Research Article


DOI :10.26650/arcp.1367141   IUP :10.26650/arcp.1367141    Full Text (PDF)

The Relationship Between Plato’s Letters and His Understanding of Philosophia

Baran Bingöl

This paper aims to reveal the relationship between the 2nd, 7th, and 10th Letters, encompassing “philosophical” content among Plato’s letters, and the dialogues. There is a crucial research gap regarding coherence or incoherence between the letters and the dialogues. Therefore, at least the parts of these letters considered “philosophical” should be translated into Turkish and their consistency with the dialogues clarified. In this paper, I advocate a significant consistency between the dialogues and the letters that must be explored in-depth. The first part of the paper consists of translating the 2nd, 7th, and 10th Letters from Ancient Greek into Turkish and analyzing the relationship between these letters and the dialogues. Especially when the 2nd, 7th, and 10th Letters and dialogues are examined as a whole, it is clear that Plato tries to explain that which is truth-that which is pseudo distinction consistently. This is essential for his system, and on the basis of this distinction, he distinguishes what he means and does not mean by “philosophia” through his relationship with Dionûsios, the king of Surakousa of the period. Burnyeat ironically declares the 7th Letter “pseudo” by claiming that there is no coherence between it and the dialogues and that they even contradict each other, without considering this fundamental distinction between that which is truth-that which is pseudo. The second part of the article is a critique of Myles Burnyeat’s article “The pseudophilosophical digression in Epistle VII,” which posits that the 7th Letter is pseudo.

DOI :10.26650/arcp.1367141   IUP :10.26650/arcp.1367141    Full Text (PDF)

Platon’un Mektupları ile Philosophia Anlayışı Arasındaki İlişki

Baran Bingöl

Bu makale, Platon’un mektupları arasında “felsefî” içeriği bulunan 2. 7. ve 10. Mektup’un diyaloglar ile arasındaki ilişkiyi açığa çıkarma çabasıdır. Literatürde hem Platon’un mektuplarının Türkçe çevirisi hem de mektuplar ile diyaloglar arasındaki tutarlılık veya tutarsızlık meselesi hakkında ciddi bir eksiklik mevcuttur. Dolayısıyla, bahsi geçen mektupların en azından “felsefi” olarak kabul edilen kısımlarının Türkçeye çevrilmesi ve diyaloglar ile tutarlı olup olmadığının açığa çıkarılması gerekmektedir. Makalenin ilk kısmında, diyaloglar ile mektuplar arasında ciddiye alınması gereken ölçüde tutarlılık olduğu savunulmaktadır. Özellikle 2. 7. 10. Mektuplara ve diyaloglara bir bütün olarak bakıldığında, Platon’un sisteminde hayatî önem taşıyan hakiki-sahte ayrımının tutarlı bir şekilde anlatılmaya çalışıldığı, bu ayrım temelinde Platon’un dönemin Surakousa kralı Dionûsios ile ilişkisi üzerinden “philosophia” derken ne kastettiğini ve ne kastetmediğini birbirinden ayırt etmeye çalıştığı görülmektedir. Myles Burnyeat, Platon sisteminde hayatî bir anlamı bulunan söz konusu hakiki-sahte aslî ayrımını dikkate almadan diyaloglar ile 7. Mektup arasında bir bütünlük bulunmadığını hatta çeliştiklerini iddia ederek ironik bir şekilde 7. Mektup’u “sahte” ilân etmiştir. Makalenin ikinci kısmında, 7. Mektup’un sahte olduğunu iddia eden Burnyeat’in “7. Mektup’un Sahte-Felsefi Ara-Sözü” başlıklı makalesine bir eleştiri sunulmuştur.


EXTENDED ABSTRACT


This paper contains a partial translation from Ancient Greek into Turkish and analysis of the 2nd, 7th, and 10th Letters of Plato, which have “philosophical” content, aiming to reveal the relationship between these letters and the dialogues. There is a literature gap regarding coherence or incoherence between the letters and the dialogues. Therefore, t at least the parts of these letters considered “philosophical” should be translated into Turkish and their consistency with the dialogues clarified. In this paper, I advocate a significant consistency between the dialogues and the letters that must be explored in-depth. The first part of the paper consists of translating the 2nd, 7th, and 10th Letters from Ancient Greek into Turkish and analyzing the relationship between these letters and the dialogues. Especially when the 2nd, 7th, and 10th Letters and dialogues are examined as a whole, it is clear that Plato tries to explain that which is truth-that which is pseudo distinction consistently. This is essential for Plato, and on the basis of this distinction, distinguishes what he means and does not mean by “philosophia” through his relationship with Dionûsios, the king of Surakousa of the period. Burnyeat ironically declares the 7th Letter “pseudo” by claiming that there is no coherence between it and the dialogues, and that they even contradict each other, without considering this fundamental distinction between that which is truth-that which is pseudo. The second part of the article is a critique of Myles Burnyeat’s article “The pseudo-philosophical digression in Epistle VII,” which posits that the 7th Letter is pseudo.

My first argument is that the dialogue texts of the “author” known as Plato, consistent with his letters as a historical figure, are not philosophy itself, in the nature of the practice he calls “philosophia,” but rather texts that attempt to lead the reader to philosophical practice in its various facets. Plato’s dialogues contain orators and interlocutors, where at least two people talk, discuss, and question and answer each other. Therefore, these texts are not philosophical texts as we understand them today and should not be read as such. Dialogues are, of course, written texts; however, that is not the problem. The problem is “how” these texts are written texts. These texts are not composed casually; in contrast, they are written “in this way,” that is, as dialogues, for a specific purpose. 

This purpose, to put it briefly, consists in trying to test, guide, and lead the reader to philosophical practice itself through the dialogues. More specifically, Plato aims to do what Socrates, who left no written work behind, did. I argue that this is evident from Plato’s own words: “...I have never written about these matters (𝛿𝜄𝛼 𝜏𝛼𝜐𝜏𝛼 o𝜐𝛿𝜀𝜈 𝜋𝜔𝜋o𝜏 𝜀𝛾𝜔 𝜋𝜀𝜌𝜄 𝜏o𝜐𝜏𝜔𝜈 𝛾𝜀𝛾𝜌𝛼𝜑𝛼)” [2nd Letter, 314b] or “...I have not written, nor will I ever write, about these matters (o𝜐𝜅o𝜐𝜈 𝜀𝜇o𝜈 𝛾𝜀 𝜋𝜀𝜌𝜄 𝛼𝜐𝜏𝜔𝜈 𝜀𝜎𝜏𝜄𝜈 𝜎𝜐𝛾𝛾𝜌𝛼𝜇𝜇𝛼 o𝜐𝛿𝜀 𝜇𝜂𝜋o𝜏𝜀 𝛾𝜀𝜈𝜂𝜏𝛼𝜄). For it is not something to be put into words like other learned things (𝜌𝜂𝜏o𝜈 𝛾𝛼𝜌 o𝜐𝛿𝛼𝜇𝜔𝜍 𝜀𝜎𝜏𝜄𝜈 𝜔𝜍 𝛼𝜆𝜆𝛼 𝜇𝛼𝜃𝜂𝜇𝛼𝜏𝛼)” [7th Letter, 341c]. This leading/turning (𝜋𝛼𝜄𝛿𝛼𝛾𝛼𝛾𝜔𝛾𝜄𝛼) appears as 𝜏𝜖 𝜒𝜈𝜂 𝜇𝛼𝜄𝜀𝜐𝜏𝜄𝜅𝜂 [technê maieutikê], that is, “the art/craft of midwifery” in the dialogues. In this article, I first translate and analyze the “philosophical” parts of Plato’s 2nd, 7th, and 10th Letters and then present a critique of Myles Burnyeat’s article “The pseudo-philosophical digression in Epistle VII.


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APA

Bingöl, B. (2024). The Relationship Between Plato’s Letters and His Understanding of Philosophia. Archives of Philosophy, 0(60), 42-57. https://doi.org/10.26650/arcp.1367141


AMA

Bingöl B. The Relationship Between Plato’s Letters and His Understanding of Philosophia. Archives of Philosophy. 2024;0(60):42-57. https://doi.org/10.26650/arcp.1367141


ABNT

Bingöl, B. The Relationship Between Plato’s Letters and His Understanding of Philosophia. Archives of Philosophy, [Publisher Location], v. 0, n. 60, p. 42-57, 2024.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Bingöl, Baran,. 2024. “The Relationship Between Plato’s Letters and His Understanding of Philosophia.” Archives of Philosophy 0, no. 60: 42-57. https://doi.org/10.26650/arcp.1367141


Chicago: Humanities Style

Bingöl, Baran,. The Relationship Between Plato’s Letters and His Understanding of Philosophia.” Archives of Philosophy 0, no. 60 (Jul. 2024): 42-57. https://doi.org/10.26650/arcp.1367141


Harvard: Australian Style

Bingöl, B 2024, 'The Relationship Between Plato’s Letters and His Understanding of Philosophia', Archives of Philosophy, vol. 0, no. 60, pp. 42-57, viewed 25 Jul. 2024, https://doi.org/10.26650/arcp.1367141


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Bingöl, B. (2024) ‘The Relationship Between Plato’s Letters and His Understanding of Philosophia’, Archives of Philosophy, 0(60), pp. 42-57. https://doi.org/10.26650/arcp.1367141 (25 Jul. 2024).


MLA

Bingöl, Baran,. The Relationship Between Plato’s Letters and His Understanding of Philosophia.” Archives of Philosophy, vol. 0, no. 60, 2024, pp. 42-57. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/arcp.1367141


Vancouver

Bingöl B. The Relationship Between Plato’s Letters and His Understanding of Philosophia. Archives of Philosophy [Internet]. 25 Jul. 2024 [cited 25 Jul. 2024];0(60):42-57. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/arcp.1367141 doi: 10.26650/arcp.1367141


ISNAD

Bingöl, Baran. The Relationship Between Plato’s Letters and His Understanding of Philosophia”. Archives of Philosophy 0/60 (Jul. 2024): 42-57. https://doi.org/10.26650/arcp.1367141



TIMELINE


Submitted27.09.2023
Accepted13.03.2024
Published Online14.05.2024

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