Great Thinkers: Plato

Plato statue at the Academy of Athens building in Athens, Greece

 

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation”
– Plato

The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.
-Alfred North Whitehead (Process and Reality)

PLATO and Aristotle were the most influential of all philosophers, ancient, medieval, or modern; and of the two, it was Plato who had the greater effect upon subsequent ages. I say this for two reasons: first, that Aristotle himself is an outcome of Plato; second, that Christian theology and philosophy, at any rate until the thirteenth century, was much more Platonic than Aristotelian. It is necessary, therefore, in a history of philosophic thought, to treat Plato, and to a lesser degree Aristotle, more fully than any of their predecessors or successors.
-Bertrand Russell (The History of Western Philosophy)

 

TOC

  1. Facts
  2. Some Famous Publications
  3. Selected Thoughts & Ideas
    1. From The School of Life
    2. Wikipedia
    3. Bertrand Russell
    4. Will Durant
    5. The Philosophy Book (Big Ideas)
  4. Quotes
  5. Videos / Audio
  6. Sources

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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert – A 27-min Summary

big magic

“Big Magic is a celebration of a creative life…Gilbert’s love of creativity is infectious, and there’s a lot of great advice in this sunny book…Gilbert doesn’t just call for aspiring artists to speak their truth, however daffy that may appear to others; she is showing them how.”
—Washington Post

“In [Gilbert’s] first foray into full-on self-help [she] shares intimate glimpses into the life of a world-famous creative, complete with bouts of paralyzing fear and frustration, in an attempt to coax the rest of us into walking through the world just a little bit braver.”
—Elle

“Elizabeth Gilbert is my new spirit animal… I have profoundly changed my approach to creating since I read this book.”
—Huffington Post

Book details:

Publisher: Riverhead Books (September 22, 2015)
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Genre: Self-Help, Creativity, Personal Growth, Motivational, Personal Success

Author

Elizabeth M. Gilbert (born July 18, 1969) is an American author, essayist, short story writer, biographer, novelist and memoirist. She is best known for her 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, which as of December 2010 has spent 199 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and was also made into a film by the same name in 2010.

Writer Elizabeth Gilbert on her new book “Big Magic” – q on cbc

Also check out this great TED talk: Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity

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August 19: Linus Pauling died in 1994

linus pauling

“The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.”
― Linus Pauling

wikipedia

Born Linus Carl Pauling
February 28, 1901
Portland, Oregon, USA
Died August 19, 1994 (aged 93)
Big Sur, California, USA
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields
Institutions As faculty member

Caltech (1927–1963)
UC San Diego (1967–1969)
Stanford (1969–1975)

As fellow

Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions(1963–1967)
Alma mater
Thesis The Determination with X-Rays of the Structures of Crystals (1925)
Notable awards
Signature

Notes
The only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes.

Linus Carl Pauling (February 28, 1901 – August 19, 1994) was an American chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, and educator. He published more than 1200 papers and books, of which about 850 dealt with scientific topics. New Scientist reportedly called him one of the 20 greatest scientists of all time, and as of 2000, he was rated the 16th most important scientist in history.Pauling was one of the founders of the fields of quantum chemistry and molecular biology.

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August 16: Charles Bukowski was born in 1920

Charles Bukowski

“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.”
― Charles Bukowski

Wikipedia:

Born Heinrich Karl Bukowski
August 16, 1920
Andernach, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Died March 9, 1994 (aged 73)
San Pedro, Los Angeles, U.S.
Occupation Poet, novelist, short story writer, and columnist
Nationality German-American
Literary movement Dirty realism, Transgressive fiction

Henry Charles Bukowski (born Heinrich Karl Bukowski; August 16, 1920 – March 9, 1994) was a German-born American poet, novelist, and short story writer.

His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. His work addresses the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books. The FBI kept a file on him as a result of his column, Notes of a Dirty Old Man, in the LA underground newspaper Open City.

In 1986 Time called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife”. Regarding Bukowski’s enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, “the secret of Bukowski’s appeal. . . [is that] he combines the confessional poet’s promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero.”

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Jan 22: Francis Bacon was born in 1561

Francis_Bacon

“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.”
― Francis Bacon

“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”
― Francis Bacon, The Advancement Of Learning

Wikipedia:

Born 22 January 1561
Strand, London, England
Died 9 April 1626 (aged 65)
Highgate, Middlesex, England
Nationality English
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Era English Renaissance, The Scientific Revolution
Region Western philosophy
School Renaissance PhilosophyEmpiricism
Main interests
Natural philosophy
Philosophical logic
Signature
Francis Bacon Signature.svg

Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, and author. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. After his death, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method during the scientific revolution.

Bacon has been called the father of empiricism. His works argued for the possibility of scientific knowledge based only uponinductive and careful observation of events in nature. Most importantly, he argued this could be achieved by use of a skeptical and methodical approach whereby scientists aim to avoid misleading themselves. While his own practical ideas about such a method, the Baconian method, did not have a long lasting influence, the general idea of the importance and possibility of a skeptical methodology makes Bacon the father of scientific method. This marked a new turn in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, the practical details of which are still central in debates about science and methodology today.

Bacon was generally neglected at court by Queen Elizabeth, but after the ascension of King James I in 1603, Bacon was knighted. He was later created Baron Verulam in 1618 and Viscount St. Alban in 1621. Because he had no heirs, both titles became extinct upon his death in 1626, at 65 years of age. Bacon died of pneumonia, with one account by John Aubrey stating that he had contracted the condition while studying the effects of freezing on the preservation of meat.

Will Durant—The Philosophy of Francis Bacon (audio – 1h 43m):

Quotes

“Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper.”
― Francis Bacon

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”
― Francis Bacon, The Essays

“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”
― Francis Bacon

“Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.”
― Francis Bacon, The Essays

“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.”
― Francis Bacon

“Reading maketh a full man; and writing an axact man. And, therefore, if a man write little, he need have a present wit; and if he read little, he need have much cunning to seem to know which he doth not.”
― Francis Bacon

“Wonder is the seed of knowledge”
― Francis Bacon

“Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.”
― Francis Bacon

“It is a sad fate for a man to die too well known to everybody else, and still unknown to himself.”
― Francis Bacon

“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand–and melting like a snowflake…”
― Francis Bacon

“Money is a great servant but a bad master.”
― Francis Bacon

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.”
― Francis Bacon

“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.”
― Francis Bacon

“Age appears best in four things: old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust and old authors to read.”
― Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon's statue at Gray's Inn, South Square, London
Francis Bacon’s statue at Gray’s Inn, South Square, London