The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 36, 1998

Philosophy of Religion

Brigitte Dehmelt Cooper
Pages 53-58

European Philosophy and Religion in Millenniums lasting Dispute

The disputes between philosophy and religion can be avoided and solved not by the contemporary separation of their conclusions but because Socrates-Plato taught us how valid judgments are established. Plato is the founder of "scientific logic", because he discerned the instantaneous relations of similar, different, equal through the intelligibility between ultimate distinctions. This relation, not very accurately called "like" by Socrates, holds too for the intelligence in its relation to the intelligibility of the distinctions of "can" and "must", of which every person is "implicitely" aware, and both "can" and "must" are known as "real possibilites". Final, ultimate distinctions are perceived since they are "evident per-se ". They cannot be doubted by the person which is conscious of itself. These immediate relations are distinguished from relations in which one term is "in the likeness of" the other, which expresses a judgment due to an active comparison, established by man through thinking and through physical actions, placing those relations into the region of time and space. They are the relations of kinship that are in the "likeness of"- (syggenes called in Greek). It will be shown why Aristotles criticism of Plato's use of the word "partaking" has fanned the dispute among the students of Plato, who consider the timeless, eternal reality of distinctions - called ideas by Plato- of highest, ultimate importance. It justifies the validiy of human insights and judgments. This is also not correctly understood by the Christian theologians, who hide behind supernatural revelations and dogmas. Plato did not jutify his metaphysical insights with "transcendental moonshine" as the follower of Aristotle accuse him.