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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Plato's Musical Code?



The links between geometry and ethics and Plato are clear. Aristotle, Plato's prodigy, believed that a formula for virtue could be found in a Golden Mean ratio. But what about music, which is not entirely unrelated to geometry, in ancient Greek philosophy? The following is so beautiful that it has to be true (and Plato, obviously, would appreciate that linkage between the beautiful and the true). From The Telegraph:

Researchers claimed they cracked “The Plato Code”, the long disputed secret messages hidden in some of Ancient World’s most influential and celebrated writings.

Dr Jay Kennedy, an historian and philosopher of science at the University of Manchester, found Plato used a regular pattern of symbols to give his writing a "musical" structure.

... Researchers claimed they cracked “The Plato Code”, the long disputed secret messages hidden in some of Ancient World’s most influential and celebrated writings.

Dr Jay Kennedy, an historian and philosopher of science at the University of Manchester, found Plato used a regular pattern of symbols to give his writing a "musical" structure.

“Plato's books played a major role in founding Western culture but they are mysterious and end in riddles," he said.

"In antiquity, many of his followers said the books contained hidden layers of meaning and secret codes but this was rejected by modern scholars.

“It is a long and exciting story, but basically I cracked the code. I have shown rigorously that the books do contain codes and symbols and that unravelling them reveals the hidden philosophy of Plato.”




My question is: Hasn't Apeiron -- the classics journal in which this study is published -- learned nothing from Rolling Stone gate? Why isn't this article online? Leave it to a philosopher to not think about capitalizing on his ideas while in the world of thought.

I have always found Plato's Republic to be a darkly beautiful book that one has to return to at various stages in one's life. It is impossible to digest that Plato was trying to say at first read in one sitting. It is not inconceivable that having ones heart broken, having children, enduring old age are all existential experiences that deepen ones understanding and appreciation of Plato's wine-dark philosophy suffused with geometry and meauty.

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