Ch. Rowe/К. Роу
A VIEW OF PLATO'S PSYCHOLOGY/
ВЗГЛЯД НА ПСИХОЛОГИЮ ПЛАТОНА1

Giving an account of any aspect of Platonic philosophy is made especially difficult by two facts about the way in which he wrote: that Plato did all his writing not in treatise form but in the form of dialogues from which the direct authorial voice is absent (so that it is always in principle an open question how much of what is contained in them he might have wanted to endorse and how firmly); and that each dialogue – if we discount occasional cross-references – is in principle separate from every other. It is nevertheless reasonable to suppose especially since there are some ideas which recur repeatedly that we can gain a fair idea from the Platonic corpus about how and what "Plato" thought and that the separateness of individual dialogues does not constitute an absolute bar against using them jointly in an attempt to understand that thought. But it remains a moot point how we are to treat apparent differences between the ideas presented to us in different works: whether perhaps as the response of a flexible mind to issues and problems which nevertheless leaves untouched an underlying unity of doctrine; or rather as changes of mind which betray the author's philosophical development.

The issue is particularly important in relation to Plato's ideas about the "psuche" which appear to exhibit considerable variation between and even within individual dialogues and to fit particularly well – at least in some respects – the hypothesis of a development in his thinking. In general the developmental or evolutionary view of Plato has become almost standard among his interpreters (especially in the Anglo-Saxon world) partly because of an apparent – in fact very rough – coincidence between the results of investigations into the chronology of the dialogues and what has been seen as the gradual maturation of their ideas and arguments. A typical overview will describe the Platonic corpus as falling into three parts early middle and late.

The issue is particularly important in relation to Plato's ideas about the "psuche" which appear to exhibit considerable variation between and even within individual dialogues and to fit particularly well – at least in some respects – the hypothesis of a development in his thinking. In general the developmental or evolutionary view of Plato has become almost standard among his interpreters (especially in the Anglo-Saxon world) partly because of an apparent – in fact very rough – coincidence between the results of investigations into the chronology of the dialogues and what has been seen as the gradual maturation of their ideas and arguments. A typical overview will describe the Platonic corpus as falling into three parts early middle and late.

There are however a number of points on which a developmental interpretation of Plato's treatment of the soul looks vulnerable or unhelpful. In the "Apology" where Socrates is (fictionally) addressing a general audience of Athenian citizens his description of the `other place' to which the soul may be translated after death is formulated in mainly traditional terms which may reflect more about what Plato considered appropriate to the dramatic audience than about either his own or Socrates' views. Again the fact that the "Symposium" manages to discuss immortality at length without once referring to the "soul" as immortal cannot reasonably be supposed to indicate that Plato has temporarily given up the idea which is heavily canvassed in other dialogues apparently written at about the same time.

Plato was probably the first Greek thinker to articulate a theory of the soul. Socrates had a concept of it but not a fully-articulated theory; and the same is true of other pre-Platonic thinkers. Two of the main ideas on which Platonic thinking on the subject is predicated are first the traditional notion that the `souls' of the dead are in Hades (so that "something" of us however insubstantial continues in existence) and second the idea – found e.g. in the medical writers – of a fundamental contrast between `soul' on the one hand and body on the other. Socrates' way of conceiving of the soul as the moral self can be seen as building on the second of these ideas developing it into something like our familiar opposition between the bodily or carnal (as in `carnal pleasures') and the spiritual; Plato combines this with the first but in a version which owes much to both Pythagoreanism and mystery religion and – for a selected philosophical few – reverses the relationship between life and death: for those who have lived philosophically it is death which is preferable to life and which allows the true fulfilment of their goals.

Of course the more reason appears like a separate agent the greater the problems for the tripartite model. Similarly also in the case of the other parts: it will not be particularly helpful to analyse the soul as a spring of action into three more49. Perhaps that should encourage us to take seriously Plato's hint at the end of the "Republic" and to suppose that he ultimately prefers a "Phaedo"-type view. But this is a less than completely satisfactory solution. The prominence of the idea of the tripartite soul both in the "Republic" and elsewhere reflects Plato's interest in the fact of internal conflict which it purports to explain and makes it hard either for us or for him to set it aside. A better conclusion might be just that he finds the arguments for the two conceptions of soul equally balanced and veers between the two as the context demands just as he does between the different conceptions of humanity which they imply.

Отчитываться по любому аспекту психологии Платона особенно затруднительно по двум причинам. Платон свои произведения писал как диалоги а не как трактаты следовтельно в диалогах стирается его индивидуальность; каждый диалог если пренебречь редкими перекрестными ссылками в принципе не зависит от других диалогов.

Вопрос особенно важен в отношении идей Платона о psyche (душе) понятие о которой варьируется как в разных диалогах так и внутри некоторых диалогов что особенно хорошо подтверждает по меньшей мере в какие-то моменты гипотезы о развитии мысли Платона.

Однако существует целый ряд положений демонстрирующих уязвимость и бесполезность подобного эволюционного подхода к развитию представлений Платона о душе. В "Аналогии" где Сократ (условно) обращается к общему собранию афинских граждан его описания "другого места" в которое душа может перенестись после смерти сформулировано по большей части традиционными терминами возможно больше передающими то что Платон полагал больше подходит для театральной публики но вряд ли было характерно для него самого или Сократа.

Платон был вероятно первым греческим мыслителем ясно изложившим теорию души. У Сократа было понятие души но не было развернутой теории и то же справедливо для других мыслителей доплатоновского периода. Платон высказывается по данному вопросу предлагая две основных идеи: во-первых это традиционное помещение души мертвых в Аид (Hades) во-вторых это мысль которая встречается в работах медиков – о наличии кардинального различия между "душой" с одной стороны и телом с другой. Взгляд Сократа на душу как на моральное Я (само) можно рассматривать как основанный на второй идее которая развивается в знакомую нам оппозицию телесного или плотского (как "плотские удовольствия") и духовного; Платон комбинирует это положение с первым но предлагает версию отвечающую более взглядам пифагорейства и религии мистерий а также избранного меньшинства философов изменял понятия между жизнью и смертью так как для живущих смерть предпочтительнее жизни и этот факт позволяет философам совершать действия ведущие их к цели.

Конечно чем больше разум выступает в качестве отдельного деяния тем большее значение имеет трехчастная модель. Тоже справедливо и в случае иных частей: здесь вряд ли поможет анализ души как обеспечивающей действия в каждой из трех частей. То что идея о трехчастичности души особо проведена как в "Республике" так в других диалогах отражает интерес Платона к конфликту который он описывает и который ни он сам ни мы не в силах обойти. Лучшим выводом может быть то что Платон находит аргументы в пользу существования двух одинаково логичных понятий души и переходит от одного понятия к другому в зависимости от контекста.


 

Роу – доктор философии проф. университета г. Дарэм Великобритания

ПРИМЕЧАНИЯ
1 Здесь и далее перевод А. Семенова

© СМУ, 2000 г.

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