Plato’s dialogues always end in aporia, a release from knowledge. Socrates intentionally leads each of his interlocutors to aporia. He asks them what they know, then comes to show them that they don’t know. It’s a simple formula. The question for me has always been why he does this. I now think it has to do with the existential way Plato understands philosophy. There is always being before knowing, a transformation of the person before any thing can be known (of the good). In order to reach this transformation, we have to work. I think Socrates is trying to do that work. Aporia is the state that starts the process to the good, and on to knowledge. Unless the person lets go of his knowledge, holds on to it like a desperate animal, he cannot know truth. Once he parts ways with it, he is free to find the good, to become good, the burden of his knowledge has been lifted from him.

I think Plato is committed to the idea that humility is the key virtue to truth. From humility the true journey to truth begins. A person must be broken down and built back up anew. This requires an entire change in the person from what he was. It is a rejection of the world and its values. Aporia, at its heart, is therapy for ones who receive it. Plato saw this. More to come.

~ by Barky on September 14, 2011.

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