[MD] Good and Truth in Platonic system
davidjharding at gmail.com
Wed Dec 5 12:00:51 PST 2012
Good *is* Plato's highest form. Subordinate only to truth. The following passage in ZMM Chapter 29 explains this clearly..
"But why? Phædrus wondered. Why destroy areté? And no sooner had he asked the question than the answer came to him. Plato hadn't tried to destroy areté. He had encapsulated it; made a permanent, fixed Idea out of it; had converted it to a rigid, immobile Immortal Truth. He made areté the Good, the highest form, the highest Idea of all. It was subordinate only to Truth itself, in a synthesis of all that had gone before.
That was why the Quality that Phædrus had arrived at in the classroom had seemed so close to Plato's Good. Plato's Good was taken from the rhetoricians. Phædrus searched, but could find no previous cosmologists who had talked about the Good. That was from the Sophists. The difference was that Plato's Good was a fixed and eternal and unmoving Idea, whereas for the rhetoricians it was not an Idea at all. The Good was not a form of reality. It was reality itself, ever changing, ultimately unknowable in any kind of fixed, rigid way."
On 05/12/2012, at 3:16 AM, "T-REXX Techs, Inc." <trexxtechs at bellsouth.net> wrote:
> In ZMM Pirsig clearly asserts that In Plato's system arete is "the Good",
> and it is subordinated only to "the True", but "truth" is that which is
> arrived at by the method of dialectic, this subjecting arete to debate and
> definition in the dialectic method. This subordination of arete to truth is
> critical to Pirsig's insistence that Quality must remain undefined and
> But other sources affirm that Plato's ethical system affirms
> "the Good" as the highest form of knowledge. One writer refers to "the
> Good" as "Agathon", not "arete". He says, "The transcendence of the Agathon
> makes immanent propositions about its content impossible." That sounds very
> much like arete. Can anyone sort this out for me?
> John L. McConnell
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