Insights and Healing with Patrick Moore

Spinoza — the Last Word on Plato
September 16, 2018, 10:55 am
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phd dissertation in Philosophy by patrick moore


What Did Plato Really Mean to Say? This question has concerned many writers over the ages. A more interesting question is, What Would Plato Have Agreed He Meant, Had Later Philosophers Consulted Him?

While it is clear to everyone that Plotinus said Plato meant things that Plato never said he meant, it is clear to a number of writers from ancient to modern that, had Plotinus been able to check with Plato, Plato probably would have wholeheartedly agreed with Plotinus’ clarifications and thanked him. This much is established prior to this paper and I will not defend this now.

What is new to this paper is, that Aquinas and Spinoza do more of what Plotinus did so well, and that Spinoza finished the job. This paper claims that, for those who agree Plato would have thanked Plotinus, Plato would have thanked even more Aquinas and Spinoza, Spinoza receiving the most thanks. Even for those who believe Plato would have disliked what Plotinus did, and that Plotinuswhatever it is you think Plotinus did do, Aquinas did more of that thing, better than Plotinus, and Spinoza finished that thing.

It is unfortunate Aquinas was captured by Catholic thinkers. It is possible Aquinas simply went along with Catholics in order to have a nice office in which to further the work of Plotinus. It is said Aquinas finished his work in frustration, feeling he had not been able to say in words what he wanted to say. He wanted to burn everything he had written. While Aquinas took the clarification of Plato further than Plotinas had, Aquinas was clear this work was not finished.

Spinoza finished the work that Plotinus had begun and Aquinas had improved.

(remainder to follow)