A Forum for and the Background of the Mediation of Dialogue in Ancient and Modern Academies

Friday, 20 February 2009

At home in Cambridge again. Goodbye to the Bad Soul?

And so I am back in Cambridge this time for longer. I missed the celebrations of Darwin's 200th anniversary, as I was still battling with or rather against the Bad Soul that snows into (the Laws X). But I could finally do my best and disconnect the Bad Soul from the "real existence" of the bad World-Soul, which has enchanted the Platonic research ever since antiquity. I emphasised instead its relation to the "real possibility" of World-Soul qua soul. In comparison to soul, body and matter are neither good nor bad in themselves according to Plato. Thus let us take Aristotle's account of Plato once more with a pinch of salt, correcting our wrongly-put question: "is body or matter bad or principle of the bad/evil in Plato?" My argument enjoys now its peace in the unmoveable and unchangeable written word. Even if "condemned" to be published, at least it is content not to be any longer disturbed by my sometimes desperate, disentagling attempts. I can myself immerse into the next depth afresh: the exegetical Gigantomachia in the Sophist. More haste, less speed: easy to say but how to do?

Still wondering, whether Plato was responsible, or even to blame, for such a bulk of different, if not opposed, interpretations, which he himself gave raise to, I try to make a good case for his brilliant writing, which prompts all of us to find ourselves. In this manner, Plato imitated Socrates, although he himself wrote more than enough. For my part, I do not wish to critisize his successors and modern interpreters, who projected their own conceptions of philosophy upon his texts, but rather lead back their mirroring "self-duplications" to Plato's art of writing itself, which compels us to find and give account for noone but ourselves, a process which is very often irritatingly baffling anyway. In any case, Πλάτων ἀναίτιος.

The British spring seems to be approaching - or at least heralded - in Cambridge.