Vanessa de Harven Lecture: Plato, The Last Presocratic
This episode of The Grindstone features the lecture given by Vanessa de Harven (UMass-Amherst) at Purdue University on Saturday, 27 April 2019. The lecture was given at a conference honoring the career of Dr. Patricia Curd, Professor Emerita of the Department of Philosophy at Purdue.
The title of the lecture is: "Plato, The Last Presocratic: Remarks on Republic V in honor of Pat Curd".
Dr. de Harven's overview of the talk is below:
The end of Republic V is a locus classicus for the characterization of Plato as an impossible realist so committed to Forms that he forgoes all knowledge of the sensible world. I argue that one can stand by a so-called objects analysis of the argument directed to the lovers of sights and sounds, which sets knowledge and opinion over different objects, without precluding knowledge of the sensible world. The mistake engrained in the tradition is the idea that sensible particulars themselves (say, Helen or a vase) are the objects of opinion, as opposed to sensible particulars considered only in terms of their sensible properties (e.g. their shapes and colors). Setting knowledge over the Forms and opinion over sensibles is thus not a move to another world or to mere Form-gazing, but a change in perspective on this one world. Indeed, Socrates’ underappreciated analogy with dreaming and waking tells us as much, and I show it is of a piece with the argument that follows.