Aesop and Plato

Do you ever have moments when you wonder whether the entire pseudo-manichean strain in Western Culture that survives within the various Platonic schools exists basically because Plato’s reaction to the disheartened old men in Book One of the Republic was fundamentally flawed?

Maybe he got that line upside down because he forgot to read Aesop?  Sour grapes and all that, and just because we gradually lose our ability to participate in the world in a form other than inspiration or tomato food, doesn’t mean that the world itself is any the less amazing and significant?

But NOOOOoooo, we had to get a philosphy by Mister Grumpy Fox, idealizing retreat into a world of supposedly-more-real “Ideals,” more or less established as axiomatic nomenclature, in which the Philosopher understands the world… he just refuses to lower himself by enjoying his relations with it.

Or, to paraphrase an acquaintance of mine, “the perfect Platonic ideal of ‘chair-qua-chair’ would be incredibly uncomfortable, unless of course one happened to have a perfectly Platonic butt.”

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3 Comments

  1. Funny — I was just thinking on Sunday how Plato’s so full of sh*t I’d like to smack him. “Suppose there was a perfect world, where everything that we don’t understand is plain as day, and the limits aren’t due to our not understanding complexity, just that we haven’t learned how to access the big begged question in the sky yet….”

    Boot to the Head.

    Reply
  2. Alex

     /  October 31, 2007

    Na Na.
    Boot to the Head!
    People talking in movie shows.
    People smoking in bed.
    People voting republican.
    Give them a boot to the head.
    Boot to the head.
    Na Na.
    Boot to the head.
    Na Na.
    BOOT TOOO THE HEAAADD!

    Sorry Jim. It’s stuck in my head now and I had to share.

    Reply
  3. Speaking of Aesop, there is an animated movie of the Aesop fable, The Fox and The Crow at:
    http://www.adamsmithacademy.org/Streams/The_Fox_and_The_Crow_by_Aesop_stream.html

    Reply

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