Seventh Letter Synopsis One

Histories of Meaning

Earl Jackson, Jr.

Winter 1999

Synopses of Plato’s Seventh Letter

[Earl’s Comments in red.]

Synopsis One

„The Seventh Letter“ by Plato seems to center on the nonverbal
nature of philosophic understanding. [Statements
like these require sources to back them up. Please become accustomed to
building and supporting an argument. Even a synopsis has to be grounded.]

Plato holds that you [substandard use of
second-person pronoun – too colloquial for formal written English]

can’t put philosophy into words, it is part of a more
intrinsic [what do you mean?
Intrinsic to what?]
learning process. This
reminds me of the idea in „Meno“ that learning is a recollection [Not
a“ recollection,
but „recollection„. Big difference. But I see your point too. This
deserves further elaboration. Why would conceiving of learning as recollection
detract from the purported capacity of language? This is not a rhetorical
question. I’m trying to flesh out the suggestion you make here.]
The written word[Only „written“
word? What about spoken word? Again, cite sources. Here particularly sources
would help us out of a quandary.]
hold the key to philosophy, it resides in the realm of the „soul“[You’ve mentioned both the Seventh Letter and the Meno – this makes your
citation here ambiguous. Always include the dialogue/text title before
the Stephanus number. Also don’t assume the the term Plato uses means anything like the meanings that have settled upon the English word „soul“.]
(341 c).

„The Seventh Letter“ brings up many questions regarding Plato’s writings
and where they come into play within this opinion. [This
is a teaser. Let’s be more specific and more informative. And remember,
there’s some doubt that Plato actually wrote the letter. And more questioning – what would it mean that „philosophy can’t be conveyed by language.“ Isn’t it entirely language? What does Socrates speak in? What does he constantly examine? What is on the third floor of the McHenry Library, beginning with the Library of Congress „B“?]

Thank You, and see you in class.

Thank YOU, too. ;-).

To Summary B

To Summary C

To Troubleshooting

To Syllabus