January 17, 2013

Primates to Plato; progress?

Filed under: Letters from Ionia — Tags: , , , — zankaon @ 9:29 am

Primates in their social menagerie, discerning patterns – ancient ways for such order? Shifting one’s gaze to the physical world, yet still attentive to any patterns behind a more cluttered immediacy; hence seemingly the same process, but a different objective?

What comes down to us as Plato’s musings, seems to emphasize an inductive exploratory method via rhetorical questioning. With the intention of discerning patterns i.e. forms, as part of a conceptual background (shadows on the cave wall?), which constitute ideal abstractions and generalizations from what is manifested.



With the ultimate goal, in part, to see if there is a possible most general form. Does this process seem that different from modern model building, inclusive of more speculative models? Modern examples such as Minkowski tangent manifold, and even Equivalence Principle, are just idealizations.

Are we more sophisticated than Plato’s methodology? Should one have at least one philosophy course utilizing the ancient (and forgotten?) rhetoric questioning educational process?

Has their been much progress over the years (for our species, or just for order primate for 55 Myrs since Paleocene/Eocene), for specific behavior, or even over a few thousand years of more advanced cultural evolution?  TMM


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