Monday, January 9, 2012

Open Letters to Philosophers, Plato

Dear Plato,

Thank you for using Socrates in your dialogues. Thank you for being a totally awesome writer. The Republic rocks my socks. Without you, western philosophy would not be what it is. Having you in the picture makes it awesome.

Your concept of the forms was pretty cool, but it really stunk that you caused a dichotomy between the physical and spiritual. Western Christianity has struggled since because you. We are really glad that you helped out Augustine a lot so don't take it too hard that we think the physical and spiritual are of equal value.

Interesting answer to the problem of universals. You showed those sophists their spot. Your allegory of the caves rocks my world. I'm not going to say it was perfect, but yeah pretty cool. I even made a drawing of it in high school because it was so cool. (Not really, my teachers forced me to. You would be in tears if you found out the state of our education today.)

Your view of politics is pretty cool, but some really awful people took that idea and distorted it. We're still reeling from it 70 years later. Something else we're reeling from is this stupid problem given by some guy named Gettier. He hasn't written much about it though but a lot of other people have. It really is a stinker of a problem. Could you help us out? It screws up your definition of knowledge, basically saying your definition is insufficient, otherwise known as a bad definition. Could you please help us out?

By the way, justice is still being argued about. Some people just don't like the idea and so don't use the word anymore. Don't ask me how they can logically come to the conclusion that justice doesn't exist.

 We are just as just as your society. Sorry to disappoint you there. We also do a good job of listening to the mob. We even have a government kind of like yours in the Republic but not quite. It mixes your concept with the Athenian model. Please don't hold it against us. I know democracy killed the most awesome teacher in Europe. Money and power play a role in our government and a lot of non-philosophical guys run the country. Not many philosophers have been president. (A president is similar to a philosopher king, but he has a couple "checks" on his power, thank goodness. I thought you believing philosopher-kings could have unchecked power was the same as letting the mob rule. We've tried to "moderate" things. Your pupil Aristotle had some good things to say you know.)

I'm sorry your got a bit bummed at the end of your life.

In closing, I want to let you know Whitehead thinks that the rest of us are just a footnote to your writings. I know you didn't have footnotes in Athens. Google "footnotes" and you'll figure it out. Just don't spend too much time on google because it'll make you think shallowly, like those poets you hate.

David Pulliam

1 comment:

Thank you for your comment, I'll review it as soon as I can!