Monday, April 3, 2017


Socrates disagreed with Parmenides and Plato wrote about that disagreement ('The Sophist') - which is Plato's defense of nothing in which he not only argues that nothingness is an existing force in the world but that there is as well an element of nothing in everything we say and know and he personifies this in the 'sophist' who was a sort of traveling wise man in ancient Greece who went from town to town teaching the art of argumentation and who would for a small fee provide convincing arguments for clients on any subject (and from any viewpoint) the client wished - thus they were especially often useful in courts of law where persuading the jury was often far more important to a defendant's case then uncovering the truth and their reliance on persuasion naturally set them at odds with the new philosophers of Athens who believed in the pursuit of Truth above all else - Sophists oftentimes resorted to reasoning that was based not on what actually existed but on what did not exist - (in other words they tried to make something out of nothing) - [this again is where I feel narration played the great and running role] for a Sophist was a fast-talker a shyster and a quack with a 'reputed and apparent knowledge on all subjects but not the reality' and the Sophist made many untrue claims and therefore resided actually in a world which did not exist and Parmenides recall had argued that it is impossible to say anything intelligible about something that does not exist and so it seems as if the Sophist surrounded himself with nothing - the ideal human hiding place - a haunt nobody can reach in a realm of which no human can conceive : the Sophist was shrouded in things which did not exist yet needed to articulate something substantial about nothing - the very pursuit that Parmenides claimed to be futile BUT per Plato consider this : even nothing is something : even something said to be 'not-beautiful' is as subject still 'something' (it is 'something not beautiful') it is something other than beautiful and everything that exists seems to have this quality of 'otherness' in the same way - so a Sophist could conclude that nothingness does indeed then contain an element of something - it contains something of otherness and by this reasoning (circular and obtuse and PERHAPS meaningless and foul too) 'something' also contains then an element of nothing - there is something in nothing and nothing in something (Parmenides called this blurry mixing a sure sign of 'backward thinking') and if Plato was right to resurrect this backward thinking then even the Sophist's statements are something since they are something other than the truth and the light of reason can reveal the Sophist's shadowy hideout and philosophical hunters can circle their prey and learn something about nothing along the way and Plato - lastly - considered that NOTHINGNESS is power and he concluded 'I suggest that anything has real being that is so constituted as to possess any sort of power - either to affect anything else or to be affected in however small a degree by the most insignificant agent though it be only once : I am proposing a mark to distinguish real things that THEY ARE NOTHING BUT POWER' (Sophist : 247e) meaning that nothingness is a power in the world that pervades all existing and non-existing things.

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