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Former good article Atlantis was one of the Philosophy and religion good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Adding theoretically proven research[edit]

Folks, I've removed this. Talk pages are not forums for discussing the topic, they are a place where we discuss the article, and the article's contents need to be based on what we call reliable sources - see WP:RS, not our own opinions or even research, see WP:NOR. If you want to discuss these ideas, find a web forum somewhere, there are plenty. Dougweller (talk) 17:52, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Let people make up their own mind. Deleting their entire post to further your own point is plain rude. Wikipedia has fallen now that agendas need pushed.

Nope, this isn't a forum to discuss people's own ideas (agendas). There are plenty of places for that. Wikipedia would indeed be 'fallen' if it became just another forum. That's my only point in deleting that. Dougweller (talk) 09:10, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Recent revision of lead[edit]

In general, I prefer the previous version of this article's lead to the version currently in the article. For one thing, the former version's opening paragraph gave a basic, bald summary of Plato's account of Atlantis, whereas the current version is more interpretive and therefore, I think, less useful to readers. In the second paragraph, "the Atlantis story had a profound impact on literature ever since classical antiquity" is (in addition to having a verb-aspect problem) a wild overstatement, at least with regard to times preceding the Renaissance and arguably with regard to later times as well; and the implication of causality introduced in "As the Timaeus remained known in a Latin rendition by Calcidius through the Middle Ages, the allegorical aspect of Atlantis was taken up by Humanists ..." is unwarranted, as allusions to Atlantis by the Humanists and other Renaissance folk did not, by and large, depend on the existence of Calcidius' translation and commentary—they had others by that time. "Erring on its historicity", is another instance of intrusive commentary not present in the former lead.

I could go on, but does anyone else have an opinion on this? Deor (talk) 13:00, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

As the author of the lead, let me answer.
I pointed out the impact the Atlantis story had because it obviously had more resonance than any other Platonic myth, and is almost on a par with his philosophical theories. Clearly, the Atlantis theme is ubiquitous in modern light fiction as well as esoteric/pseudo-scientific literature. What other work of Plato is? Even in antiquity, there were authors reflecting on the Atlantis "theme", for instance Meropis.
The particular mention of Calcidius rendition of Timaeus is just a side note. That may be removed.
The words "erring on its historicity", on the other hand, are to explain where all this "I found Atlantis somewhere"-frenzy comes from. It all started with Donnelly (see for instance), taking Plato for histography rather than fiction and literature.
Maybe you want to point out what in particular you would correct, and how. --bender235 (talk) 17:29, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, in my original post I've mentioned a few things that I think you've distorted, but my main reason for preferring the former version is that you seem to have subtly polemicized what was a fairly bald and factual summary. Since no one else seems to mind, however, I wouldn't worry about it. Deor (talk) 14:34, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'm open for corrections, so please tell me what you'd like to change, and how. --bender235 (talk) 18:31, 1 March 2014 (UTC)


There are many who believe it's not fiction, so I would hardly call the lead neutral. By the same token there are many sources that contest it's reality, so call it real is also non neutral. Hence some like alleged, hypothetical or conjectured seems the more neutral terms to use.Slatersteven (talk) 09:47, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Neutrality has a limit. We cannot include nonsense just because someone "believes" so. Because this is not about "believe", but facts. Atlantis is a literary topic, not a historic. It might have been losely based on some other myth, but that doesn't make it "real" or even "hypothetically real". The same way Hamlet or Robinson Crusoe weren't historical persons. You won't find a scholar that believes otherwise. --bender235 (talk) 20:14, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Except that many ancient scholars did treat Atlantis as real. Moreover if it is based on "some other myth" that still means it's a mythical (not fictional) island.Slatersteven (talk) 13:30, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
No, it does not. Hamlet was based on a myth, yet he himself is a literary figure, not a mythical one. The video game series God of War is based on Greek mythology, but that does not make it a myth itself. You see the difference?
There may have been ancient or medieval scholars that took Atlantis for real, but that does not mean we have to repeat their uneducated mistakes in this encyclopedia. The geocentric model of the universe was believed to be true by those same scholars, too, but that doesn't require us to teach the controversy. --bender235 (talk) 14:31, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Are there academicians who consider Atlantis to be real? Yes, there always have been academicians who considered the possibility that Atlantis was a real place, and such academicians still exist today. Among them names such as Alexander von Humboldt, August Boeckh, Wilhelm Christ, Theodor Gomperz, Wilhelm Brandenstein, Massimo Pallottino, Spyridon Marinatos, John V. Luce, Eberhard Zangger, Herwig Görgemanns. Source: C. Franke (talk) 17:01, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

You, too, confuse a claim like "Atlantis was a real place" with "Atlantis was inspired by this other real place". Gotham City was inspired by a real place, but that doesn't make it real on it's own right. Luce claims Atlantis was inspired by Greek traditions based on the Minoans. Zangger claims Atlantis was inspired by Egyptian accounts of the Trojan War. Görgemanns claims Atlantis was inspired by Egyptian accounts of the Sea Peoples invasion. All three are cited in the article already. And neither claims Atlantis to be real. --bender235 (talk) 17:33, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
OK where does Plato say Atlantis is not real? All of the examples you give were acknowledged (by their authors) as works of fiction.Slatersteven (talk) 11:02, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Is there any sentence in Batman comics that tell you Gotham City was a fictional place? No, there is not, because people know that Batman comics are a piece of light fiction, not historiography. It's the same with Plato's work: Timaios and Critias are philosophical treatises, not history books. There is no "all persons fictitious disclaimer" because most people in antiquity were smart enough to tell the difference on their own. --bender235 (talk) 13:54, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I love to watch bender235 silencing all academic opinions he does not like. What a show! :-) --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 17:49, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
There is no credible scholar that claims Timaios and Critias (or any of Plato's work, for that matter) to be historiography. None, period. There are some who argue that Plato drew inspiration in his fiction from some (now lost) traditions, but again this is not to be confused with claiming Atlantis itself to be of historic fact. I'm sorry that you're unable to recognize this on your own, but that's how it is. Arguing that Emmanuel Goldstein is based on Leo Trotzki does not infer one claims Nineteen Eighty-Four to be a historic account of the Soviet Union. --bender235 (talk) 20:05, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Of course there is no "credible" scholar of this opinion, because scholars with this opinion are by bender235's defintion not "credible" :-) --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 12:52, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I linked WP:RS for a reason. There is no source, meeting those criteria there, that claims Plato's Atlantis story to be historically correct and factual. --bender235 (talk) 13:30, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Oh, you clever fox, you twist the words as you need it, congratulations :-) Now you talk of "historically correct" which is not the same as your previous word "historiography" (which is often not correct). Go on, go on! Your credibility is beyond any doubt :-) --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 13:40, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Maybe a good compromise would be just to say that Atlantis is "mythical" rather than fictional. I think this might better reflect the genre of the story anyway. Here's a good paper from Christopher Gill (very well-respected Plato scholar): [1] "Most scholars --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 18:36, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I just read the Clay 2000 which is currently cited (Clay is also a very well-respected Plato scholar). Of course he he says that the story is a "fiction" with just that word, but Clay also agrees that the story is a "myth". So changing to "mythical" won't be contradicted by the current source either. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 19:17, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
There is a big difference between "myths" and "fiction". Greek mythology is a mixture of folklore and religion. Atlantis, however, has no basis in Greek mythology. It simply does not exist there. Atlantis does not belong in line with the Fortunate Isles or the Hesperides, but with Panchaea and Cloud cuckoo land.
@Atethnekos: be careful not to confuse scholars' label of "myth" in the context of Atlantis with that of "Platonic myth", which is used to summarize the bunch of allegories and stories-within-the-story in Plato's work (such as Chariot, or Er). --bender235 (talk) 19:58, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, will do. Quite right, it is not part of Greek mythology proper. Of course I am fine with describing it as "fictional". Obviously "myth" has a lot of uses, and describing Plato's story as a myth is well-attested. E.g., when Gill says "most classical scholars, as readily, take [Plato's Atlantis story]] as the invented myth it is explicitly denied to be." He does mean myth in just that sense, inclusive of "philosophical myth". --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 20:07, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Atlantis would qualify as myth (in the original meaning of the word) if there was just one Ancient Greek author that mentioned it independently of Plato. But there is none. --bender235 (talk) 20:15, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by the "original" meaning of the word, I guess.

In the Timaeus Plato tells the story of the island of Atlantis, supposedly told originally to the seventh-century B.C.E. Athenian statesman Solon by Egyptian priests. According to the myth, there was once a large island west of the Pillars of Herakles opposite Mt. Atlas.

—Leeming, David, Oxford Companion to World Mythology, Oxford University Press (2005), p. 37.
If the recent Oxford Companion and all these Plato scholars are using the word wrong, then I don't know what the solution for us would be.--Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 20:46, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
By "original meaning" of myth I meant a story from within the Ancient Greeks system of religious folklore. Those stories have to be distinguished from fiction by Ancient Greek writers. Titanomachy, the Labours of Hercules, or the Argonauts are myths. On the other hand, Seven Against Thebes, The Birds, or Samia are fiction. Atlantis clearly belongs in the latter group.
This distinction is somewhat similar to the one of "legends" from other fiction in "our" literature. Robin Hood, the Flying Dutchman, or the Golem are "legendary" figures. Batman, Hell-Rider, or Shrek, are clearly not. I don't know how else to break it down to layman's terms.
But don't get me wrong: fiction can be based on mythology or legends, because that's where the author drew his inspiration from. But it still remains fiction. Luce, Zangger and Görgemanns argue in favor of mythological or historical inspiration for Atlantis, but they do not claim Atlantis to a historic fact or part of Greek mythology. --bender235 (talk) 21:43, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
So where do you stand now: Do you agree that many reliable sources affirm that Plato's story of Atlantis is a myth? Do you think that other reliable sources deny this? On which side do you think the balance of them is? --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 22:27, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
My standpoint is that Atlantis is fiction first and foremost, as explained by Gill and Morgan. Within Plato's work, it is a pseudo-mythical allegory, embedded as a story-within-the-story, i.e. a Platonic myth (de) (which, I'm pretty sure, Leeming's out-of-context quote above refers to). Unfortunately, we don't have an article on Platonic myths yet, but even then I'd argue that we should leave the label "fictional" in the lead and just pipe [[Platonic myth|fictional]], because the "mythical" label is simply wrong. --bender235 (talk) 07:49, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I think that's a fair assessment. This would be my reading of Morgan: She says that the story of Atlantis in Plato is an example of "philosophical myth": "The next level is that of philosophical myth meant to instruct. This level corresponds to the Noble Lie of the Republic and is represented by the myth of Atlantis" (Location 4253, Kindle edition). However, philosophical myth is a "subgenre" of philosophy, not of traditional myth (location 243). So I guess I would at least agree now that simply saying "mythical" would be POV, so I retract that suggestion. Thanks for the reference to Morgan. Don't buy the Kindle Edition by the way, it's really low-quality; it looks nothing like that the "Look Inside" preview that Amazon offers. I feel like I wasted 44 dollars! --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 10:11, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
A Noble Lie works only, if people believe it. But bender235 said above:
"There is no "all persons fictitious disclaimer" because most people in antiquity were smart enough to tell the difference on their own".
So, both cannot be, or? --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 12:52, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
An allegory can "work" (i.e., prove a point) even if it is not true in a historical or factual sense. I'm pretty sure most people understand the message of "The Ant and the Grasshopper", even though they do not believe this dialogue between an ant and a grasshopper actually occurred. --bender235 (talk) 13:26, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Hello-oohoooo, please wake up: There was talk of a Noble Lie, not of an allegory ... --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 13:42, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Why would this Platonic myth subgenre be any different? Does the myth of the metals (Resp. 3.414d1–415c7), that explains the origin of the three social classes, need to be historically true to maintain its philosophical value? I don't see that. --bender235 (talk) 14:05, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
I leave now this game of intentional misunderstanding, good bye! (And strange: The concept of a deceitful Noble Lie does not occur in the whole Atlantis article, strange, very strange ...) --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 15:58, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Thorwald, I believe Morgan is saying that the within Timaeus and Critias, the story of Atlantis is a Noble Lie to the characters in the fictional world, i.e. it's a Noble Lie to Timaeus, Critias and Hermocrates from Socrates the characters. She is not saying that it is a Noble Lie to the readers of the dialogue. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 18:33, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
No, quite the contrary: Educated persons, according to Morgan, allegedly could recognize the Noble Lie, i.e. persons like the dialogue partners. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 20:45, 7 April 2014 (UTC) PS: And it is not a story from Socrates. Socrates is one of the listeners. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 20:47, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes quite, right, I corrected that howler. What makes you think that though? Morgan says: "As, readers we are meant to find this rhetoric fairly transparent. Whereas the interlocutors must agree to accept the account at face value (in order for it to function as a Noble Lie), we are under no obligation to do so. Indeed, if we did we would the point that Plato is making, that Atlantis is an exercise in speculative political rhetoric, albeit philosophically based." (Location 4127) I think her position is clearly that the Atlantis story plays the role of a Noble Lie within the dramatic world, but not to the reader. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 21:01, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
No, you are wrong. You confuse the levels of fiction and reality. Kathryn A. Morgan sees it like this: Of course the interlocutors all accept the story. But this is fiction in order to create a Noble Lie. A Noble Lie which (of course) has to become active in reality. Only educated readers are meant to see it, not every reader. Otherwise there would be no sense at all in the whole Noble Lie story. In reality, educated persons like the interlocutors do recognize the Noble Lie. Only in the fiction they do not see it in order to establish the deception. I repeat: The story cannot be an allegory recognized by everybody as untrue and a Noble Lie at the same time. And the idea of a Noble Lie is completely missing in the current article. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 08:52, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
We can dabble into the details of Plato's philosophy, or we can accept the obvious: Plato was not a historian. His intention, unlike Herodot's or Thukydides's, was not to present a historic account, but a philosophical argument. Therefore, his whole work has to be seen as fictional. He certainly was influenced by contemporary events, and maybe even by older traditions, but his work itself and everything it contains is fiction. --bender235 (talk) 10:22, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Some start to be frightened when the details do not fit as they thought *smile* - But alas, I do not want to tease you, please be pragmatic and just include the idea of the Noble Lie into the article (on a superficial level, if you do not know better). You cannot cite Morgan but then not mention the Noble Lie. It must be included into the article. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 13:11, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Where does Morgan say these things? For example, she says "This level corresponds to the Noble Lie of the Republic and is represented by the myth of Atlantis. ... It is not undermined explicitly by any of the characters in the dialogue; nevertheless, its status as a festival composition and useful falsehood is apparent to the reader" (location 4258). What is it in the text that makes you think that Morgan thinks the Noble Lie has to be active in reality? Etc.? --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 19:16, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
I do not understand your question. A Noble Lie generally makes sense only, if it takes effect in reality. In the Republic the Noble Lie is discussed theoretically, open to the reader. The Atlantis story (if it is a Noble Lie) is not disclosed as a Noble Lie to the reader. If it is recognizable as Noble Lie to every reader, why then does the text emphasize its truth? Why not presenting it openly as a Noble Lie like in the Republic, if all the readers (allegedly) understand that it is a Noble Lie? It is absolutely clear and there is no doubt about this, that Morgan divides the readers in two groups: Some will see the Noble Lie, some others not. p. 104: The Atlantis dialogues put the Noble Lie from the Republic into action. p. 118: "manipulation" --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 10:03, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
So the Noble lie in The Republic, that provides rationality for Plato's suggestion of three social classes, can fulfill its purpose only if it was actually true? --bender235 (talk) 10:09, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
We talk about Morgan's approach here, not my approach. And we talk about the strange fact that the concept of the Noble Lie is missing in the article. It has to be included! --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 10:43, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

I think

A: we need to outdent. B:we need third party commentsSlatersteven (talk) 11:31, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

(re: Thorwald): The question is about your statement that Morgan holds that the story of Atlantis is "A Noble Lie which (of course) has to become active in reality." And similarly for the other statements. Where does Morgan make these claims? --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 08:33, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
I said what had to be said. Even with page numbers. See above. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 09:37, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
I didn't see anything on those pages. I have the Kindle Edition, but I can see those pages on Google Books, and on there they don't say anything about Noble Lie or Atlantis. What are the quotes you're thinking of? --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 10:18, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
I figure now you must be talking about her paper 1998 JHS paper, and not Myth and Philosophy. Give me a minute to fetch that.--Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 10:26, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
So, on p. 104 in the (1998), she says: "The truth of the tale must be acknowledged by the interlocutors because a successful noble lie does not make its fictional status transparent. This does not, however, mean that its status cannot be transparent to the reader." So that is clearly saying that the tale is meant to be a successful noble lie within the drama (and that explains why the characters regard it as true), but that it is not meant to be a successful noble lie within the real world of the intended readers (because the status as a lie can be transparent to the reader, and it can't be a successful noble lie when it is transparent to the reader). I'm not sure how p. 118 is supposed to bolster the case. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 10:52, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
If you want to believe this, then believe it. Maybe you need this in order to escape some contradictions in Morgan's argumentation, pointed out by me several paragraphs above. But it is not what Morgan said and meant. No intended effect of the Atlantis Noble Lie on the real world according to Morgan? Forget it ... --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 14:54, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
"But it is not what Morgan said and meant." Yes, I understand that to be your claim—I'm trying to understand what in Morgan makes you think this. What is it?--Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 23:10, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure why this fixation on Morgan. Let me throw in a relevant quote from Gill (p. 76): "Plato knows the story he presents as true is false, and that its apparent reality is only that of a plausible simulacrum, a copy of reality (though it is one whose creative originality belies the narrow limitations of Plato's own description of the writer as a mere "imitator"). And he is not, despite appearances, trying to deceive his reader into accepting his false story as true; he has given the reader enough hints for him to be able to gauge the real character of the work. Why, then, does he say his story is true? I think the reason is that he is not only writing fiction but, consciously, playing the game of fiction, the game, that is, of presenting the false as true, the unreal as real. And in his preface, he is inviting his reader to take part in the same game, to pretend (to himself) to be deceived when he is not, to take as true what he knows is false." --bender235 (talk) 05:34, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Gill seems to be as clever as the German Hans Herter, just saying: Oh it is not true and Plato does not say it, and he even adds many words and literary devices to make the story trustworthy, but in the end, it's all not a deception of the reader. But this is not our discussion here. Wikipedia is about reflecting academic positions, not making them.
a) Morgan: Plato's charter myth, deceptive, only learned persons realize it.
b) Gill: Just a game, a play. (But in 1980 he writes an interesting phrase: "ironic wink to his more perceptive readers", for me this sounds like Morgan)
c) Vidal-Naquet: Clearly a deception. In best case no one realizes it. Plato's intention to deceive is "perverse".
d) John V. Luce: There is a reality behind it.
And there is only one thing to do for every Wikipedian: Reflect all these in the article.
Wikipedia is not about making science, and not about omitting science. It is about reflecting science.
--Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 19:08, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

So some says it's myth or even not fiction and some say it is fiction.Slatersteven (talk) 11:33, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Who says it's part of Greek mythology (≠ Platonic myth)? --bender235 (talk) 11:41, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
Many like to say it's a myth although they clearly know it is not. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 19:10, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

fiction - Lessons learned about hidden agendas[edit]

... o World ... do you can hear the "sound of silence" ...?
When it comes to accept the presence of unwanted Atlantis invention hypothesis in the Atlantis article, certain "very academic" Wikipedians suddenly try to escape by avoiding the topic or finally by silence, as we can see above again and again.
We learn: Not only crazy Atlantis searchers want to make the Atlantis article reflect their views, but it's quite the same with Atlantis skeptics, too! Since there is not one single great accepted and safe invention hypothesis, but many, the same game is played among Atlantis skeptics as among Atlantis searchers.
I think this observation is a very valuable contribution to the discussion of the Atlantis article, since it helps to recognize hidden agendas. Wikipedia should not be the place to follow hidden agendas.
Happy Easter! --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 12:09, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Thorwald, how are we to understand what you are saying now as anything but casting aspersions? I try in good faith to understand why you think that Morgan thinks what you think she thinks. When I asked you for what in Morgan's text gave you your interpretation and how, you said, "If you want to believe this, then believe it", and you proceeded to speculate about intent. If you still want to explain your interpretation of Morgan, I am all ears. Take this from Morgan: "The truth of the tale must be acknowledged by the interlocutors, since a successful Noble Lie does not make its fictional status transparent. This does not mean that its status cannot be transparent to the reader. Does this mean that Plato is inviting his readers to play the `game of fiction'? Probably not. Rather, he invites us to speculate what might happen if the tale of Athens and Atlantis were accepted as a charter myth not only by the political elite, but by all citizens." (M&P 2000, Kindle Location 4054) That is saying that Plato intends for his readers to speculate about an alternative reality where the Atlantis story is accepted as a charter myth. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 19:21, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
You miss the point again and again. We are not only talking about Morgan (whom you misunderstood almost certainly intentionally (yes, no trust any more)) but about all the various invention hypotheses missing in this article. So much of academic production is missing in this article and nobody cares. This is the point. By making this conclusion, the discussion is over for me. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 09:42, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I never said we are only talking about Morgan. I made no judgement about any of the other viewpoints you mention. I have done nothing but try to understand both your interpretation and user:bender235's interpretation of these viewpoints. Again, if you are willing to explain how what Morgan says in M&P means what you think it means, then please do so. --Atethnekos (DiscussionContributions) 20:56, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Gill & Morgan - Even crazier than I thougt[edit]

It is crazier than I thought: On the one hand side, Gill and Morgan consider the Atlantis account to be a deceptive myth / Noble Lie. On the other hand side they claim that the readers are not deceived by it. It was my mistake not to realize the craziness of their thought about Plato's Atlantis: Gill and Morgan see a difference between (a) a deceptive myth displayed without calling it a deceptive myth, and (b) a deceptive myth set into effect (and not calling it a deceptive myth, too, of course). How to see the difference?! Is there any difference?! Some may say, it would be easy to see that it is a deceptive myth (yet I heavily doubt this for ancient Greek readers), but even if it would be easy to see, why then a deceptive myth? Can a deceptive myth be of any use and effect, if you easily see it is wrong? Wouldn't ancient readers talk more about the weird truth status of the story than about its purpose, as modern readers to? - So, I have to apologize of having been wrong in the discussion above, but I dare to put some of the guilt on the shoulders of Gill & Morgan. The incapability of the other participants of the discussion above to put forward clearly convincing arguments is a hint to the craziness of Gill's and Morgan's ideas. Morgan (2000) p. 269: "As readers, we are meant to find this rhetorc fairly transparent. Whereas the interlocutors must agree to accept the account at face value (in order for it to function as a Noble Lie), we are under no obligation to do so. Indeed, if we did we could miss the point Plato is making, that Atlantis is an exercise in speculative political rhetoric, albeit philosophically based". Since this sentence finds currently academic acceptance, I suggest to include it into the article, in order to make this academic viewpoint clear. --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 17:25, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

"Fiction" not appropriate[edit]

It is misleading to portray Plato as a writer of "fiction", even though his works do include fictional elements. In its usual sense, "fiction" is used to describe texts that are known to be works of imagination. The significance of Atlantis was that many people have treated it as factual. While you can argue Atlantis was not part of classical Greek mythology, the development of the idea over history is better described as a "legend" that a work of fiction. The parallel is with medieval lives of saints which often had little or no factual basis but which were treated as real by many people over many years. Describing Atlantis as "fictional" in the lead sentence not only misrepresents the facts; it also misrepresents the content of the article. Whatever its origins, Atlantis as a fictional device is only part of the article.--Jack Upland (talk) 03:01, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

(it may have been better had you only started on thread of discussion)
Ignoring the fact that the label "fiction" is backed by the numerous sources in the article, your definition of "legend" seems flawed. As I have mentioned above Robin Hood, the Flying Dutchman, or the Golem are "legendary" figures. Batman, Hell-Rider, or Shrek, are clearly not. Atlantis does not belong in the "legend" category because it can be traced back to a single author.
You're right insofar as this article right now contains a lot of pseudoscientific nonsense about "location hypotheses" of Atlantis. But we should fix that problem at it's root, instead of adopting the lead to it. --bender235 (talk) 12:16, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

"Atlantis in Gibraltar, between Iberia and Africa"[edit]

After deleting it I found it at [2] but I still think this fails as an RS. I note that now " Little, Greg (September 2004). "Atlantis Insider: Brief Reviews of the Latest in the Search for Atlantis". " links to a junk page.[3]. Not sure what to do about it. Dougweller (talk) 10:34, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Devised by Plato?[edit]

There is a contradiction in the introduction. The first sentence says Atlantis was "devised by Plato". However, the last paragraph says its origins are uncertain. Logically, it is not possible to eliminate the possibility that Plato drew on an existing story (which was his practice with Gyges etc). Therefore it is a violation of neutrality to begin this way.--Jack Upland (talk) 02:35, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

No, it's not a contradiction. Hamlet is a work "devised by Shakespeare", yet the origin of the underlying myth is not so clear. Same with Goethe's Faust and the underlying German legend.
Atlantis is one of Plato's inventions. No other writer before him, or during his time, mentions any place of that name. Then again, Plato surely was inspired by something, and what this something was is up for debate. Most scholars say it was contemporary Athenian politics that inspired him, others say it was some tradition of an "ancient invasion" (e.g., the Sea Peoples in Egypt), and others say it was a myth or legend that today is lost. This latter part is what's uncertain. But fact that Plato invented a place named "Atlantis" is not. --bender235 (talk) 12:09, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Many texts from the ancient world have not survived. As far as we know, Plato could have been merely echoing an existing story that has not survived in any other form.--Jack Upland (talk) 03:19, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
Sure, he could have echoed a story everyone knew during his day. Or maybe Walt Disney told him the story using a time machine. Unfortunately, it is none of Wikipedia's business to speculate. We, in fact, echo what the WP:RS are telling us. --bender235 (talk) 10:55, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

In the sources I could access, I could not find a definitive statement that the island of Atlantis was "devised" (i.e. invented) by Plato. Zangger in fact denies this, and even takes the account of the Egyptian priests seriously. Morgan doesn't directly address the issue. I haven't been able to see the whole article, but it appears Gill argues the story is "fictional" but also says this may seem "surprising". There doesn't seem a consensus here. I think it's important to be clear we are talking about the (supposed) place, not the particular story that Plato tells. I think your example of Shakespeare and Goethe illustrates this. To say the authors devised the plays is different from saying that they devised the characters, which in the case of Faust is clearly not true. That is why the sentence should be reworded.--Jack Upland (talk) 07:44, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Morgan does not explicitly use the word "devised", but she calls it "designer history", which should be unambigious. Both C. Gill and D. Clay call it "fiction". If the word "devised" is what bothers you, we can remove it. --bender235 (talk) 09:32, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
I would tend to support Jack Upland's objections, and especially Christopher Gill later denied the view of a fictional story in his work Plato on Falsehood - not Fiction , 1993. Kathryn A. Morgan built her ideas on that. Good luck, Jack ... --Thorwald C. Franke (talk) 17:28, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, you tell me what it is. And don't bring up your "noble lie" category again, because that isn't a category that Wikipedia readers will understand.
So is Atlantis "legendary"? No, because we don't have evidence of a legend behind it. Is it "mythical"? No, because it never was part of Greek mythology. Is it "historical"? No, because it does not appear in non-fiction works. It only appears in Plato's works. Just like Middle-earth only appears in Tolkien's works, and Gotham City only appears in Batman comics. So, you tell me, what "label" does it deserve? --bender235 (talk) 20:09, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree that it is certainly not legendary or mythical. But I don't understand the statement that Gill later denied the view of a fictional story. If this summary is correct[4] and I find it hard to believe it is wrong, Gill does not deny it is fictional: "Plato's core interest is in the moral truth or falsehood of the messages conveyed, rather than the notion or practice of fiction." That's quite different from saying Gill denies that it is fictional. Plato was constructing a practical example of his ideal state and his inspiration came from various sources. This is his Atlantis devised to meet his specific needs, whether or not there was some long lost earlier version - which is sheer speculation and irrelevant. We can't separate Plato and Atlantis in the way Jack Upland seems to be suggesting. Atlantis is not a 'place' in the geographical sense, it is a fictional place created or devised by Plato, and everything stems from that. Sure, the article isn't just an analysis of his story. Zangger's view is just another fringe view. The fact that a lot of fiction is inspired by real events and objects doesn't stop it from being fiction. Rodney Castleden for instance suggests that Plato draws from Syracuse (eg the fortifications of Syracuse) and Sparta for both physical descriptions and some of his political commentary, writing circumspectly so as to avoid Socrates fate. His inspiration is uncertain - perhaps the problem is the word 'origins' which is confusing. Dougweller (talk) 10:43, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
Replacing "origin" with "inspiritation" would solve it. --bender235 (talk) 11:00, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

No matter how true your views are, Wikipedia should preserve neutrality. I think the page is moving towards where it ought to be.--Jack Upland (talk) 12:05, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Neutrality does not mean writing every POV in the wild. Biology articles can be neutral even without mentioning any creationism crap at all. --bender235 (talk) 10:37, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Cultural Marxist Bias[edit]

Content clearly biased with a Cultural Marxist Point of View. Text uses several mechanisms for degrading opposing view points, including stating it was of Minor importance to Plato's works, was used to show Plato's concept as a state as superior; constant use of terms such as allegorical, fictional, and pseudoscience. The legend of Atlantis is not to a single source, but within multiple cultures and historians. Text also states "present-day philologists and historians unanimously accept the story's fictional character." No they do not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Atlantiansatlas (talkcontribs) 17:30, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Do you have any reliable sources to support the missing opposing viewpoints, or with which to establish WP:DUE weight to change the article altogether? Your blog link does not meet our reliable source requirements.- MrX 18:25, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
(a) What is a "cultural Marxist"?
(b) The legend of Atlantis is not to a single source, but within multiple cultures and historians. Not true. Atlantis only exists in Plato's work. No Greek author before him, or one of his contemporaries, mentions Atlantis. Let alone any non-Greek author at any time. There are, of course, other legends of sunk continents and mysterious islands. But none of these are related to Atlantis. Just like there are hundreds of movies with spaceships and aliens without any relation to Star Trek. --bender235 (talk) 21:33, 5 July 2014 (UTC)