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Robert K. Garcia on Platonism

The scuttlebutt has it that Platonism is a posh piece of metaphysical speculation, a rather rococo knickknack on the top shelf of a worldview, maximally aloof from the concerns of everyday life. … The dispute between Platonism and naturalism is perennial. In fact, Plato himself describes it as an “interminable battle” (Sophist, 246A-C). Plato’s choice of “interminable” was prescient, as it was succeeded by two thousand years of philosophical fracas. Indeed, it seems that a resolution to this dispute retreats from the advancing philosopher like a rainbow’s end. But what’s the battle about, exactly? The Stranger in Plato’s Sophist says it’s a quarrel about reality: the “giants” have it that all reality is bodily and visible, whereas the “gods” have it that true reality consists in bodiless and invisible forms.


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