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In this video, I explore the philosophy of Thales, a philosopher whom many believe to have inaugurated the Western philosophical tradition. Most contemporary accounts of Thales portray him as cutting ties to Greece's mythological past and instead adopting a thoroughly naturalistic and empirical approach to reality, an approach that is said to characterize the whole of Western philosophy. In this video, I contend that this naturalistic picture of Thales is misguided and substantially outstrips our available historical evidence. First, I show how this interpretation requires a naïve appropriation of Aristotle's assertions concerning Thales. When we look at Aristotle's account in context, we can see that he isn't so much trying to articulate an objective historical account of previous philosophers as he is trying to set forth a whigish history of philosophy that culminates in his own metaphysics. Second, I demonstrate that contemporary interpreters also ignore Aristotle's observations that Thales account parallels the mythological accounts of Homer and Hesiod. Third, I show that the contemporary view ignores the animistic implications of Thales claim that "all things are full of gods" and I argue against a Spinozistic interpretation of Thales' assertion. Fourth, I show that even the standard anecdotal stories about Thales life are more ambiguous than the naturalistic interpretation would have us believe. And finally, I argue that Goethe offers a better myth of Thales than the current naturalistic myth by examining the Classical Walpurgis Night scene in Faust Part 2.

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https://premieretat.com/beyond-naturalism-demythologizing-thales/

The images used in this video are in the public domain.

In this video I explain the mythology of Pherecydes of Syros and show how it anticipates many later developments in Greek philosophy. Pherecydes articulates a concern for finding a first principle or Arche, an ethical conception of the gods, a concept of a demiurge, and a doctrine of the immortality of the soul. In the process of examining his work, I show how the common cliche stipulating that the roots of Greek philosophy lie in demythologization is misguided, and that the roots of philosophy are actually grounded in myth.

You can find a corresponding essay on my website: https://premieretat.com/pherecydes-of-syros-and-the-occult-roots-of-philosophy/

The images used in this video are in the public domain.

In this video, I examine Schiller's transcendental deduction of the beautiful set forth in his Letter's On the Aesthetic Education of Man. Whereas in my previous video, I articulated Schiller's account of the social and political effects of beauty, here I attempt to explain Schiller's view of Beauty itself. Following Kant, he attempts to offer a transcendental deduction of the beautiful, arguing that if human perfectibility is possible, then beauty must exist as a necessary condition of that possibility. In the process, I distinguish between contemporary and Kantian meanings of the term "transcendental", and explain Schiller's accounts of the form drive, the sensual drive, and the play drive. I also consider some differences between Schiller's account of beauty and human perfections and more traditional Platonic accounts.

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In this lecture, I examine the Schiller's account of the political uses of art set forth in his Letters on the Aesthetic Education of man. I will explore his transcendental deduction of the beautiful in a future lecture. Instead, I here examine Schiller's more practical account of the function of beauty within society. Schiller begins by defending art from its cultured despisers who say it is frivolous in light of the political crisis inaugurated by the French Revolution. Schiller responds that art is, in fact, the only way out of the vicious circle that society is entrapped in. To reform an unjust state, the people carrying out the revolution must be just, and to reform an unjust people, the state undertaking their reform must be just. Yet, when BOTH state and people are unjust, it appears that there is no way out of the dilemma. Schiller argues that it is at precisely this point art can intervene by offering redemption from another quarter. For Schiller, it is art that holds the key to saving us from civilizational collapse, and, as a result, the artist takes on the mantle of the prophet.

This is a talk I recently gave for the Nightlight Astrology speaker series. In it, I provide a detailed exegesis of Manilius's account of the planetary joys and I argue that his model is grounded in Pythagorean philosophy.

This is an introductory section to a lecture I recently gave on Manilius and the planetary joys. I had to cut most of the material in the actual lecture because of time constraints, but I've decided to include the full version here because I think the issues raised are worth exploring in their own right. In this video, I discuss the concept of the places in ancient astrology and whether they should be conceived as referring to concreta or abstracta, and I examine the nature of tradition in "Hellenistic" astrology.

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You can find a corresponding essay here: https://premieretat.com/consolation/

In this video I examine the extent to which philosophy can console us amidst the tragedies of life, through an exegesis of Boethius's famous work "The Consolations of Philosophy". Boethius lived at the end of the classical world and the beginning of the medieval one. It was thanks to him, and his Latin translations, that what little was retained of Plato and Aristotle was preserved in the middle ages. If anyone had grounds to complain about the injustice of life, it was Boethius. Having devoted himself to a life of service and scholarship he was nonetheless imprisoned and ultimately executed by the Ostrogothic king Theoderic. But, in this work, written in prison, he recounts a series of visions he had of Lady Philosophy who justifies the ways of God to men.

The images used in this video are in the public domain or memes generated on imgflip.

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You can find a corresponding essay here: https://premieretat.com/the-usurpation-of-the-university/

In this video I discuss the current state of the university and attempt to draw some lessons from Homer's Odyssey. These thoughts were originally formulated several years ago as my own contribution to quit lit, but they remain relevant. In it, I argue that the best way to view the current state of academia is through the concept of usurpation. The values that have previously guided higher education, values such as beauty, truth, goodness, and nobility, have been displaced by business interests. I go on to contend that lessons can be drawn from Homer's Odyssey, if we liken our own plight to that of Telemachus as his patrimony is wasted away by brazen suitors.

The images used in this video are in the public domain and memes were made on imgflip.

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In this video I explore a response to cultural collapse that can be found in Homer's Iliad. Though the story is ostensibly about rage, ultimately this rage gives way to the wisdom of mourning. The conflict begins with a showdown between Achilles, the greatest warrior of the Greeks, and Agamemnon, the chief ruler. I then examine how the Iliad presents the collapse of three core values of Homeric culture: Marital Virtue, Political Virtue, and Divine Virtue. The video concludes with a consideration of the wisdom of mourning.

The images used in this video are in the public domain. The image of Hera from Pompei is under a CC0 license and can be found here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marriage_of_Zeus_and_Hera_(detail)_Pompeian_Art.jpg

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A corresponding essay can be found here: https://premieretat.com/the-phenomenology-of-exaltation-an-exploration-of-elevated-planetary-powers-in-traditional-astrology/

In this video, I examine the doctrine of exaltation in Hellenistic Astrology. I first argue that the traditional justifications of Porphyry and Rhetorius for the exaltation assignments are misguided. I argue instead, that more progress can be made by examining what function the exaltations play within traditional astrology. I propose a model inspired by Manilius's account of tutelary deities and Heidegger's theory of dwelling, and then apply this model to each of the planets following the Chaldean order.

The images used in this video are in the pubic domain, under a creative commons license, or created by me.

The fresco of Vesta is under a CC0 license and can be found here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fresco_of_Vesta-Hestia_from_Pompeii.jpg

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A corresponding essay can be found here: https://premieretat.com/value-in-therapy/

It is considered a truism in the self-help industry and in the culture at large that values are important. Yet the way that these values are understood fundamentally differs from the way they have been traditionally understood in the humanities. In short, values today are psychologized and relativized. In this video, I point out some fundamental problems with such an approach, criticizing some views popular in positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy.

The images used in this video were either created by me, memes generated on imgflip, or in the public domain.

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A corresponding essay can be found here: https://premieretat.com/a-renaissance-account-of-human-dignity/

In this video, I compare a popularized existentialist account of human nature with that of the renaissance thinker Pico Della Mirandola. Initially, both seem to affirm that man's existence precedes his essence and that, as a result, he is condemned to be free. But, for Renaissance thinkers, unlike existentialists, this choice occurred within a word of objective value. Man is responsible for who he will become, but his choice can be evaluated based on an objective structure of value flowing forth from God in a Great Chain of Being.

The images used in this video are in the public domain.

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A corresponding essay can be found here: https://premieretat.com/socrates-and-the-limits-of-love-the-erotic-philosophy-of-platos-symposium/

Bookmarks:
0:00-2:21 Intro
2:22-6:03 Phaedrus
6:04-8:44 Pausanias
8:45-12:39 Eryximachus
12:40-18:45 Aristophanes
18:46-23:42 Agathon
23:43:-43:22 Socrates (Diotima)
43:23-59:07 Alcibiades
59:08-103:18 Conclusion

In this video, I examine Plato’s account of erotic love set forth in the Symposium. Unlike other dialogues, the symposium is constituted by a series of speeches, rather than one continuous argument. However, when viewed abstractly, one can nonetheless see a dialectical progression at play. The first speech, that of Phaedrus, claims (as do evolutionary psychologists today) that the chief function of love is to bolster society, and hence, communal survival. Pausanias, in his speech, then observes that love does not always do this. Rather, there are two kinds of love: heavenly and earthly, and only the former supports the social order. Eryximachus, in his speech, argues that love does not merely support the social order, but orders the cosmos as well. It is a metaphysical principle of harmony. Aristophanes then offers a psychological account of love which appears to have been overlooked. Agathon, then, in his speech, claims that people so far have only praised love’s effects, not his intrinsic properties. And, in Socrates’ speech, he criticizes Agathon’s account of the intrinsic character of love, identifying him not with a god but with a great daimon who mediates between gods and men. Socrates’ account is a reiteration of what he learned from the priestess Diotima. Finally, Alcibiades crashes the party and offers a speech in praise of Socrates, portraying him as a sage who conceals himself in irony.

The images used in this video were either created by me, memes made on imgflip, or in the public domain.

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A corresponding essay can be found here: https://premieretat.com/alchemy/

In this video I examine three contemporary approaches to the study of alchemy: the anthropological, the psychological, and the metaphysical. In the first section, I examine the work of Mircea Eliade who traces the practice of Alchemy to shamanism and legends of ancient smiths. In the second section, I explain Carl Jung's Depth Psychological account in which Alchemy is said to be a metaphor for the process of individuation. And, finally, I sketch the philosophical account which takes Alchemy to be a spiritual practice whose main goal is the transfiguration of consciousness.

All the images used in this video were either in the public domain, created by me, or under a creative commons license. The image "Pov of alien abduction experience" is by Luke Hancock and is under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. It can be found here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alien_Abduction_Perspective.jpg

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A corresponding essay can be found here: https://premieretat.com/wolframs-parzival-the-esoteric-metaphysics-of-the-grail/

In this video I examine the esoteric philosophy of the grail set forth in Wolfram's Parzival. Wolfram from Eschenbach was a prominent 13th century German poet, and his account of the holy grail is the most intricate and intriguing available. His Parzival is not only an account of the mystical theology of the grail, but also an early Bildungsroman, a story of a young man's education. In this video, I argue for the esoteric context of Wolfram's tale by appealing to his own explicit statements, his background sources, and his central narrative metaphor of the bow. I then explain his account by drawing on the background contexts of Alchemy, with its black, white, and red works, and the Bible. I then sketch the development of Parzival's theological education throughout the story and conclude by drawing three important lessons Wolfram's poem can teach us.

The images used in this video are either in the public domain, memes generated on imgflip.com, or were created by me. The image used in the thumbnail of this video is a set design for act III of Wagner's Parsifal by Paul von Joukowsky and is in the public domain. It can be found here https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Parsifal_1882_Act3_Joukowsky_NGO4p119.jpg

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A corresponding essay can be found here: https://premieretat.com/manilius-and-the-planetary-joys-an-alternative-pythagorean-account-of-the-places-in-hellenistic-astrology/

In this video, I explicate Manilius's alternative system of the planetary joys and argue that it ought to be taken seriously by those attempting to reconstruct the philosophical background of Hellenistic astrology. In the first section, I argue that though we can talk about a tradition of Hellenistic astrology, one which employs signs, planets, and houses, this tradition nonetheless contained a variety of different conceptualizations of these elements. It is thus important to recognize the diversity of approaches in Hellenistic astrology and to seek to understand each on its own terms. In the second section, I contrast Manilius's account of the Planetary Joys with the Standard Model attributed to Hellenistic Astrology. In the third section, I then provide a detailed phenomenological analysis of Manilius's account of the Joys. In the fourth section, I examine some of the systematic advantages of Manilius's View, and, in the fifth, I hypothesize that Manilius has preserved an even older esoteric Pythagorean tradition of astrology. Finally, I conclude by drawing three key lessons we can draw from our examination of Manilius's work.

The images used in this video were either in the public domain or created by me. A few are used under a creative commons license. They are:

A picture of Persephone and Hades in Locri, taken by AlMare. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Locri_Pinax_Of_Persephone_And_Hades.jpg

A picture of Bernini's the Rape of Prosepina taken by Alvegaspar. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rape_of_Prosepina_September_2015-3a.jpg

A Picture of Saturn with a Scythe taken by Following Hadrian. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Saturn_with_head_protected_by_winter_cloak,_holding_a_scythe_in_his_right_hand,_fresco_from_the_House_of_the_Dioscuri_at_Pompeii,_Naples_Archaeological_Museum_(23497733210).jpg
A Picture of Canova's Psyche Revived Under the Kiss of Love by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:0_Psych%C3%A9_ranim%C3%A9e_par_le_baiser_de_l%27Amour_-_Canova_-_Louvre_1.JPG

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A corresponding essay can be found here:
https://premieretat.com/platos-timaeus-a-pythagorean-creation-myth/

In this video, I explain the first section of the creation myth set forth in Plato’s Timaeus. I begin by explaining its mythological background, and arguing for the rationality of myth. I then sketch the basic picture of the Timaeus, in which the universe is said to be the artistic creation of a demiurge, who copied the beauty he saw in the eternal realm of the forms, in the world of becoming. After the basic frameworks is set forth, I elaborate some specific features of the model: Its account of the universe as a living being, the formation of the universe’s body and soul, and the creation of time, gods, and humanity.

The images used in this video were either created by me or are in the public domain.

This is a talk I gave for the Nightlight Astrology School Speaker Series on Feb 6 2022.

Abstract: The concept of the Ascendant is pivotal to Western Astrology, representing the point at which heavenly bodies step forth into visibility. Yet, despite its centrality, the meaning of this concept has changed over time. Whereas traditional astrologers identified the Ascendant with the helm, basis, and foundation of a nativity, modern astrologers identify it with the persona one adopts to live in society. In this talk, I explain traditional and modern accounts of the Ascendant and highlight their differences. I then ground these differences in deeper disparities in worldview concerning society, and, more importantly, Absolute Reality. While both classical and modern astrologers reject reductive materialism and accept the existence of a spiritual reality, their accounts of the nature of this reality fundamentally contradict each other. If successful, my argument will demonstrate that the choice between classical and modern astrology turns on a more fundamental choice between metaphysical systems.

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The image of the planetary joys was created by Chris Brennan and is used with his permission.

The other images and illustrations are either in the public domain or created by me.

The slide templates are available on Libreoffice and are licensed under
a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. They make use of the works of Kelly Loves Whales and Nick Merritt.

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A corresponding essay can be found here: https://premieretat.com/mythological-philosophy-in-the-phaedo/

In this video, I examine the mythological conception of philosophy set forth in Plato's Phaedo. In my previous video, I reconstructed Plato's four arguments for the immortality of the soul in the Phaedo. But Plato does not restrict himself to logical argumentation, logos, to support a rational faith in the soul's immortality. Rather, he employs both mythos and logos, to encourage us to undertake the life of philosophy.

I first set forth the mythological context of the dialogue, showing how Plato informs the reader that myth is a central component of the work. I then explicate the three core myths of the Phaedo: 1) The Myth of Socrates, 2) The Myth of the True Earth, and 3) The Myth of Philosophy Itself.

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You can find a corresponding essay on my blog here: https://premieretat.com/on-the-soul-platos-four-arguments-for-immortality-in-the-phaedo/

In this video, I consider Plato's four arguments for the immortality of the soul set forth in the Phaedo. The Phaedo recounts Socrates' last dialogue before being executed at the hands of the Athenians. As a result, he takes the time to remind cheer his friends and attempt to convince them that there is a life beyond the sensible world. In his day, as in ours, many were dubious that the soul could survive the death of the body, and Socrates addresses this doubt by offering four arguments for the immortality of the soul. The first argument is grounded in the Pythagorean doctrine of metempsychosis, the idea that the soul reincarnates after death. Socrates tries to provide a philosophical argument for such a view by noting that, in the world of becoming, things come from their opposites in an unending cycle. And, since life and death are opposites, one should expect life to come again from death. The second argument uses the doctrine of recollection. On this view, all knowledge is really a remembrance of the realm of the forms. But, since this realm is immaterial, we must have previously been immaterial to have been previously acquainted with what resides there. Third, he argues that the soul would be most akin to the invisible realm, and the body to the visible. And, since the invisible world is deathless, we have reason to believe that the soul is also imperishable. Finally, the fourth argument turns on the exclusion relations among forms. In order for something to be what it is, it must rule out its contrary properties. The number three, for example, is necessarily odd, and thus cannot be even. And, Socrates argues, that the soul is defined as what gives life. This entails that life belongs to it essentially, and so it necessarily excludes death. It is thus deathless.

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A corresponding essay can be found on my blog here: http://premieretat.com/dwelling-in-signs-the-archetypal-phenomenology-of-domicile-rulership/

In this video I examine Heidegger's concept of Dwelling and use it to explain the domicile rulership scheme set forth in the Thema Mundi. I argue that by dwelling in signs, general planetary powers reveal themselves as personal deities.

In Western Astrology, Zodiacal signs are thought to signify on account of their gender (masculine or feminine), quadruplicity (cardinal, fixed, or mutable), and triplicity (fire, air, water, or earth).

In this video, I examine an even more fundamental account of Zodiacal signification in classical astrology: Dwelling. I contend that it is through dwelling that a sign’s gender, quadruplicity, and triplicity manifest their particular characters. In the first section, I set forth the traditional account of signs as houses, an account rooted in the Thema Mundi, the birth chart of the cosmos. In section two, I explain this account through the Heideggerian concept of dwelling. In section three, I explain how dwelling grounds a sign’s gender, quadruplicity, and triplicity, and how, by allowing these features to manifest themselves, dwelling thereby also preserves a space for planetary forces to step forth as concrete personal deities. And, finally, in section four, I develop this account using the Iliad and the Odyssey to illustrate how Mars dwells in its domiciles of Aries and Scorpio as Ares and Athena.

The images used in this video were either designed by me, in the public domain, or under a creative commons license.

Thema Mundi by Meredith Garstin is under a creative commons license and can be found here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thema_Mundi.svg

Photo of Thomas Degeorge, Ulysse et Télémaque massacrent les prétendants de Pénélope, 1812, Clermont-Ferrand, musée d'Art Roger Quilliot by VladoubidoOo is under a creative commons license and can be found here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thomas_Degeorge_Ulysse.jpg

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A corresponding essay can be found here: http://premieretat.com/taking-back-the-helm-classical-and-contemporary-views-of-the-ascendant-in-western-astrology/

In this video I contrast classical and contemporary views of the Ascendant in Western Astrology. Whereas Hellenistic Astrologers such as Valens, Paulus, and Rhetorius conceived of the ascendant as the helm, the place from which a life is navigated and hence, the place of responsible action, modern astrologers associate it with the persona, something that stands in the way of expressing one's "Authentic Self". This contrast is even seen in planets each group associates with the first house. Classical astrologers said it was the place in which Mercury, the god of reason and mediation, found his joy. Yet modern astrologers associate it with Mars and his domicile of Aries as it's so called "natural ruler."

I then explain this distinction by grounding it in a dramatic shift in worldview in regard to society and metaphysics. The Hellenistic conception of the first house makes sense in a world permeated by Spirit, and the modern in a disenchanted one. I use the example of Aeneas's exhortation from his father in the underworld regarding Rome's destiny, to show the extent of this contrast. I also show how it correlates with Novalis's observations in his essay "Christendom or Europa".

Finally, I note that these two accounts turn on two opposing concepts of the Absolute. In the classical account, Absolute reality is thought to be rational and determinate. This can be seen in Plato in his account of the form of Beauty and the ascent to it through Diotima's ladder. And this account was retained in Christianity through a conception of God worked out in the ontological argument, e.g. as stated by Anselm and Descartes. Here God is said to be a supremely perfect being or that of which none greater can be conceived. Jung's account of the absolute stands in stark contrast to this picture. He equates the absolute with the collective unconscious. Something indeterminate, irrational, and immoral. Because the collective unconscious could thus never be brought to determinacy, the persona proves to be necessarily falsifying. I argue that the contrasting conceptions of the first house, thus turn on a much more substantial contrast in worldviews. The choice between astrological systems, then, must involve the age old task of discerning between spirits.

The picture of Michelangelo's dying slave was taken by Jörg Bittner Unna, is under a creative commons license and can found here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Dying_Slave%27_Michelangelo_JBU001.jpg

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A corresponding essay can be found here: http://premieretat.com/sein-und-zeichen-being-and-sign-towards-a-phenomenological-astrology/

In this video I set forth the outlines of a new approach to astrology using insights of late Heideggerian Phenomenology. I argue that phenomenological astrology may allow us to overcome some shortcomings in Heidegger's own etymological and poetic method that he adopted in his later writings.

I begin by examining Heidegger's analysis of the essence of modern technology as not itself technological, a mode of revealing the world: (1) presenting the world through the demand to set upon it as something to be exploited, and (2) representing it as as standing-reserve (Bestand). Heidegger calls this essential revelatory dimension of technology, enframing or (Gestell).

In contrast to technology, stands what Heidegger calls "the thing", and the fourfold that it manifests. Instead of treating entities as equivalent pieces of standing reserve to be used for our purposes, the thing lets things stand in their determinacy. When they do so, Heidegger claims that they take the character of the fourfold (Geviert) of earth, sky, divinities and mortals. Heidegger attempted to do this by meditating on the etymology of words found in the fragments of some pre-socratic philosophers and German Romantic poets (e.g. Hölderlin and Novals).

I argue that the language of astrology is a promising alternative approach to carrying out the late Heideggerian project. Not only is its language explicated in terms of the fourfold, but it also allows one to overcome some problems associated with the Heideggerian position, viz. it is more accessible, has a more essential relation to the fourfold, and can overcome the residual subjectivity of Heidegger's approach.

Finally, I conclude by arguing for why the development of a phenomenological astrology could be beneficial to the practice of astrology itself. As it stands, Western Astrology is divided between two primary approaches to the field. On the one hand, those who practice traditional astrology tend to look at it as a divinatory practice that seeks to explicate how external events will unfold in a person's life. On the other hand, more modern approaches, tend to view it as setting forth the dynamics within the psyche of an individual. I argue, in a Hegelian manner, that a phenomenological astrology is capable of synthesizing these two traditions, bringing astrology from it's in-itself-moment (traditional astrology) and for-itself-moment (modern astrology), to its in-and-for-itself moment (phenomenological astrology).

The images used in this video were either designed by me, screen captures, or in the public domain. Images can be found here:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Operation_Upshot-Knothole_-_Badger_001.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:0_Le_Torse_du_Belv%C3%A9d%C3%A8re_-_P.P._Rubens_-_Rubenshuis_-_RH.S.109.JPG
https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-girl-in-white-top-taking-selfie-using-smartphone-4723517/
https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-on-ppes-7230876/
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hands_of_God_and_Adam.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caspar_David_Friedrich_-_Man_and_Woman_Contemplating_the_Moon_-_WGA08271.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caspar_David_Friedrich_-_Das_Kreuz_im_Gebirge.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Botticelli,_annunciazione_di_cestello_02.jpg
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For philosophical psychopomp work: http://premieretat.com/coaching-consulting/

Follow me on Odysee: https://odysee.com/@premieretat:f

A corresponding essay can be found here: http://premieretat.com/platos-republic-books-9-10-the-triumph-of-virtue/

In this video, we conclude our discussion of the Republic by setting forth Socrates closing arguments, recounted in Books 9 and 10, that Justice is an intrinsic good. His first argument consists of a straightforward comparison of the lives of the just and unjust given what we have learned about them earlier in the dialogue. He observes that the just person, ruled by reason, will be happy, and that even the spirited and appetitive desires of such a person will be as fulfilled as they can be. The unjust person, in contrast, is miserable, with his better elements enslaved to his worse. And things will become even more unbearable if this person succeeds in becoming an actual tyrant.

The second argument concerns who is best suited to adjudicate between the various courses of life on offer. Suppose there are three types of individuals each in whom a different part of the soul dominates. The philosophical type would be ruled by reason, the spirited type by spirit, and the carnal type by appetite. Each type of life will have its own type of pleasures: participating in the eternal, honor and victory, and bodily pleasures. Socrates argues that the philosopher is in the best position to judge between these options, since the philosopher alone has experienced all three types of pleasure and is trained in reason and logic.

The third argument concerns the qualitative nature of the pleasures in question. Socrates argues that pleasures of the body and even of the spirited element are mere shadow pleasures, and that true pleasure is possessed by the mind alone.

Socrates then concludes with an illustration. He compares human nature to three different creatures disguising themselves in a human shape. A multiheaded beast, with some monstrous heads and some of domestic animals, corresponds to the appetitive element. A lion corresponds to the spirited element. And a human to the rational element. Now, the person who recommends a life of injustice would be suggesting that the human element be fed to the beasts, and that the three should hate and maul each other incessantly. The person who recommends the just life, in contrast, says that the human part should rule and tend to the multiheaded beast, caring for the gentle heads and preventing the savage ones from growing. He would make the lion his friend, and in general, live in harmony with all three elements.

After thus concluding that justice is an intrinsic good, he then goes on to point out its extrinsic rewards. He notes that the just do, indeed, flourish in the world, and then recounts his famous Myth of Er to show that they are also rewarded after death.

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For philosophical psychopomp work: http://premieretat.com/coaching-consulting/

A corresponding essay can be found here: http://premieretat.com/platos-republic-books-8-9-degradation-of-soul/

In this video, I examine books 8 and 9 of the Republic, turning from Plato's analysis of the fall of cultures, to his corresponding account of the fall of individual souls. He takes there to be reciprocal relation between the two: cultures falling because degraded men and women demand political changes corresponding to their corrupt characters, and individual men and women falling because they cannot thrive in a degenerate culture. As with cultures, there is a progressive decline for individual types of men and women: they fall from aristocracy of soul to timocracy, from timocracy to oligarchy, oligarchy to democracy, and, finally, from democracy to tyranny.

I examine each state in this degradation, explaining Plato's account of each transition and his analysis of each character type.

I also compare Plato's analysis of character with that of modern psychology, especially that of Freud. I note while they both ostensibly attempt to account for the same phenomenon, they nonetheless differ in crucial ways. Specifically, Plato believes in the existence of reason and the soul, provides an unapologetically value laden account, and preserves the distinction between the conscious, the unconscious, and the supra-conscious.

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Created 3 years, 1 month ago.

45 videos

Category Spirituality & Faith