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01/04/2018

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Charles N.Steele

I know several Straussians. They are nice enough people, but after talking with them a bit I adopted the same approach to their beliefs that you have.

John Pepple

I, too, know several Straussians, and in fact they are friends of ours. When we talk about Plato, a lot of sparks fly! Heh

Charles N.Steele

Some of them believe, weirdly enough, that Plato did not mean what he said in Republic, that it was a reductio ad absurdum. (Then why did Aristotle work to refute it?) Yet other Straussians believe that there are secret interpretations of all the great texts that are what the authors *really* meant. I stop listening at that point because the reasoning seems down the rabbit's hole and through the looking glass.

John Pepple

Yes, that Aristotle spent so much time refuting things in the Republic is all I need to believe that they are wrong.

And yes, down the rabbit hole. I used to think that Plato hadn't explained why he had given the Third Man Argument in the Parmenides, and that of course can lead to the idea that there are secret interpretations (though I don't know what motivates them to believe that), but then one day I saw that he had in fact explained it (at 135a). He was responding to others who had decided on the basis of that argument that the forms don't exist. I'm sure everyone in the Academy knew what was going on.

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