The Most Admired Philosoper is Plato

1222 Words5 Pages
Plato (429–347 B.C.E.) is one of the most admired philosophers of this day. His wisdom has outlived his years and still holds ground in western literary tradition. He was an Athenian of high status. His achievements are so significant even now the educated who have devoted themselves to philosophy refer to themselves as Platonists. Plato is often associated with specific doctrines; the focal one being that of the eidos or forms. These are entities which are eternal and changeless and archetypes of the physical structures encountered in the world. From the idea of the eidos, binary opposition is formed. During the binary system two opposing concepts that are related in some way are set against each other. This act can be compared to two terms being separated by a line; one term being above and the other below. All people unconsciously use binary opposition to make sense of all aspects of life. Humans have come to the understanding that in order to make sense of one thing there has to be a comparison made using an opposite. This idea appears within Plato’s “Phaedrus”, the work being questioned in Derrida’s piece. Pheadrus is a dialogue written by Plato. It is believed to have been composed during 370 BC. Although Plato’s piece analyzes various ideas the one in question here is writing. He explains that writing has one main problem, it lacks a speaker which he refers to as a “father”. He claims that those who read to gain knowledge will actually be gaining a false sense of education. Without someone to question about the provided information, recipients are forced to accept all they have read and interpret it based on their own experiences. This continuous dilution of the information will result in misunderstandings. He also notes ... ... middle of paper ... ...h each other and cannot be isolated upon use. He believes that Pheadrus should not only be studied based upon the words within the piece, but also those that are missing. After making this distinction Derrida introduces the pharmakon’s synonym, “pharmakos” which can be defined as a magician or poisoner. He carries on to provide another definition for the same word, scapegoat. After this connection he includes factual information concerning the Athenian scapegoats. The scapegoats were those the Athenians kept for the use of a sacrifice when any great harm were to befall the city. These people were considered to be outsiders. He relates the sacrifice of these people to the death experienced by Socrates himself calling him a “pharmakos from the inside” (Derrida 134). Socrates’ end came when he was put to death, by his own people, for corrupting the minds of the youth.

    More about The Most Admired Philosoper is Plato

      Open Document