Plato and Virtue(s)

#1
For an essay I have to assess an excerpt from Plato's the Meno discussing Virtue.

In reading up on it, I came across this:
: What is “virtue,” i.e. what does the word mean? The Greek word in question is arete, a term cognate with the name of the Greek god of war, Ares. Originally the term seems to have connoted primarily martial prowess, but gradually it came to mean any kind of skill or superiority in any craft or profession. By the time of Socrates it had come to signify superiority of intellect or moral character above all else. So, near the end of the dialogue, the names of some men famed for their statesmanship are cited as prima facie exemplars of arete, on the presumed grounds that they were both highly intelligent and highly moral in their skillful management of the state’s affairs. [emphasis mine]
http://users.hartwick.edu/burringtond/d ... meno2.html

So, The Chariot as "Virtue". Thoughts?
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#2
In my very, very limited reading so far, when discussing virtue, Plato seems to be talking about Justice, and Temperance (as Moderation), and "Courage"... Does Courage = "Strength"?
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#3
Well the Virtues are a distraction at the moment. :p

An old term for Virtue was valor- exceptional bravery in the face of danger.
I guess in terms I understand strength and courage are not necessarily the same. Looking to biblical David and Goliath. David had courage according to the tale- but accuracy and faith more than strength.
As to the Chariot- I see it as possibly Virtue in action (Though I hate the term 'a Just war' )
I guess the word Moral coming from the latin word for custom or habit- what is the right habit in Virtue is the very excellent action of that habit.
Does that make sense to you?
I guess I tend to forget that Buddhists have virtues as well as Medieval Christians.
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#4
Another question.

Just how influential were Plato's views on the Virtues during the Middle Ages? Had the views evolved and become institutionalised by the Church, so that the virtues were defined by the Church? Or were they heavily influenced by platonic (neo-platonic?) thought?
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#5
Hmmmmm......Christians were the greatest cribbers of all times.
Now as far as I recall Plato spoke about what was later to be called the 4 Cardinal Virtues.
Then Saint Ambrose (Of Milan) Saint Augustine sort of Catholicised them- by saying anyone could practise these four Virtues, but the Faith Hope and Charity were gifts of God alone. So God has not given me the gift of Faith(In the Catholic Faith) for example.
Now in Plato's words he assigned 'Fortitude' to the warrior class.
As the Church fathers were obsessed with making Christian all things Pagan- I would say yes the Virtues were made specifically Christian and given clear blessing because of Paul 's Gospels.
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#7
robert wrote:For an essay I have to assess an excerpt from Plato's the Meno discussing Virtue.

In reading up on it, I came across this:
: What is “virtue,” i.e. what does the word mean? The Greek word in question is arete, a term cognate with the name of the Greek god of war, Ares. Originally the term seems to have connoted primarily martial prowess, but gradually it came to mean any kind of skill or superiority in any craft or profession. By the time of Socrates it had come to signify superiority of intellect or moral character above all else. So, near the end of the dialogue, the names of some men famed for their statesmanship are cited as prima facie exemplars of arete, on the presumed grounds that they were both highly intelligent and highly moral in their skillful management of the state’s affairs. [emphasis mine]
http://users.hartwick.edu/burringtond/d ... meno2.html

So, The Chariot as "Virtue". Thoughts?
Is the premise then that the Chariot represents Mars? Thus Mars>Ares>Arete>Virtue therefore the Sum of All Virtue?

There was a thread on AT where we discussed the concept of Prudence as the auriga virtutum - the charioteer of the Virtues; there is a painting by Mantegna which exemplifies this, with Minerva representing warlike virtue, and the three Appetitative Virtues (Temperance, Justice, Fortitude) coming in a cloud to the assistance of somebody (was it Prudence?) locked in a tower (I'll have to look it up).

Here's the thread and the reference to Mantegna's painting -
http://tarotforum.net/showpost.php?p=92 ... stcount=75

Minerva is being called to rescue the "Mother of Virtues", which is a synonym for Prudence.
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Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#8
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: Is the premise then that the Chariot represents Mars? Thus Mars>Ares>Arete>Virtue therefore the Sum of All Virtue?
Well, when you put it like that... :D

But, yeah. It just stuck out at me when I read it. The Chariot is often compared with Mars or War, especially when coupled with the Lovers. I just thought it was an interesting notion that the Chariot could equal Virtue, period, especially if the other virtues were grouped with it. I didn't realise before the root of the word for Virtue was connected to Ares.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Plato and Virtue(s)

#9
robert wrote:
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: Is the premise then that the Chariot represents Mars? Thus Mars>Ares>Arete>Virtue therefore the Sum of All Virtue?
Well, when you put it like that... :D

But, yeah. It just stuck out at me when I read it. The Chariot is often compared with Mars or War, especially when coupled with the Lovers. I just thought it was an interesting notion that the Chariot could equal Virtue, period, especially if the other virtues were grouped with it. I didn't realise before the root of the word for Virtue was connected to Ares.
I think the connection is indirect, from the identification of Mars and Ares. But the Latin "virtus" is from "vir" - a man - so "vir-tus" is more or less "manliness", rather than the explicitly warlike qualities implied in the Greek word. Although, of course, what is manliness but making war?
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