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The Good is Not God
One sentence from the introduction is troubling, and out of date with contemporary Plato scholarship. It reads:
"The central concept of Platonism is the Theory of Forms: the transcendent, perfect archetypes, of which objects in the everyday world are imperfect copies. The highest form is the Form of the Good, God, the source of being, which could be known by reason."
This reads far too much Neoplaonism into Plato. Nowhere in the Dialogues does Plato say (or even imply) that the good is (a) god. Moreover, while the Republic does make it clear that good is in some sense responsible for the existence (or essence? The Greek ousia is ambigious) of other things, it's domain is limited to the intelligibles, to other forms--to assert that Plato made this claim about all existence proceeding from the good is groundless and shows sloppy scholarship. I have edited it accordingly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by T of Locri (talk T of Locri (talk) 06:46, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
The article goes straight into introducing the theory of forms without mentioning God. In relation to the pre-Socratic philosophers the introduction of God as the cause of existence marked a radical and not insignificant departure. By 'God' I in no way imply the fully expanded theology of later religions. God for Plato was the creator and father of the universe as stated in Timaeus & Critas. If there are no objections I'll add this point. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 28 September 2009 (UTC)
- You can add the information if you want. Just make sure you cite some good secondary sources - standard textbooks in ancient philosophy or platonism will be fine. Singinglemon (talk) 21:39, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Well I removed this paragraph added by 184.108.40.206 on 28 September 2009:
Platonism differed from the Pre-Socratic philosophers who variously described the ultimate cause of the universe to be fire, air or water etc. In distinction to their naturalistic philosophies Plato in his Timaeus taught that God (defined as the Demi-Urge) was the arranger of the existing matter, while the ultimate reality was the experience of The Form of the Good.
I don't think it was a particular wrong or anything, but I would like to have seen at least one reference to show that this was standard scholarly viewpoint. I was a bit puzzled by the view of 220.127.116.11 that "in relation to the pre-Socratic philosophers the introduction of God as the cause of existence marked a radical and not insignificant departure". Not every Pre-Socratic philosopher assigned the cause of the universe to fire, air or water etc. Xenophanes believed in a single impersonal god; the Eleatics, of course had a very monist view of reality; and Anaxagoras conceived of god as a cosmic mind ordering all things. Singinglemon (talk) 20:56, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
- I have a problem with "God" here, in that Athens was, of course, not monotheist (only Jews and some Egyptians were) and, from my reading (especially IF Stone), the Socratics rejected the "democracy" of pantheism in favor of aristocratic atheism. Also, the acceptance of Plato by the Christian church may not be specific enough, as there has never been a specific Christian church; there were many, many differing churches with some attempting to exterminate others for reasons of POV. The Roman church adopting Plato to integrate his republic to assist the European capital structure that inherited the Western Roman Empire--this I can buy.--John Bessa (talk) 02:02, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Platonic influence on Christianity
I think something is missing. As far as I can see, Christianity is the Platonic reinterpretation of Judaism, based on that Jesus is the Demiurge of God the One, foremost in the intro of the Gospel of John, then the Epistle to the Colossians. Rather than "Platonic influence" this is a "Platonic foundation". I would like to see some sources that have dived into this significant topic. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 12:04, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
- THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT AND THE QUESTION OF GREEK INFLUENCE by Shandon L. Guthrie