Metaphysical Necessity: Or Metaphysical Platonism

Metaphysical necessity, or foundationalism, is one of the central questions of philosophy and the most important concept in Platonism. Metaphysical necessity asserts that everything that exists, to avoid epistemological nihilism, must have a foundation. Plato asserted that this foundation is the realm of the forms, or ideas. From Plato to Hegel, metaphysical necessity has been … Continue reading Metaphysical Necessity: Or Metaphysical Platonism

Plato’s Myth of Er

The conclusion of Plato’s Republic is the Myth of Er.  What are we to make of the Myth of Er and why is it important?  Why does it come at the very end of the work and not earlier?  It is important to remember that – as I’ve said before in other explanatory summaries of … Continue reading Plato’s Myth of Er

Plato’s Noble Lie

In The Republic, Socrates famously discusses the idea of the “noble lie.”  The noble lie has been an issue of tremendous interest to scholars and political and sociological theorists.  But is it the case that Plato endorses the noble lie, as some suggest and as the cursory reading seems to equally suggest? We must remember … Continue reading Plato’s Noble Lie

What is Platonic Irony?

What is Platonic irony?  When reading Plato’s dialogues philosophers are often keen to highlight irony within his texts.  Irony, however, is not necessarily what we think of it today.  Rather, Platonic irony is carefully constructed and inserted into the text by Plato himself.  Platonic irony is deeply dialectical in the Socratic sense, since Plato’s literary … Continue reading What is Platonic Irony?

The Great Divide: Political Philosophy, Ancient vs. Modern

The history of political philosophy is often divided between the classics (or ancients) in contradistinction to the moderns.  Political philosophy, from the time of Socrates and Plato, has always been regarded as the queen of the philosophical enterprises because it most pertains to the question of being human.  Hence, political philosophy is necessarily tied to … Continue reading The Great Divide: Political Philosophy, Ancient vs. Modern

Misunderstanding Plato

Plato is, arguably, the most important philosopher in the Western tradition.  This is not because everyone is a Platonist, or has been a Platonist.  Though many have.  This is because Plato started, at least in codification through writing, the discipline we remember – and still practice today – as philosophy.  But Plato is a deep … Continue reading Misunderstanding Plato

The Real Meaning of Plato’s Crito

The Crito is probably the most famous Platonic dialogue after Republic, or it certainly is one of the more memorable dialogues and rivals Phaedo, Symposium, and Laws as the most famous dialogue after the Republic.  Part of the charm of Crito is its relatively short length and seemingly straightforward dialogue.  But what is the true … Continue reading The Real Meaning of Plato’s Crito