Saying and hearing are proper only when they are intrinsically directed in advance toward Being, toward logos. Only where logos opens itself up does vocabulary become word. Only where the self-opening Being of beings is apprehended does merely keeping one's ears open become hearing. But those who do not grasp logos ἀκοθσαι θὐκ ἐπιστάμενοι ο'θδ'εἰπειν, "are able neither to hear nor to stand in the Being of beings. Only those who are capable of this, rule over the word--the poets and thinkers. The others just eel about within the orbit of their caprice and lack of understanding. They accept as valid only what comes directly into their path, what flatters them and is familiar to them. They are like dogs: κύνες γὰρ καί βαύζοθσιν ών ἀν μὴ γινώσκωσι, "for dogs also bark at everyone they do not know" (fragment 97). They are donkeys: ὀνους σύρμα'τ'ἀν ἑλέσθαι μαλλον ἠ χρυσόν, "donkeys like chaff better than gold" (fragment 9). They continually deal with beings everywhere. Yet Being remains concealed to them. Being cannot be touched and tasted, can neither be heard with the ears nor smelled. Being is completely different from vapor and smoke: εἰ πάντα τὰ ὀντα καπτὸς γένοιτο, ῤῖνες ἀν διαγνοῑεν, "if all beings turned into smoke, it would be noses that would distinguish and grasp them" (fragment 7).
Yet....what does Plato say about real knowledge vs. appearances in the Republic? Small latin, and much less greek here but Socrates insisted upon demonstrable knowledge did he not, even if granting the existence of supra-sensible Forms..or an Idea itself--ie. mathematics, geometry in particular, natural sciences (as far as they were known), logic, metaphysics and perhaps history. Per the Republic the poets were kicked into La Roo (tho Plato did allow for sort of official statist musick--maybe JP Sousas). One reason some might consider Fregean tradition as the real inheritor of Plato (with Heidegger and postmods as affirming a pre-socratic "ontology"--"Being cannot be touched and tasted, can neither be heard with the ears nor smelled." Socrates might agree in some sense but will still demand a proof of some sort of the Forms, or Idea--either geometric or logical, would he not? Isn't mysticism to insist on the existence of entities without proof. )
It's been so long since I read EIM that I had completely forgotten the references to Heraklitus. Should I care to read that text again, I certainly will opt for the new translation.
J, the prof who took me through the Politea the last time was the first one to point out the humor as well as the Pythagorean influence. While he thought the idea of men and women exercising together was in jest, L saw recently that in Sparta that was actually the case.
My undertanding of Husserl's contribution is that he decided to study entities themselves without getting bogged down in Kant's refusal of things-in-themselves. I understand phenomenology as starting with the mutual implication of subjects and objects.
"Socrates insisted upon demonstrable knowledge did he not"
I do recall that, in the Politea, knowledge of the Good was ascribed to a gift of the gods. I am not familiar enough with Plato's philosophy to understand exactly where that fits with his levels of knowledge.
Jowett Im not but I'm pretty convinced rationalism was a consistent theme in Platonic tradition--e.g. pointing out the the limits of empiricism, specifically in regard to geometric knowledge--. the mystical or bacchic elements are there, but secondary. --the Meno sets that anti-empirical argument out quite well (even Chomsky used it, or tried) , Crito as well, and sections of the Republic. Plato's no hindu or eastern mystic.
Many subsequent thinkers did not care for the rationalism, or "realism" I guess in the scholastic sense--empiricists and Nietzsche similar in that regard, and Heid. echoing Nietzsche perhaps. Nietzsche was quite the philologist and probably read the classical greek up and down (as does Heid. apparently), but mathematician or rationalist philosopher he wasn't.
Which is to say, in terms of taking on the reductionists, skeptics and scoffers of all types, Plato may be superior to the germans (or postmods--who quite rightly perceived Plato as the enemy to ...well, whatever they do), including the Kant-Hegel-Marx trinity.
As Badiou seems to suggest (tho' thats not to support Badiou's political programme....The Republic's not maoism...is it). Rarely--if ever--would the few Biff n Bunny's reading the anglo-Plato in Collegetown, and engaging in the olde compare and contrast to modern philosophers (including germans), discover an argument worthy of Socrates' points in the Meno (and many other dialogues, the Republic...the Euthyphro as well remains worth considering). Or so it seems to us.
No one can argue with Plato's reputation as an original and originator. And what you say of his rationalism is deserved.
With my interests in theology, however, I have had to cope with neo-Platonism until I found my way to existentialism. As my training largely ignored it (in the 1950s), I went back to the classroom in the last decade to be brought up to date in philosophy.
For my part, everything pre-Husserl could be lost, and I would never miss it (except maybe Heraclitus). I do not curse the seductiveness of Oriental dualism (for whom Plato is an ally), except the the extent that it is our cave today. Hence MH arrives as a sun, not "the" sun but a light at the end of a tunnel.
I find it a bit interesting that you consider the existentialists theological, when most of them explicitly rejected judeo-christianity (Kierkegaard excepted). Neo-platonism's old and a bit boring perhaps, but still a part of Church tradition to some degree as is Aristotle. As with the Meno dialogue, the platonists offered various arguments for a priori knowledge, and Mind--so in that sense I wouldn't classify them as eastern mystics (whereas at times Heidegger sounds rather...zennish. Or psychological).
In a sense the central philosophical battle seems to be Rationalism vs empiricism--Plato vs Aristotle; Descartes vs Hobbes. Frege vs Carnap much later. That has theological implications of course as well. The german idealists introduce the psychological elements, IMHE. Descartes' careful argumentation in the Meditations often seems like champagne compared to much Kantian grog, even if one hesitates to agree to the Cartesian programme, and sort of agrees to some Kantian synthesis, however vague (the empiricists were grubby as well....but Hobbes at least offers some fairly good counter -parries to Descartes/continentalists. AS does Hume a bit later). Frege affirms Descartes.
Philosophy sans argumentation, proof, cogency or probability ---well, it may work for belle-lettrists, psychologists, and postmodernists--ie Nietzsche, say, does wield some powerful rhetoric--, but it's not the tradition. Rorty for instance sounds like a bureaucrat or sociologist most of the time, not really a philosopher .
"...the central philosophical battle seems to be Rationalism vs empiricism."
With my first glimmer of what MH might be trying to tell us, I saw that the tradition might need a complete overhaul. At first, it seemed only a handful of academics were willing to bother. So, via enowning's blog, I have been surprised and delighted to see that the process is now well underway.
The conclusion of the paper enowning cited several days back, "The Animal Beyond Being," is a knockout. In it a couple guys argue that it is not philosophy that enables science (ala MH, etc.) but the reverse. Not enough of their argument is evident there, just their loud objections to MH. That's the first time I have encountered that dimension of the debte.
...it is not philosophy that enables science (ala MH, etc.) but the reverse.
Im not a postmod, but don't Heidegger and postmods reject that view? QCT itself. That sounds like positivism, or modified form.
Kant also, at least in terms of showing the cognitive givens of empirical science. Discussing the "grounds", the concepts and "conditions of experience" in regard to science (as per the animal essay)--that sounds Kantian, doesn't it? The Synthetic a priori presents issues--what about.."the transcendental structure of worldhood proper to Dasein"?? . Yet the person in that animal essay assumes that structure has been established. Some of us probably don't.
Does that transcendental structure reside in our brains, or not?? The T-word would again suggest Heidegger's crypto-dualism. To some of us it's a big deal to claim ....T-ness. In traditional Philosophy, one would argue for Transcendence--perhaps allude to the difficulties of empiricism to account for logical/mathematical knowledge (And empiricists would attempt to refute). For postmodernists, it's enough to suggest it, routinely.
Ive probably said this ad nauseum, but merely positing some holistic or ontological or mystical alternative doesn't really suffice to take on the techies, the reductionists, the scientific establishment. More...specificity, tactics, reason, even...normativity is needed. Marx himself had already started something like that, ie science and industry as helpmates to capitalism--people just don't care for his programme or the consequences thereof. Feyerabend another one.
Dunno what you think of P.F. Strawson, but I leaned heavily on him in my M.A. thesis. After explaining how Kant does-in transcendence, Strawson does-in transcendental idealism. To wit,
Strawson shows Kant found it necessary to dismiss the concept of “the whole of things.” For Kant, the whole of things is a misconception that enables the erroneous framework of the “transcendent,” which Kant carefully exposes as an impossibility. Appeal to the transcendent mistakenly avoids, by its exclusive reliance on reason, the inescapable mutuality of intuitions and understanding dependent on limits. So it can never get beyond a half truth. “The whole of things”—if understood conventionally, in terms of the universe, or total and complete existence, or all reality—does not work when thought of as an object projected to the ultimate or highest degree. Nor can any other item or system of inclusiveness, as may happen to appeal to us, work. Such a ‘whole’ has no empirical referent, when we belong to it, either as a part, or an element, or a feature, or a condition. Without an empirical referent, a thought is empty. The full truth is better approximated only through Kant’s discipline of transcendental idealism.
But what if, rather than representing the “whole of things,” we look to language’s capacity to show us the “whole of things” not as an object, as the natural sciences might try to do, nor as a subject, as classical metaphysics and religious mysticism might try to do? For the whole of things, the best that language can give us is a picture of something we know we can talk about but never know, as such. That is to say, the whole of things can never be a thing-in-itself, an item of knowledge. Yet that does not mean the whole of things is beyond our capacity to talk about it. Surprisingly, it need not be restricted to Kant’s noumenal either. In his summation of Kant’s First Critique, P. F. Strawson provides insights that apply.
"Once transcendental idealism has been laid aside, there is no obstacle to accepting Nature or the world-whole itself—empirically unconditioned existence, all-embracing reality—as the object of such an attitude. How could inquiring human reason find a more appropriate object for its admiring and humbly emulative devotion than that which is at once the inexhaustible topic of its questions and the source of its endlessly provisional answers? For human reason itself is part of Nature. In a few paragraphs towards the end of the Dialectic Kant seems even to show some sympathy with this conception, or with a part of it; though any fully developed view of this kind, such as Spinoza’s, would certainly be alien to his thought and perhaps morally repulsive to him."
well-stated, Jan, and I will have to consider (Strawson's Bounds of Sense an important text but a bit too close to the Oxbridge ord-language people for some of us)---yet, briefly, wouldn't the slight skepticism of the Kantian programme --the limitations of human reason, the subjective forms of intuition, and the inability to prove a ding-an-sich (in that IK seems to be agreeing with Empiricists against Aristotle/Leibnizians, re causality mainly)--be somewhat if not greatly opposed to Heideggerians who insist that they have direct knowledge of Being, or even "Being-in-the-world"???. . Heidegger's Being is not merely Phenomena... or noumena, nor is understanding it a matter of synthesis . SO it seems to me .
Happy holidays to you and Enk. Ive sorta exhausted my phil. repetoire here, and not up to wading through the Kritik again (or commentaries thereof)--an odd leftist femme recommended Gramsci's readings of Kant to me a few years ago and that rekindled a slight interest (rather different than Strawson), yet the endless snark hunt of metaphysics resulted in me pursuing linguistic-oriented studies as a grad-stu. for a while and even...osiris forbid analytical phil. (tho I did finally realize a few years ago, what sort of cold, calculating creatures Carnap & Co were. But that doesn't exactly demolish everything they wrote or accomplished).