Friday, August 1, 2008


Will Durant's The Story of Philosophy page xxv He starts out defining philosophy and why we need it. page xxviii He discusses the five fields of philosophy: logic, esthetics, ethics, politics and metaphysics page 1 He starts out saying that the traders were the first philosophers because they encountered so many different religions. page 16 here is a quote on that page...Durant is talking about Plato "It filled him with such a scorn of democracy, such a hatred of the mob, as even his aristocratic lineage and breeding had hardly engendered in him; it led him to a Cantonic resolve that democracy must be destroyed, to be replaced by the rule of the wisest and the best. On pages 21 to 52... Durant starts talking about the Republic noting "references are to marginally-numbered sections" of The Republic. page 27--he seems to be saying that education is the key to making democracy work. I agree. And so it makes me wonder the motivation of people that don't want the state to offer excellent education free to everyone. page 30---seem a little crazy..Plato thinks kids should be taken away from their families to be taught in utopian schools? Like boarding schools? page 31-32----Plato: "through music the soul learns harmony and rhythm page 35 quote: "Plato believes that a nation cannot be strong unless it believes in God." and Durant continues to paraphrase Plato "it will do us no harm to believe, and it may do us and our children immeasurable good." page 38 quote: "There is, as the gentle Spinoza would say, a world of things perceived by the sense, and a world of laws inferred by thought..." Durant goes on to say that we need both the senses and rational thought page 40 quote: "we must classify and coordinate our sense experience in terms of law and purpose; only for lack of this does the mind of the imbecile differ from the mind of Caesar" ... "generalizations and absractions are worthless except that they be tested by this concrete world." page 41--who should become rulers page 42--explains what Plato means by aristocracy page 46--Plato was a feminist :-) page 46-47 Plato doesn't seem to be big on marriage. page 47---very radical thoughts.....I doubt few of the modern age would agree with Plato. He is advocating abortion. Plato isn't advocating choice, he is advocating abortion. BUT...maybe for his times, this wasn't so incredibly off the wall as it appears to me now in my culture. page 48---this is radical, yes? from Plato's Republic referencing (459-60) talking about Plato's Utopia: "Our braver and better youth, besides their other honors and rewards are to be permitted a greater variety of mates, for such fathers ought to have as many sons as possible." page 52 quote: "Morality, said Jesus, is kindness to the weak; morality, said Nietzsche, is the bravery of the strong; morality, says Plato, is the effective harmony of the whole. Probably all three doctrines must be combined to find a perfect ethics." page 56--Durant summarizes what's wrong with Plato's utopia. page 59 to 60--Even though this was written in the 1920's, Durant comes out strongly against the US's two party system. page 62 end the section on Plato.

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