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A Change of Timaeus
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:26 pm    Post subject: A Change of Timaeus Reply with quote

It is even that speaking of Western thought as if to mention Eastern systems, and not to speak of the African or Nigerian, or of the ideas of South America brings us onto a ground of insufferable boredom, so far as what is fashionable is concerned. Or, put more strongly, to not conceal all difference in global striving to rediscover locality, is boredom. There are better things to concern ourselves with. The novel of Perec, a book about Capital in the present age written by a Frenchman, or the latest theories concerning algorithm-driven medical solutions. The number of ways someone might degrade our work are great. And the condescension that could be brought to such provincial ignorance is obvious. Then the venture is even more strange than it had been for Plato? However, if we ourselves become Plato we must in some way belong to this, and be it.

If we have a mythos or report, on the Timeous we may wish to open a new thread. I just offer some crude musings, which of course can not be compared to scholarship, but there are other things. One also thinks of the technique of equally suspended attention in the psychoanalytic world, when one thinks of the ways of coming to a word. I don’t propose that, rather simply mention that there are other things then having a logos.

--

What does myth mean for us, a fantastic entertainment similar to a movie plot? What is myth? Klein calls it a ‘likely story’. So is it something told by ‘wise guys’? I don’t mean gangsters, but jokers. The playful is not the humourous. The playful brings us into a fresh reflection on the true, on what is now taking place. The article on Plato’s Myths on the Stanford philosophy website speaks of muthos, calling it a story that leads us to truth, or a true story. It is the poetic. But what is myth? It is not a logos. Logos is something like a discourse, an argument. Let me have ‘a word’ with you. A logos with you. It is not a word, a logos. The muthos, is then not a discussion. Is it perhaps more like a pow wow? The demand on participation is far higher, more permeating. What is the opening of the muthos dependent on? Is there less distrust in the muthos than in the word? We can’t have a word with someone who doesn't listen. We can’t have a muthos with those who aren't ready to enter into this opening. Yet we do not know just what it is that we must do to come into this accord.

In Hegel, as a not unimportant example of this condition, but as no cause, the folk dance and the artwork have lower dignity than the principles that concern political life. The institution of the political body must have at its core the highest meaning, the governance by the rational. This logos, of the teaching of the principles, displaces the virtue of the artistic. There is an age where the fine arts as the decorative things fall away from the core of the community life. Muthos?—is it perhaps a fire, and then is it given by the god or is it the god prior to its withdrawal? Is the logos then the human rule itself? These comments are made only to help us situate our attempt to have a muthos, to ‘see’ this muthos.

We can no longer hope to ‘see’ this muthos, which has fallen out of practice. Yet, as we have our logos, concerned with these mythoi, we must keep this in mind. The myths of Plato, of Socrates, are not muthos, for they have been devised, yet what is it that might bring us into the truth? We know only that it is not the logos. Heidegger, in the last, was compelled to admit that alethea is no truth. Alethea is not what the logos gathers, it is no logical statement. It is in this sense that it is no truth. We must also consider that the polis is divided between its soul and the nomoi. The regime and the laws are the polis when it is carved up in analysis. I only raise that to remind us that in Plato we have the body of the Polis as that which no longer speaks to us in mind. We moderns know of no polis, but of vast political states.



http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato-myths/

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato-timaeus/


The human being is like the rhapsodic song. Its thousands of lines are continually sung by the rhapsodists, and some of them are forgotten, and some are rewoven into the tale, but mostly it is sustained by the singing. It’s not enough to point at a thing, nobody understands without the word and the talk that discloses. The word and the talk that discloses needs the object, or else it is not intelligible and falls back into nothing.

So far we do not have the text before us. I hope some line will be brought, or better the whole passage about the cosmology as given by Timaeus along with the suggestions given by Klein.

As for myself I will suggest the question, why is it called a myth? It is because our common sense ‘takes for true’ certain matters which surely are not true. But, this must be shown in detail. I find the talk of ‘myth' in respect to this account dubious. Perhaps it can even be shown in ‘tangible’ experience that the account says something quite sensible. And so is not only a mental aid, or worse, an antiquarian passion. I don’t disregard such possibilities from the outset, since everything so far said may be mistaken.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A word about hyle, or matter, in the way this metaphor stands beside that of the signet ring and the clay of memory. These comments are made in connection to the ‘myth’, as the metaphor might stand in some useful way with respect to that. Also, in the other thread, we are still having difficulty in discovering our basic groundings.

Ether or upper air, αἰθήρ, in Aristotle is distinguished form the our causes, including of course the important hyle, wood. In The Phaedrus we have mention of the hyperuranium, Uranus being the titan air, ergo the higher air, which seems to serve the same purpose as the ether in the dialogue.

Woodcarvers know of this ‘matter.’ The metaphor reminds us of that which Socrates brings to memory, the signet ring and the clay.

We ourselves can not grow up in a Greek Polis. Neither can we turn to a classicist to tell us what some word means. We must, here and now, think through the matters. The classicists say something different daily, and if we look over the history of thought we will see they have always found in their universals (their presupposition or tacit claim that a word is a word is a word) something new, or some correction. The reason is that they have at best recourse to what makes sense in their own time. I.e., what truly they maintain when they consider the matters before them. We who know of this can not possibly stay with what is surely inadequate, their services we grant are of some use nonetheless. However we do not ‘add’ to their discipline in any way, nor do we aim at it.

In this sense we think through the raison d'etre of hyle, as we have in other threads. We ourselves.

If we will begin with the account of the container we must first ask if this is ‘the same’ upper air. That it is to be thought as identical seems presumption, but does it belong together with this idea? Is it a modification, or does it grow out of an entirely different consideration?

We should keep in mind that the logos, speech, is here telling us what we can not measure with our senses, according to Socrates understanding of the principle (of Protagoras) man is the measure of all things. The logos is going further than the measure that is the measure of all things. We should not forget that, and begin to speak as if our ideas and models were things, hinc illae lacrimae, from here these tears...

Still, we have no text to work with, so we must wait.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter has brought us a text, and so we may begin to look around a bit, and situate ourselves in what will be brought to a deepened vagueness when that has been made possible through our seeing what we are dealing with:

Quote:
“For simultaneously with the construction of the Heaven He contrived the production of days and nights and months and years, which existed not before the Heaven came into being. And these are all portions of Time; even as “Was” and “Shall be” are generated forms of Time, although we apply them wrongly, without noticing, to Eternal Being. For we say that it “is” or “was” or “will be,” whereas, in truth of speech, “is” alone is the appropriate term; “was” and “will be,” on the other hand, are terms properly applicable to the Becoming which proceeds in Time, since both of these are motions; but it belongs not to that which is ever changeless in its uniformity to become either older or younger through time, …” Timaeus 37e


Peter calls this section of the inquiry: 1. Eternal - sempiturnal


Quote:
I’m sorry if I misled. By ‘always’ I am not referring to sempiturnal, but ‘at any instant this state of affairs is unchanging’. I follow Plato here.


Where do you get?: ‘At any instant this state of affairs is unchanging.’ You’re entirely misleading us by giving this without source, and then acting as if it were supported by what you give with a sound reference.

The definition of sempiternal: ‘At any instant this state of affairs is unchanging.’ ‘Always’ means: ‘At any instant this state of affairs is unchanging.’ I.e., not outside of time, but in time.

If you say, at any ‘instant’, how can we speak of the absence of time? Does not an instant speak of a portion of time?

In what you give us yourself we get this: ‘And these are all portions of Time;’ Are not instants portions?

The word in your Timaeus’ passage is:

ἀίδιος
everlasting, eternal

Old French sempiternel, from Medieval Latin sempiternālis, from Latin sempiternus, a contraction of semperæternus, from semper (“always”) + æternus (“eternal”).

I think that what this means is that the knowledge is called eternal, but it only exists when there is something we could call clock time. Ergo: “For simultaneously with the construction of the Heaven He contrived the production of days and nights.”

Again, this explains the seemingly unclear or enigmatic:
Quote:
“The phrase ‘eternal recurrence’ has always seemed to me to be a contradiction in terms.”
Because the cosmos is constructed. The construction of the upper air and of the days.

So, if I see a tree, ‘there’ it means that I see a tree in time. Yet, it is the eidos, that that is of the ἀίδιος (aidios) or the always, which I see there. So the sempiternal is always in time. The eidos is always in time. In the specific sense of: “For simultaneously with the construction of the Heaven ( Οὐρανός, Uranus, the upper air). He contrived the production of days and nights.”

The upper air, Uranus (the cosmic god or Titan air), or heaven, the sempiternal. These all go together with the days, and this is what Heidegger speaks of when he says the thing which comes close and withdraws. It is the play of Artemis and her brother Apollo.

We also get this: ἀιδής
(the) unseen, annihilated


“Even if you cleared Ancient Athens away, stone by stone, you would not reach eternity, you would reach something else, which can be discussed; that is, Plato’s radical interpretation of space. “

So you say space is not eternity? Ergo, something called space is not the 'upper air' or heavens. What I can see in the sky at night, the movement of the spheres?

What is Plato’s definition of space?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems that we have decanted from the previous thread to this - probably a good idea as the subject no longer concerns Republic - but any new readers might want to look at the last page of Plato Republic: possible or not possible? to catch up with previous issues from which stems this present conversation.

I will try to be as helpful as I can in my response, not always giving textual conformation, but always trying to provide a reference.

This seems to be the set up: The human soul has an immortal part [41d] which can 'see' beyond time, though as an embodied being he/she seems to travel though time. But what Plato seems to emphasize is that after and before is nothing to do with this immortal soul.

I really didn’t want to go down this technical route, thinking you would ‘run with the ball’ but think of it this way, with a little help from Aristotle: Just as series of points cannot create a line, a series of instants or ‘nows’ cannot create a ‘duration’ of time. The point, being dimensionless, has no bounds. Nothing lacking bounds can be placed next to another similarly lacking bounds, for placing 'next to' in such a case would mean boundary against boundary. The two (and any others) would be subsumed into a single point. The same with an instant, a ‘now’, which similarly has no bounds. Time is not held to made up of ‘nows’ or a present instants. The now is of the soul; the before, the part that has been and is not, is similar to the part that is going to be and is not. No part of time ‘is’. This is a kind of combination of Platonic and Aristotelian thinking - mainly from Physics book 4 chapt. 10>.

A little addition: Time can be trapped as a duration between two such present instants, just as a line can be 'bookended' between two points. For though the point is dimensionless, it has position and that position would be 'in space' So in the same way 'now' may be positioned within time, even though it has no duration, and is not 'a portion of time' as mentioned at 37e. The 'now' is eternal and was there before time was created as a motion upon the stillness of that present moment, i.e. as a moving image of eternity. Or do you think the present moment was manufactured? Please read this more than once. It will save me having to respond more than once.

The passage at Timaeus [37e] concerns the construction of time, but if you read forward to [41d], mentioned above, you will read that man’s body is made for travelling through time but his soul is of a finer kind that can understand eternity. It is not the body or thinking that grasps that which is beyond time. It is the immortal part, which understands the ‘now’ that in some ways seems to be situated in the world of body, yet, reason tells us, is not.

By the way, in the Timaeus [58d] aether is considered a pure kind of air. That is the way it should be taken throughout the Dialogue. We cannot anthropomorphize it. At [40d] Timaeus tells us that his muthos does not concern the gods of mythology:

Concerning the other divinities, to discover and declare their origin is too great a task for us, and we must trust to those who have declared it aforetime, they being, as they affirmed, descendants of gods and knowing well, no doubt, their own forefathers. ] It is, as I say, impossible to disbelieve the children of gods, even though their statements lack either probable or necessary demonstration; and inasmuch as they profess to speak of family matters, we must follow custom and believe them. Therefore let the generation of these gods be stated by us, following their account, in this wise: Of Ge and Uranus were born the children Oceanus and Tethys; and of these, Phorkys, Cronos, Rhea, and all that go with them;

Your Heidegger ref. is, therefore, not applicable here. (actually as usual there was no actual ref. – I do wish you would yourself behave a little in these matters in which you castigate me)

Now. O Third Man, I look to you to show a bit of Platonic savvy. The sort of objections you are making are slightly facile. When man looks at something ephemeral his perception and understanding is, at that moment, perhaps ephemeral, especially if he believes that what merely 'becomes' actually 'is'. But if he sees from the understanding of his soul, which Plato considers not a piece of air, aether or fire, but a faithful copy or microcosm of the world soul and attuned to its same attendant harmonies, he understands in the following way:

“And when the construction of the Soul had all been completed to the satisfaction of its Framer, then He fabricated within it all the Corporeal, and uniting them center to center He made them fit together. And the Soul, being woven throughout the Heaven every way from the center to the extremity, and enveloping it in a circle from without, and herself revolving within herself, began a divine beginning of unceasing and intelligent life lasting throughout all time. And whereas the body of the Heaven is visible, the Soul is herself invisible but partakes in reasoning and in harmony, having come into existence by the agency of the best of things intelligible and ever-existing as the best of things generated. Inasmuch, then, as she is a compound, blended of the natures of the Same and the Other and Being, these three portions, and is proportionately divided and bound together, and revolves back upon herself, whenever she touches anything which has its substance dispersed or anything which has its substance undivided she is moved throughout her whole being and announces what the object is identical with and from what it is different, and in what relation, where and how and when, it comes about that each thing exists and is acted upon by others both in the sphere of the Becoming and in that of the ever-uniform. And her announcement, being identically true concerning both the Other and the Same, is borne through the self-moved without speech or sound; and whenever it is concerned with the sensible, and the circle of the Other moving in straight course proclaims it to the whole of its Soul, opinions and beliefs arise which are firm and true; and again, when it is concerned with the rational, and the circle of the Same, spinning truly, declares the facts, reason and knowledge of necessity result. But should anyone assert that the substance in which these two states arise is something other than Soul, his assertion will be anything rather than the truth.” [36d]

When the embodied soul sees or 'touches' that which is of Being he perceives it not within the framework of passing time, but as a revelation of that very ousia. And also such a soul would perceive Becoming with the same steady eye, but would not attempt to overlay it with a knowledge that gignomenon has no access to, but simply seeing it as something belonging to passing time. A transient joy holds both that which passes, and that which endures eternally - but for a 'brief instant'. Surely now you see that this is not a paradox.

The above passage is prefigured in the prelude of the monologue:

Now the one of these [i.e. being] is apprehensible by thought with the aid of reasoning, since it is ever uniformly existent; whereas the other [becoming] is an object of opinion with the aid of unreasoning sensation, since it becomes and perishes and is never really existent. [28a]

This ability to discriminate surely is the freedom that is the potential of the human soul.

<
Quote:
< So you say space is not eternity? Ergo, something called space is not the 'upper air' or heavens. What I can see in the sky at night, the movement of the spheres?

What is Plato’s definition of space?>>


I do say so, but need to sort out your objections before I get onto that.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My especial purpose in opening this thread is to treat Timaeus as ‘myth’. And to leave the discussions stemming from the ‘space-time’ issue, and other such new concerns in the other arena.

Quote:
“Or do you think the present moment was manufactured?”
It seems that is what the text you bring us says: “For simultaneously with the construction of the Heaven He contrived the production of days and nights.”

It seems to me that ‘the heavens’ here is this duration. I take ‘days and nights’ to mean things alongside other things, clock time.

You don’t tell us about the: ‘At any instant this state of affairs is unchanging.’ Perhaps we should discard that, as too muddled, or unfitting for what you want to convey?

Quote:
“body is made for travelling through time but his soul is of a finer kind that can understand eternity.”


We would have to know why clock time is not bodily time, and soul time is not heavenly time. This seems to show the production of eternity and the things that change. To get from change to the point system requires a going out of the moment. It is not here in the myth.

(If soul says psuke, what becomes psyche, that is not nous in the higher sense. It is sensation, it is the grasping of things. I.e., I know that a computer is there, how, because I see it, touch it. Whereas nous in the sense of rationality involves abstract reasoning, ergo: the logos. Intelligence rather than mind simple. It is the logos that takes us away from the measure of all things, with which the myth treats.)

Quote:
“aether is considered a pure kind of air”

Yes, obviously, it is Uranus, the titan Sky. It is to make this clear that we engaged in the questioning, especially the final question.

No doubt you are not reading my posts at all, but I hope some readers will linger over them with greater eyes, and so justify my efforts to breathe new life into this practice.

Quote:
“Your Heidegger ref. is, therefore, not applicable here.”
You are surely wrong. But, if you have a reason for saying it is not applicable, why? There’s no way to intervene unless you state your reason for thinking so.

It’s not a matter of a specific reference, it's simply the whole idea of Historicism taken in Husserl's sense. One must read the texts and find the sense of this.

Quote:
“Surely now you see that this is not a paradox.”
Yes, of course, I was already very aware of this. You might consider rereading my post. It is not a contradiction, but when seen rightly it is mysterious. The play of Artemis and her brother, is indeed, enigmatic. This replaces, we should understand, the Nietzschean pairing, which is well known. It should be noted that ‘ousia’ here is not Heidegger’s usage of being, excepting in so far as ‘being is said in many ways’.

-

Quote:
Now the one of these [i.e. being] is apprehensible by thought with the aid of reasoning, since it is ever uniformly existent; whereas the other [becoming] is an object of opinion with the aid of unreasoning sensation, since it becomes and perishes and is never really existent. [28a]


Quote:
This ability to discriminate surely is the freedom that is the potential of the human soul.


This leads us to your second heading, we must ask what the wandering cause concerns. One should note here that this is the sense Heidegger uses when nous is given the ‘lesser’ meaning in his work. Don’t you see that? It is because the immediate mind, or thinking of the essences is from the senses which are not senses at all of the kind the scientific explanation of natural science presents us with.

---


Quote:
So you say space is not eternity? Ergo, something called space is not the 'upper air' or heavens. What I can see in the sky at night, the movement of the spheres?

What is Plato’s definition of space?>>



Quote:
I do say so, but need to sort out your objections before I get onto that.


I have no objection. I only intended that we make this quite clear to ourselves.

I wish to return later and treat your second heading, but am still considering it.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The crux of it, and you must decide for yourself, O Third Man, is: is there a ‘now’, a present moment before the Demiurge constructs the kosmos? In other words, does he construct eternal being simultaneously with the created universe?

If not, I believe my statements are a true evaluation of the text.

As for the term ‘instant, that seems to trouble you, I see it as a point ‘in time’ but not ‘of time’, where there may be a perception of that eternal being, as you see the unchanging ticket collector sitting at the centre of the carousel as you continue to circulate around the circumference. He appears to move but he is more like the fifth thing and not like the things that become, and take part in the circle of life.

Without this centre we might be duped into thinking things moved in a straight line. But then there could be no such ‘instants’ for end and beginning would not balance themselves out, as Socrates tells us in Phaedo (72b).

The Demiurge bends all straightness around so that older ends meet newer beginnings, and a reinvigorated balance is achieved in perfect circles. This way it is impossible for waywardness (planete) to wander from its place in the perfect moving image, where eternity is always available to a) perception and b) realization. The ‘straight’ look is always the body’s perimetral view locked at the outer limits of time, whereas the true perception is centripetal. The circle of the fifth in the Seventh Letter has no tangential straightness. It is not turned on the lathe.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The tacit problem is that you're dreaming. Your dream amounts to the belief that there will be some final model, some best rule, and then it will all be done, the whole task of owning nature in craft, in mastery.

So you are attempting to make fun of the ideas I present, much like Aristophanes making fun of Socrates for having his head in the clouds? I am no Socrates, but we are all dreamers. Some of us dream of possibilities while others dream of limitations. Those of us who are the best dreamers go on to influence history.

My dreaming doesn’t have a final ‘model’ in mind, if it did, it would be that ‘One’ reality. My dreaming consists of overcoming the limitations we place on ourselves from relying on our senses to understand reality, as if reality only exists through our observations. Even if you were to come to that ‘One’ reality, you would find that there are different ways of experiencing and interpreting it, there are an infinite number of ways that ‘One’ reality expresses itself.

Quote:
I'm not only discussing ideas and speculations. When I say tree I mean a tangible thing. Or do you deny that we can discuss the tangible world with words?

I do not deny words, but if you just say ‘tree’, any tree will do, which makes it an idea. Unless you have a particular instance of a tree it remains a concept only. You could say a person and imply a tangible person, but is that all we are is tangible beings?

Quote:
Now, what you're doing is usually called reifying, you're putting the theoretical models into the things.

So, doesn’t this need to happen? If we can’t apply theories to the real things what use are theories? We follow them till there end and find a new level of thinking, a way of moving beyond the limits of the model, in search of a more appropriate model. As long as we are stuck on some theory or interpretation, Aristotle’s for example, we are only chasing a shadow. Now if we see Plato’s theory that is similar but yet is able to go beyond Aristotle’s why should we continue to focus on the limitations of Aristotle’s?

To put it in a different way, the concept of airplanes has come a long way since its conception. Our understanding of aerodynamics has improved considerably. But what if there were some other way of traveling through the air that is better? If we keep our focus on aerodynamics we may never discover it.

While I am on the topic of aerodynamics and to add another level to it, are geese capable of understanding concepts of aerodynamics? It took us awhile to realize that they fly in a V formation because aerodynamically it makes flight easier. Did they use observation and trial and error, or was there learning more like an intuited response, some kind of inner understanding? Is this similar to how Plato compares knowledge through the sciences and knowledge through the soul?

Quote:
My especial purpose in opening this thread is to treat Timaeus as ‘myth’. And to leave the discussions stemming from the ‘space-time’ issue, and other such new concerns in the other arena.

Uh, aren’t you the one who pulled from the discussions in the other thread and started posting them in this thread? And like Pete said, the subject no longer concerns the Republic and is better suited to a thread on Timaeus.

Quote:
And the Soul, being woven throughout the Heaven every way from the center to the extremity, and enveloping it in a circle from without, and herself revolving within herself, began a divine beginning of unceasing and intelligent life lasting throughout all time. And whereas the body of the Heaven is visible, the Soul is herself invisible…proportionately divided and bound together, and revolves back upon herself, whenever she touches anything which has its substance dispersed or anything which has its substance undivided she is moved throughout her whole being and announces what the object is identical with and from what it is different, and in what relation

Pete,
This dovetails with my electromagnetic theory, sorry for being redundant about it, I do know you are skeptical of it. But I think it is definitely deserving of a possibility. When I read this I can’t help but to imagine an EM field. Not to be ‘reifying’ Plato’s concept of the soul, but he does provide a somewhat visual way of describing the invisible, just as we do with EM. Think about the earth’s EM field, coming from the center going out enveloping itself in a circular manner and revolving back upon itself continually. It is considered a force or interaction with infinite range. The concept that all materials are influenced varyingly by the presence of a magnetic field seems to fit with the announcement of what the object is identical with and from what it is different, and in what relation.

Quote:
The Demiurge bends all straightness around so that older ends meet newer beginnings, and a reinvigorated balance is achieved in perfect circles.

The Demiurge is more or less the ‘shaper’ right? Well, in physics EM is considered to be the ‘shaper’ of things, giving things strength and hardness.

Jason
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It’s not the term ‘instant’ that should bother us, when we are Plato. But, the way the logos endangers us, with the imagined sense that being can be spoken in this manner. There is no being. In the ether, or heaven, there are stretched instants, it is the movement of the Olympian gods in the body of the cosmic god, Uranus, but one can perhaps not even speak of being.

Quote:
“is there a ‘now’, a present moment before the Demiurge constructs the kosmos? In other words, does he construct eternal being simultaneously with the created universe?”


He constructs (births or brings into being) the place where 'what always is' is, where knowledge or the gods or eidoi are. We must think and so become Plato. In the text there is talk of a birth, γίγνομαι, (gígnomai, “I come into being”).

Now, the young dying Nietzsche understands this as ‘creativity’, and the notion survives into Heidegger. One can read of it in the longer book on metaphysics. It is in a way the principle of Da-Sein. The there of present clock time, and the ontic being of the duration of the goods wherein reason stands as knowledge. Between them is this birthing. But the birthing is not being, for Da-sein is not being.

I must admit that I have ‘decided for myself’ a good deal too much. What is said of Husserl and Heidegger is simply dogmatic, and we who do not wish to cascade must embrace the text, nay we must become Plato and think. On the other hand your neoplatonic insertion of a transcendent eternity, a Christian eternity, is alien to Plato, and a dogmatic assertion, that, in another thread, might be worth looking into, but not here. Here we would need to show why in the face of what you brought us it belongs here. I take the passage concerning thin or fine air to correspond to the fact that ‘what always is’, heaven, is part of the world that has come to be, and so ‘what always is’ or knowledge, is said to be here with our knowing souls in time.

The question is about the place of knowledge. In the letter Plato says it is like the fifth. It means that knowledge doesn't belong with being. The soul too, as the knower, does not belong with being. Knowledge is ‘what always is.’ But being is not ‘what always is’. Therefore we must be careful of the way that language takes us away from the measure of all things. For Heidegger being is History, but this is questionable.

37e says: “even as “Was” and “Shall be” are generated forms of Time, although we apply them wrongly, without noticing, to Eternal Being.”

Your reading is poor both because you don’t see that the fifth element, the aether, is there at the same time as clock time and because you treat ‘eternity’ in a careless manner, as if it spoke of time. But, logos speaks and brings us away from being. It confuses in the way it discloses, though it too is being.

Dogmatically, I will point out, with the text we call Heidegger, most poor readers take the ready-to-hand for being. And so assume that the immediate moment is eternity. Simply because the impromptu is not clock time. Graham Harman is a great case of this mistake of the ungifted in thought.

In the letter, we should remember that Plato calls the circle one example. The very fact of multiplicity in the fifth shows it is no being, it is so-called ontic being: ie the gods.

Putting all this blather aside, is it possible to agree that speaking of the text of Timeaus is quite possible? Here, the comments that are not about the thought of Plato, are simply dogmatic. But they serve to allow the reading to be us ourselves.

I must return to answer PlatoDNA and what Peter has given us, the somewhat frightening title:

2. Disorder and Waywardness

As a prequestioning, may I ask, what is “oroton”?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I opened this thread mostly because of Joseph's Jacob Klein-commentary suggestion. However, here too, we are becoming too wide and ruffled.

It seems appropriate to mention: what is useful is not true. I agree that techne or mathematical knowledge as episteme can be brought to very important practical uses. Just what the practical is is a great difficulty for us.

Quote:
I do not deny words, but if you just say ‘tree’, any tree will do, which makes it an idea. Unless you have a particular instance of a tree it remains a concept only. You could say a person and imply a tangible person, but is that all we are is tangible beings?


My chief intention was to point out that we can, that it is done, that we do speak of tangible things, and so language is not merely airy and arch. Wouldn't the person who hears the word be compelled to think of an actual tree if they wised to understand, that seems implicit in your objection. Yet, at the same time it is suggested that tree has a separate ground in being. That is the assertion in Husserl.

Is what you say so clear? If I have simply the word, would it be worthy of calling an idea? And on the other hand, in the same way, if I have only some thing, how can it be a tree? Is it not simply ‘that’? The singular, not the particular. Somehow the so called pattern, or universal, and the so-called thing, refer to something else, a pure idea or being, or they need each other to have any content. Again: Not only the word, it seems, but also the tangible thing must be paired to be anything at all.

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Now, what you're doing is usually called reifying, you're putting the theoretical models into the things.

So, doesn’t this need to happen? If we can’t apply theories to the real things what use are theories?


Yea, but when I imagine walking outside, picturing the action and perhaps other things I might do, it is rare that I someone gets so lost in the daydream as to later reports that they had done those things merely pictured. But with mathamatical models this mistake often happens. Space, for example, does not ‘expand’, but it may be very useful to imagine it as expanding, and it may bring tangible results and help me to predict things.

There is a confusion because, some things that can be seen, a so-called atom, where not always seen. Hence, many think, if there is talk of 'expansion' it is right to point to space and say, that is expansion. Even though nothing like it is visible nor could in principle come to be 'conceived' or seen. This does not bring the issue into the light, but this is the kind of thing I wanted to evade in this thread, as it is a long question.

Quote:
“To put it in a different way, the concept of airplanes has come a long way since its conception. Our understanding of aerodynamics has improved considerably. But what if there were some other way of traveling through the air that is better?”


This is quite different. I immediately see the concept of, eg, a plane. It is there. That is a matter of the technical sense of the word concept. A man from a remote part of the world may not recognize an airplane. They conceive instead of a large thing, for instance.

We need a distinction between immediate grasping of things as things. I see a car. And logically thinking over them, the second is traditionally called intelligence or logic (logic is not always formal logic, in its vaguest form it is simply talking or thinking with words [we also think with maths]). Whereas the former is the simple intelligibility, or immediate understanding [put another way, it is what we maintain to ourselves prior to the possibility of lying].

This question of 'better' is a long question. To start with is it not a value (not a fact as it seems to be)? Someone might say, the goose has it right. End of story. Is faster, for instance, 'better'?


--

Quote:
Are geese capable of understanding concepts of aerodynamics? It took us awhile to realize that they fly in a V formation because aerodynamically it makes flight easier. Did they use observation and trial and error, or was there learning more like an intuited response, some kind of inner understanding? Is this similar to how Plato compares knowledge through the sciences and knowledge through the soul?


I think psuke, and for us it means laboratory psychology, concerns mostly sensation and ‘passion’, where passion really means passive spontaneity. (So the word psyche in psychoanalytic usage, eg Freud, is not at all like the ancient meaning.) Scientific theory is clearly not like that, it is excogitative or deliberate. However, some say that we merely make clear to ourselves in deliberation what is already conceptualized in the senses. And so all knowledge is like a closed circle, or one in which only some truly strange ‘becoming’ flows.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is of course, O Third Man, something ludicrous here, with me trying to argue about what time is and isn’t, and you ‘trying to be Plato’. Take my three headings on Timaeus, the Pythagorean, as offerings, if you like, to you, or to anyone who has the interest or stamina to read them. You must realize that I am not overly interested in Heidegger, and co. You, of course have little Pythagorean instinct. I accept that. I suppose we must learn to put up with each other’s deficiencies as best we can if we are to make a discourse. I have two more headings to complete and then, as far as the current project is concerned, my work is finished. In favorable circumstances it could be developed, but there is, I confess, something of an amusing clash of viewpoints here, and one could not predict any development at all.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, orroton = horaton, the visible realm. Please excuse my lousy Greek
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Pete,
This dovetails with my electromagnetic theory, sorry for being redundant about it, I do know you are skeptical of it. But I think it is definitely deserving of a possibility. When I read this I can’t help but to imagine an EM field. Not to be ‘reifying’ Plato’s concept of the soul, but he does provide a somewhat visual way of describing the invisible, just as we do with EM. Think about the earth’s EM field, coming from the center going out enveloping itself in a circular manner and revolving back upon itself continually. It is considered a force or interaction with infinite range. The concept that all materials are influenced varyingly by the presence of a magnetic field seems to fit with the announcement of what the object is identical with and from what it is different, and in what relation.

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The Demiurge bends all straightness around so that older ends meet newer beginnings, and a reinvigorated balance is achieved in perfect circles.


The Demiurge is more or less the ‘shaper’ right? Well, in physics EM is considered to be the ‘shaper’ of things, giving things strength and hardness.


Dear Jason,
I have been watching the Gene Code - Dr Adam Rutherford - and thought of you. It traces the development of DNA and all the time I was watching it I was reminded of Frances Cornford's triangle matrices in Plato's Cosmology. Didn't we examine those a while back? There is a good deal of affinity between the two, and they are both concerned with the same thing: the arising, first of elemental patterns and then primary building blocks of organic life.

I have ordered the DVD to look at it more closely but what impressed me was that the building up of complexity in the genome is numbered in octaves. 1-2-4-8 etc. The all important stage is the third doubling which happened about 450 million years ago which furnished the complexity necessary for the arising of vertebrates. Of course, the left side of the Lambda also stops at that point, as if sufficient for the three dimensional fabric (of the Receptacle of Becoming) and the genetic complexity needed for a being to arise able to understand it.

I hope to lay all this down more comprehensively when I can study the programme more closely, but as I turned the whole thing over in my mind I thought to myself 'I'm doing a Jason here!'

Watch this space....

Pete
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The agonis, the ordeal, is athletic and requires endurance. Hubris is crookedness, and the dogmatic a straight way. Between these two one might highlight the thought of the two in its simplicity, and the concern of what is one could rise up. Something like that is at stake in the Timaeus tale.

I would ask that we consider that the textbook or correct reading be taken to indicate a position differing from that of Plato (as he appears in the letter). The positions given in the dialogues are not those of Plato, they tend to be extreme positions, given in order to clarify possibilities of orientation. Below I give the example of humour in this respect. Strauss says, referring to a certain Mr. Weber, the sociologist, he has taken Plato for an intellectual. Yet, Plato, the whole work, is a critique of the intellectuals. Socrates is a man in the middle of the extremes. Between doxa and the noetic. Or, if one likes, opinion (read: the measure of all things) and Pythagoras.

The dialectic of the dianoic movement can not be taken as anything but what we find it to be right here, it is a violent battle of words. These words stand between the noetic and the doxastic. They are the much praised, in the standard account, mathematical expressions of geometry.

With Plato laughter is always coursing over the serious, those who believe Plato to have spoken and laid down mathamatical laws. Where laughter is forbidden in the dream of recorded speech, that written down in the dialogue, it happens in the merciless mirth of the dialog itself. Therefore one must be ready to bring playfulness.

I am using noetic to mean theoretical and what is like the logical, but not yet the logical, it is the taking for what it is, the thinking it is, I think the computer is there, but not unquestionably, and doxastic to say understood at once, experienced as immediately intelligible essence. These terms might be brought to distinctions quite beyond the mere lumping up of synonyms. Now, rather than open the discussion of the wondering cause, still I am only raising the possibility of situating ourselves.

To become Plato? We have only a text to rehearse, like someone who brings only the correct reading of the philologists or classists. That means, at best, we can hope to gain a strong bookish knowledge of the Athenians.
(Ergo, any notional construal is not accompanied by the doxa-reality of the lived flow of experience.)

1. Is a sheer noetic understanding of any concern to us at all? The noetic is not doxa or what one lives in immediate understanding. It may be higher. In the Laws there is talk of, knowing that Crete is an island, out of the radiance of what shines forth. But, this ‘knowing’ is only doxa. So is there knowledge higher than doxa? For instance is Socrates's intellect's statement, his deliberate thought, in the Sophist, higher. He says: The life without inquiry is no human life. A definition of the human being itself, wrought out of the intelligence of the genie or daemon within. Note that one purposes the noetic as higher than the doxastic. So the opinion, the lived concept, is tied up with the superiority of the gods.

2. If we do not have the opinions of Plato, can we understand him through the intellectual things alone? Through the text (the only trace of the thing remaining which itself is the entree). The argument rests on the assumption that everything, even the stone and the chair and the chalk and the mud, do not have the same shimmering-forth with us as with Plato. For example, a man from the remote part of Afghanistan who has never seen a chair, does he form ther the immediate idea, chair? His doxa, his experience, is not ours, we who grew into the world of chairs. (Here I squeeze in an example of the concept, without touching on the issue of the conceptualization of the categories which themselves orient all concepts, and without moving to the being which is not reason, for it is not purposeful or meaningful.) Can we have merely a bookish knowledge of Plato, without this doxa, and expect to know anything at all?

3. If Plato talks to us, will we not speak back to him? And then the becoming-Plato loses its mystery, for it is only in the trace that we recover the doxa. And the doxa is our very selves. Yet, forever, the doxa stands with the intellect. And what troubles us is the flow and the seeping within the two which we would bring into our world and address so strangely; different times are at play. This is no time as the eternal or time as clock time. It is something else, it is the concern of the ground of being.

For Plato, I would say, to start again, with ever renewed motion, is in a way impossible. For we have only the words. Logos gives reasons. The essence of logos is reason. One wants to know why. Why is there some text here, a trace of Athens? Why is that thing falling? Ultimately, the myth can not be a matter of this problem of reasons. If it doesn't concern reasons, and is not a closed problem, is it then a matter of a living possibility of an entity?

The living possibility concerns experience. The problem concerns the noetic, or the intellect. The intellect ‘always is’. It is the heavenly element. It is the heavens and the realm of the gods. But, on the other hand, the flow of experience, the realm of doxa, concerns the human beings.

Yet, the human as human has intellect, has nous and doxa.

What the myth concerns is bringing these that are split in the logos to thought as a being. What is the ground of the cosmic gods? It is laid down by the demiurge. That the demiurge is demi says that he is not the highest thing. Yet, the talk of ‘highest’ ceases to be useful when we give up measuring things by reasons.

Reason means truth, the measurer (is truth then the measure of all things? And so not the essences or shimmering things?). And the measurer stands always with the (what Peter brings us as 'horaton'?, perhaps this should read hora, as the timely and thusly the doxa) shimmering things, with the human things as they shine forth. Thus with the essences. There is truth and essence.

Now, what the play of the wondering cause and the demigod, along with becoming concern is not truth, and neither is it essence. One must come this far to begin the dance of the questioning, which is concerned with being, with bringing up what I shall call the element. What the element concerns is not reason, not a why or a what for. Time, in this sense, is not concerned with first or final causes, nor with causes at all.

A line from Timaeus concerning this ground would be helpful.

PS

These Zizek-like reflections (about fields of force) brought by PlatoDNA are negligible and irrelevant to this thread (even if they might be worth looking into somewhere else and one might wish to deal harshly with them elsewhere, or even provoke an entertainment of them with the will), for the reason that Zizek’s whole derivative trope of the ‘real real’ described with physics examples is shallow and poorly thought through we must keep this segregated from Timaeus. A refutation can be shown easily enough, but it is not worth while, and strictly speaking it is actually a bad thing to be drawn into such vapidity and thus risk a sort of contamination…
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is playfulness, but as Leo Strauss says, play simple, which is to say, cleverness that has no intelligence behind it, is of no help to us and one should leave it aside and so we must dismiss from our mind the interpretation of hyperuranion as “very refined air” (it is, in fact, contrasted with the fire, pyre, of Hericlitus. The empyros.) Indeed, this "very fine air" appears in the text itself, however we are not in a position to understand it. The aether as it came down to early-modern physics (only to be properly overcome by Einstein, but not utterly destroyed), in a rather “Aristotelian” form, all the way to post-Newtonian physics, means a very fine air, it means space. But there is nothing of this kind in Plato. Hyperuranion speaks of the god Uranus, the air, the cosmic god. This air, this far off air which always is, what can that be? As we have heard constantly emphasised, and this opinion sounds good to us, in Plato everything happens in the matter itself. Matter says this world as it stands up above and down here, it is vague. Nothing here tells us what Plato would have thought there, looking at the heavens.

Put another way, we think already on top of modern physics (taken vaguely to say, the authority in the pandemic culture out of which the public understanding grows, of modern theoretical and quantum physics and their purposed scions and numerous weak epigons). It surrounds us as the world we grew into. It is our way, our law and authority. We only play at breaking from it utterly. It is known to our way of becoming.

The wandering cause, what should we take it to be? It seems that the demiurge is attempting the world-project of ordering. But this wandering cause wishes to have no part in a project. It is like the cold wind, the forest, the savage goddess of the hunt (Agrotera (Gr. Ἀγροτέρα, the archaic huntress or, according to another epithet, "butcher"). Now, how does the wandering cause connect to necessity as found under the title physis, the being-forced? And how do these two, the primordial mind and the thing that forces stand together in the simple unity of becoming?

The movement of our bodies seems to, when we are at ease, reveal no distinction between the acting of force and the willing of mind. If the will, in the way it courses through the things is disrupted, there will be shame. If the will in the way it courses over the things is uninhibited and this is noticed, there will be glory. However, does this situation require that the one who notices makes a break from an earlier unity of the coursing, an unwilled unity? Or is there a birth which itself marks itself in a brief exuberant glimpse?

There is kleos, as glory, in the things. In the things only that course out and break with the wandering cause? Is the golden throne something that summons up the pride of the demiurge? For he then has come to bring what is errant, wandering, into his service. The cave is the errant, the hidden thing is the demiurge. What remains hidden is nature, and this is what loves to hide. Nature is the origin, but yet, of what? What is in the cave has a false origin, its origin is the hero-god, eg Orpheus who first made the harp or lyre. But nature is the secret cause, the true cause. When the true nous sees the golden throne which brings splendor to the mortals on the earth it sees a remnant of true nature. They who can summon up the energy to evade what is common move towards Apollo. The hidden and true sun.

How does becoming stand then, how does what dwells between the savage Artemis and her brother stand?

So far we are deserted in our efforts, and we still have no text. We must have some archaic word to rehearse and to talk to. Who will raise that from the text and bring it to this appropriate place?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

small addendum:

It is boring but necessary. One must say why Peter’s insertion of duration is absurd. Duration is a modern idea, it is based on the attempt to make one’s primitive induction change. For example, that I might see the sun as standing still, because I’ve learned my induction is incorrect (that it doesn't set and rise). To insert Bergson is absurd. For Plato this procedure is unthinkable, eg, man is always man (the eidos is eternal, not subject to evolution in the flow of the absolute moment or duration of the moderns). To put in absolute time, the pulling of the band in one motion forever in its opposition to relative time is not misleading, but simply incorrect. It is not that the intellect can be treated as the tic-tic of an indefinite number of movements added to an absolute moment, there is for Plato time and its limit state, non-time (which is like movement and stillness.) Becoming is not to be thought as the viable things are, and has a deeper stratum. We must find it in the myth.

Do the ideas suffer to change as the things in time do?
Plato calls knowledge or episteme something that is ‘like’ the fifth (cf 7th Letter). Is it not that knowledge would be the thing best described as in duration, as are our personal memories (not eidoi), which are like knowledge, and do suffer change?

This account, as it stands, is quite confused. Of course we can expect Peter to merely repeat himself, like a text, but will anyone else enter into conversation in order to clarify this? Someone who would play the role of an honest dialectic partner, with terse answers, would be nice. Peter, as I know, is wholly incapable of this because then he would have to admit difficulties in his rehearsal of Plotinus and in other parts of his script. The same sort of difficult characters were known to Plato!
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