Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Homely Matters

It's hard to find much information about William Davidson Geoghegan on the internet, but whoever he is, reading one of his essays for a module on philosophy and theology was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

I have for a while agreed with those who place question marks over the questions marks that have been placed over Greek philosophy's "corrupting" influence on something called Hebraic thought. Geoghegan articulates as well as anybody why the questioners need to be questioned.

It is easily conceded that in the Biblical view man has creativity and thus, as it were, imitates God; and that all that men do matters. But it cannot be conceded that the ordinary round of human existence is for Plato a "meaningless shadow play" (Cherbonnier, p. 463). Even in the protracted allegory of the cave in the Republic, which superficially appears to support this view, ordinary human life is not meaningless; for it is capable of producing a philosopher who can save it. And, incidentally, Socrates, that apostle of the rational life, is not portrayed by Plato as an aloof intellectual aristocrat but as quite a plebeian fellow who is forever talking about such homely matters as shoemakers and tables.

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