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Publication Details

On the Problems of Perfect Man in Plato's Philosophy

(Original title: K problematike dokonalého človeka v Platónovej filozofii)
Filozofia, 23 (1968), 4, 389-403.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
The present study deals with the problems of the perfect man. in Plato’s philosophy of the so-called middle period and particularly in the Constitution. In the first part of the study, the mehodological aspect of the problem is dealt with. In Plato, the model of society — community is represented by the structure of human individaul existing in the individual man as early as before the existence of any community. Therefore, from the theoretical standpoint, the problem of the relation between man and community is for Plato, in the first place, rather a methodological problem than an ontological one. The subject matter of the second párt of the present study are the presuppositions and criteria of the perfect man. Plato’s attempt is the first great attempt at the theoretical image of fully integrated man, as expressed in areté. This endeavor meets with the insolvable problem of he presence of transcendental ideal entities whose structure :is not known and therefore defined only negatively, in the world of senses. According to the author, also Plato’s „noetical illusionism“, consisting in overestimating knowledge and underestimating nonrational factors in human individual, follows then from the above. The third part of the study deals with the personality of the perfect man. Plato’s model of the perfect man fluctuates between two poles: when speaking about man in connection with the noetical problems, he reduces personality — soul — to the pure thought. In the frame of social problems, he sees, however, human personality as a certain differentiated structure, in which the absolute primacy is held again by the rational factor. The cooperation of the individual components of personality is, however, not satisfactorily explained. In the fourth part — on Plato’s „way to the good“ — the author states that though the teachability of virtues is the basic point of departure in Plato’s pedagogical essays, the ontological presuppositions, existing in every man in advance, reduce at the same time the possibilities of complete education to a narrow circle of spiritual aristocracy. The last part of the study represents a very concise outline of some problems of the perfect society — community. The author tries to differentiate immanently philosophical sources and concrete social impulses which cooperated in Plato’s construction of the ideal community.
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