Beauty of Plato

Plato = Ancient philosopher of classical Greece. Born in Athens in -428 / -427, died in -348 / -347 in this same city.


For Plato, if I have not an intellectual knowledge of the essence of the beautiful, I shall not be able to say what is beautiful; It is only by starting from a knowledge of the essence of the beautiful that I can say in experience that such an object is beautiful. And in the « Phaedo » (100 cd) Plato shows that it is beauty in itself that makes such an object beautiful: « But if anyone comes to tell me that what makes a thing beautiful, Is either its brilliant color, or its form, or some other thing of that kind, I leave behind all these reasons, all of which only disturb me, and I simply, simply, and naively hold on to this, Nothing makes it beautiful except the presence or the communication of this beauty in itself or any other way or means by which this beauty is added.


Beauty eternal, uncreated and imperishable, free from increase and diminution, a beauty which is not beautiful in one part and ugly in another, beautiful only in such time and not in another, beautiful in one respect and ugly under one Another, beautiful in one place and ugly in another, beautiful to them and ugly to them; Beauty that has nothing sensible like a face, hands, or anything corporeal, which is not either a discourse or a science, which does not reside in a being different from itself, in an animal , For example, in the earth, or in the sky, or in anything else; But which exists eternally and absolutely by itself and in itself; Of which all the other beauties participate, without their birth or destruction bringing it the least diminution or the least increase, nor modifies it in any way whatsoever.

The right path of love, whether one follows it from oneself or is guided by another, is to begin with the beauties of this world and to rise The supreme beauty, passing, so to speak, through all the steps of the ladder, from one beautiful body to two, from two to all others, beautiful bodies to beautiful occupations, beautiful occupations to the fine sciences, Until from science to science we come to the science par excellence, which is none other than the science of beauty itself, and that we end by knowing it as it is in itself.


Paragraphs, copied and translated from the original article in French:” Bibliographie sur la beauté : Platon “. In the site: philo.alcimia.fr
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