Wednesday, October 19, 2005
One of Plato’s most successful strategems was the redefinition of presupposed virtues. Courage and justice, for instance, were words that people commonly used and understood in a shared and synchronized context. Plato presumed that the words represented something real but rejected their common use on the grounds that no one could give him a universal definition free from example. That left him with hollow terms into which he could introduce his own reality. Plato should have been called a magician, not a philosopher. For the foundation of Western metaphysics was a sleight of hand.