2018
    1. Although the Phaedrus also criticizes the rhetoric of the day,4 it explains what an art of rhetoric would be: the speech of the true rhetorician is based on knowledge of the soul and its different forms and of the kinds of speeches appropriate to eac

      Plato's version of rhetoric

    2. e. Rhetoric is the counterpart of cookery, Socrates says, for just as cookery provides pleasure for the body with no regard for what truly benefits it, rhetoric gratifies the soul without considering its good. Consequently, rhetoric is ignoble flattery rather than art, both because it aims at the pleasant and also because it cannot give a rational account of its own activity.

      Rhetoric as bad.

  6. May 2017
    1. The comic spirit is given to us in order that we may analyze, weigh, and clarify things in us that nettle us, or that we are outgrowing, or trying to reshape.

      Perhaps this helps us understand what Eryximachus says to Aristophanes in the Symposium about his comedy focing Eryximachus to be on guard against Aristophanes's speech (189a8-10).

  7. Apr 2017
    1. exists independently of all perspectives and points of view and the many truths

      Plato's idea of beauty?

    2. Most importantly for Fish, there is no place to stand that is outside some context and set of presuppositions.

      Is it in the Phaedrus where the conversation takes place outside the city walls?

  8. Mar 2017
    1. o field of study seemed for-eign to him, and his many books and articles are marked by his continuing enthusi-asm for psychology, linguistics, anthropology, information theory, and philosophy.

      Gor. Some answers, Socrates, are of necessity longer; but I will do my best to make them as short as possible; for a part of my profession is that I can be as short as any one.

      Soc. That is what is wanted, Gorgias; exhibit the shorter method now, and the longer one at some other time.

      Gor. Well, I will; and you will certainly say, that you never heard a man use fewer words.

      Soc. Very good then; as you profess to be a rhetorician, and a maker of rhetoricians, let me ask you, with what is rhetoric concerned: I might ask with what is weaving concerned, and you would reply (would you not?), with the making of garments?

      Gor. Yes.

      Soc. And music is concerned with the composition of melodies?

      Gor. It is.

      Soc. By Here, Gorgias, I admire the surpassing brevity of your answers.

      Gor. Yes, Socrates, I do think myself good at that.

      Soc. I am glad to hear it; answer me in like manner about rhetoric: with what is rhetoric concerned?

      Gor. With discourse.

      Soc. What sort of discourse, Gorgias?-such discourse as would teach the sick under what treatment they might get well?

      Gor. No.

      Soc. Then rhetoric does not treat of all kinds of discourse?

      Gor. Certainly not.

      Soc. And yet rhetoric makes men able to speak?

      Gor. Yes.

      Soc. And to understand that about which they speak?

      Gor. Of course.

      Soc. But does not the art of medicine, which we were just now mentioning, also make men able to understand and speak about the sick?

      Gor. Certainly.

      Soc. Then medicine also treats of discourse?

      Gor. Yes.

      Soc. Of discourse concerning diseases?

      Gor. Just so.

      Soc. And does not gymnastic also treat of discourse concerning the good or evil condition of the body?

      Gor. Very true.

      Soc. And the same, Gorgias, is true of the other arts:-all of them treat of discourse concerning the subjects with which they severally have to do.

      Gor. Clearly.

      Soc. Then why, if you call rhetoric the art which treats of discourse, and all the other arts treat of discourse, do you not call them arts of rhetoric?

      Gor. Because, Socrates, the knowledge of the other arts has only to do with some sort of external action, as of the hand; but there is no such action of the hand in rhetoric which works and takes effect only through the medium of discourse. And therefore I am justified in saying that rhetoric treats of discourse.

      Soc. I am not sure whether I entirely understand you, but I dare say I shall soon know better; please to answer me a question:-you would allow that there are arts?

      Gor. Yes.

      Soc. As to the arts generally, they are for the most part concerned with doing, and require little or no speaking; in painting, and statuary, and many other arts, the work may proceed in silence; and of such arts I suppose you would say that they do not come within the province of rhetoric.

      Gor. You perfectly conceive my meaning, Socrates.

  9. Feb 2017
    1. Because rhetoric tries to orient the audience toward a worldview, it is imperative for the study of rhetoric to identify and evaluate the controlling ideas (or "god-terms") on which the ethics of any discourse is based.

      Ah ha! So I guess this answers my question about the Burke reading. I had a hard time following the Burke, but Weaver's connection to Plato is obviously much clearer. (And Weaver in general is also much clearer.)

    1. For Burke, every epistemology has a key term, a "God-term," that names the fundamental ground of human action, as the name God does for religious epistemologies.

      This sort of sounds like the Platonic forms, but for human actions rather than objects. Are these ideas sort of analogous?

    1. This awakens the idea that, in addition to the leaves, there exists in nature the "leaf': the original model according to which all the leaves were perhaps woven, sketched, measured, col· ored, curled, and painted-but by incompetent hands, so that no specimen has turned out to be a correct, trustworthy, and faithful likeness of the original model.

      Does this almost harken back to Plato's Theory of Forms, or the idea that a perfect and original realization of a thing exists in a higher form beyond our grasp? Can we only see and know shadows of a thing (in this case, a leaf) and mere copies of our perception of that thing?

  10. Jan 2017
    1. memory is a link not just with earthly places but with those heavenly places where ideal fonns and true knowledge reside.

      How exactly was memory so powerful for Plato? This seems to be one of the biggest shifts from ancient rhetoric to modern rhetoric. In academia and rhetoric, it seems that memory isn't considered access to higher knowledge but more of a roadblock, just parroting other ideas rather than becoming truly innovative and a critical thinker.

  11. Sep 2016
    1. ‘Utopia’ is sometimes said to mean ‘no place,’ from the Greek ou-topos;

      The Ancient Greeks were depressingly pragmatic. The Elysian Fields was where heroes went when they died. However, they acknowledged that most went to Asphodel which was a place where souls just kind of existed. In Plato's Critias, he describes Atlantis. It's primary source of the legend. Though the society is supposed to be far superior to anything else in the Aegean world, it's never described as perfect. Beautiful, but never perfect. If the word 'utopia' did come from the Greeks with the idea that it was the perfect society, they probably meant 'no place.' Besides, the Greeks loved their heroes and you can't become a hero in a world without conflict.

  12. Feb 2016
    1. p. 95 "For nearly all of recorded history, we human beings have lived our lives isolated inside tiny cocoons of information. The most brilliant and knowledgeable of our ancestors often had direct access to only a tiny fraction of human knowledge. Then in the 1990s and 2000s, over a period of just two decades, our direct access to knowledge expanded perhaps a thousandfold. At the same time, a second, even more important expansion has been going on: an expansion in our ability to find meaning in our collective knowledge."

    2. p. 60 "Citation is perhaps the most powerful technique for building an information commons that could be created with seventeenth-century technology."

    3. Nielsen, Michael A. 2012. Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press.

    1. We got some intriguing feedback. The vast majority of this elite group felt that their most important paper was indeed one of their most-cited ones. Yet they described most of their chart-topping work as evolutionary, not revolutionary.

      Top cited biologists describe their most important (i.e. most cited) work as the result of an evolutionary not revolutionary process.

  13. Jan 2016
    1. Harpers 1873 the telegraph, pp. 359-360

      Discusses the future importance of the telegraph in terms of its impact on knowledge: will free language from philology and allow us to make improvements on that. Mentions the beginnings of the typewriter.

      "The immense extension of the general telegraphic system, and its common use for business and social correspondence and the dissemination of public intelligence, are far more important to the community than any of these incidental applications of the system. The telegraph system is extending much more rapidly than the railroad system, and is probably exerting even a greater influence upon the mental development of the people than the railroad is exerting in respect to the material and physical prosperity of the country. It has penetrated almost every mind with a new sense of the vastnessof distance and the value of time. It is commonly said that it has annihilated time and space--and this is true in a sense; but in a deeper sense it has magnified both, for it has been the means of expanding vastly the inadequate conceptions which we form of space and distance, and of giving a significance to the idea of time which it never before had to the human mind. It lifts every man who reads its messages above his own little circle, gives him in a vivid flash, as it were, a view of vast distances, and tends by an irresistible influence to make him a citizen of his country and a fellow of the race as well as a member of his local community.

      In other respects its influence, though less obvious, will probably prove equally profound. So long as the mysterious force employed in the telegraph was only known in the mariner’s compass, or by scientific investigations, or in a few special processes of art, the knowledge of the electric or magnetic force had, so to speak, a very limited soil to grow in. By means of the telegraph many thousands of persons in this country are constantly employed in dealing with it practically--generating it, insulating it, manipulating it. The invention of Morse has engaged some one in every considerable town and village in studying its properties, watching its operation, and using it profitably. Nothing could be better calculated to attract general attention to this newfound power, and to disseminate that knowl edge of it from which new applications may be expected to result.

      The tendency of scientific pursuits to promote the love of truth and the habit of accuracy is strikingly illustrated in the zeal and fidelity with which the minute and long-continued investigations have been pursued that have led to the development of this new realm of knowledge and this new element in human affairs.

      But perhaps the most extended and important influence which the telegraph is destined to exert upon the human mind is that which it will ultimately work out through its influence upon language.

      Language is the instrument of thought. It is not merely a means of expression. A word is a tool for thinking, before the thinker uses it as a signal for communicating his thought. There is no good reason why it should not be free to be improved, as other implements are. Language has hitherto been regarded merely in a historical point of view, and even now philology is little more than a record of the differences in language which have separated mankind, and of the steps of development in it which each branch of the human family has pursued. And as a whole it may be said that the science of language in the hands of philologists is used to perpetuate the differences and irregularities of speech which prevail. The telegraph is silently introducing a new element, which, we may confidently predict, will one day present this subject in a different aspect. The invention of Morse has given beyond recall the pre-eminence to the Italian alphabet, and has secured the ultimate adoption through-out the world of that system or some improvement upon it. The community of intelligence, and the necessary convertibility of expression between difl‘erent languages, which the press through the influence of the telegraph is establishing, have commenced a process of assimilation, the results of which are already striking to those who carefully examine the subject. An important event transpiring in any part of the civilized world is concisely expressed in a dispatch which is immediately reproduced in five or ten or more different languages. A comparison of such dispatches with each other will show that in them the peculiar; and local idioms of each language are to a large extent discarded. The process sifts out, as it were, the characteristic peculiarities of each language, and it may be confidently said that nowhere in literature will be found a more remarkable parallelism of structure, and even of word forms, combined with equal purity and strength in each language, than in the telegraphic columns of the leading dailies of the capitals of Europe and America. A traveler in Europe, commencing the study of the language of the country where he may be, finds no reading which he can so easily master as the telegraphic news column. The telegraph is cosmopolitan, and is rapidly giving prominence to those modes of speech in which different languages resemble each other. When we add to this the fact that every step of advance made by science and the arts increases that which different languages have in common by reason of the tendency of men in these pursuits the world over to adopt a common nomenclature, and to think alike or in similar mental processes, we see the elements already at work which will ultimately relegate philology to its proper and useful place among the departments of history, and will free language from those restrictions which now forbid making any intentional improvements in it. With the general use of the telegraphic system other things begin to readjust themselves to its conditions. Short-hand writing is more cultivated now than ever before. The best reporter must understand both systems, and be able to take his notes of a conversation while it passes, and then by stepping into an office transmit it at, once without writing out. There is now in practical use in the city of New York a little instrument the size of a sewing-machine, having a keyboard like the printing telegraph, by which any one can write in print as legibly as this page, and almost as rapidly as a reporter in short-hand. When we consider the immense number of people that every day by writing a telegram and counting the words are taking a most efficient lesson in concise composition, we see in another way the influence of this invention on the strength of language. If the companies should ever adopt the system of computing all their charges by the number of letters instead of words, as indeed they do now for all cipher or unintelligible messages, the world would very quickly be considering the economic advantages of phonetic or other improved orthography.

      These processes are in operation all the world over, and in reference to the use of one and the same alphabet. By the principle which Darwin describes as natural selection short words are gaining the advantage of long words, direct forms of expression are gaining the advantage over indirect, words of precise meaning the advantage of the ambiguous, and local idioms are every where at a disadvantage. The doctrine of the Survival of the Fittest thus tends to the constant improvement and points to the ultimate unification of language.

      The idea of a common language of the world, therefore, however far in the future it may be, is no longer a dream of the poet nor a scheme of a conqueror. And it is significant of the spirit of the times that this idea, once so chimerical, should at the time we are writing find expression in the inaugural of our Chief Magistrate, in his declaration of the belief “ that our Great Maker is preparing the world in His own good time to become one nation, speaking one language, and when armies and navies will be no longer required.”

    2. Harpers 1873 the telegraph, pp. 334-336.

      "With the exception of those general readers whose taste or course of reading has led them somewhat into scientific paths, there are not many persons who find it easy to form a definite idea of the precise mode of action by which a telegraphic wire conveys its messages--so multitudinous and varies in their character, and transmitted with such inceivable rapidity...<pb n="335"/><pb n="336"/>[stories of people looking for physical messages]. Still to the mass even of intelligent and well-informed readers, the precise mode in which the communications are made is a mystery more or less inscrutable.

      The difficulty of forming a clear conception of the subject is increased by the fact that while we have to deal with novel and strange facts, we have also to use old words in novel and inconsistent senses.

    3. Harper's 1873 p. 334 "The Telegraph": Mr. Orton, the president of Western Union, comments on the value of metadata as a way of gathering commercial intelligence:

      "Our observer, if he could not only see the oscillations of electric condition, but also discern the meaning of the pulsations, and read the messages as they circulate, would thus have a panorama of the business and social affairs of the country passing under his eye. But the telegraphy has now become so true a representative of our life that would hardly be necessary to read the messages in order to find an indication of the state of the country. The mere degree of activity in the business uses of the telegraphy in any given direction affords an index of the prosperity of the section of the country served thereby. Mr. Orton, the president of the Western Union Company, gave a striking statement of this fact in his argument before a committee of Congress in 1870. He said: "The fact is, the telegraph lives upon commerce. It is the nervous system of the commercial system. If you will sit down with me at my office for twenty minutes, I will show you what the condition of business is at any given time in any locality in the United States. After three years of careful study of the matter, I am ready to appeal to the telegraphy receipts as a criterion under all circumstances. This last year, the grain business in the West has been very dull; as a consequence, the receipts from that section have fallen off twenty-five per cent. Business in the South has been gaining a little, month by month, for the last year or so; and now the telegraphic receipts from that quarter give stronger indications of returning prosperity than at any previous time since the war."'

  14. Feb 2014
    1. The conservative influence of property does not, however, depend on primogeniture or even inheritance -- features that gave property a valuable role in Burke's political system as well as in the political theories advanced by Hegel and Plato. n11 Within a single lifetime, property tends to make the property owner more risk-averse. This aversion applies both to public decisions [*291] affecting property, such as taxes, and to personal decisions that might diminish one's property, such as investment strategies and career choices. Inheritance and capital appreciation are only additional characteristics of traditional notions of property that tend to stabilize social stratification.
  15. Nov 2013
    1. They are deeply immersed in illusions and in dream images; their eyes merely glide over the surface of things and see "forms."

      Plato's shadow cave.

  16. Oct 2013
    1. For Socrates in Plato seems to say to Gorgias that the matter of oratory is not in words but in things.

      reference to Socrates in Plato

    2. AS to the material of oratory, some have said that it is speech, an opinion which Gorgias in Plato is represented as holding. If this be understood in such a way that a discourse, composed on any subject, is to be termed a speech, it is not the material, but the work, as the statue is the work of a statuary, for speeches, like statues, are produced by art

      reference to Gorgias in Plato