The Spicy Lotus

February 27, 2010

Meno, Plato/Socrates

Filed under: Classic,Greek — pha9 @ 8:06 pm

Meno is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato. Written in the Socratic dialectic style, it attempts to determine the definition of virtue, or arete, meaning in this case virtue in general, rather than particular virtues (e.g. justice, temperance, etc.). The goal is a common definition that applies equally to all particular virtues. Socrates moves the discussion past the philosophical confusion, or aporia, created by Meno’s paradox with the introduction of new Platonic ideas: the theory of knowledge as recollection,anamnesis, and in the final lines a movement towards Platonic idealism.

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The Clouds, Aristophanes

Filed under: Classic,Greek — pha9 @ 7:22 pm

The Clouds is a comedy written by the celebrated playwright Aristophanes lampooning intellectual fashions in classical Athens. It was originally produced at the City Dionysia in 423 BC and it was not well received, coming last of the three plays competing at the festival that year. It was revised some time between 420-417 BC and thereafter it was circulated in manuscript form. No copy of the original production survives and scholarly analysis indicates that the revised version is an incomplete form of Old Comedy. This incompleteness however is not obvious in translations and modern performances. The Clouds can be considered not only the world’s first extant ‘comedy of ideas but also a brilliant and successful example of that genre.[6] The play gained notoriety for its caricature of the philosopher Socrates ever since its mention in Plato’s Apology as a factor contributing to the old man’s trial and execution.

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