Posts Tagged ‘Divided Line’

Plato’s Divided Line

August 23, 2011

How to display Plato’s Divided Line? Instead of a continuous line going from low to high as it is usually shown, I’ve shown it as two continuous crossed lines, a fourfold or double dual. Eikasia (imagining) and Pistis (belief) together are Doxa, the phenomenal. Dianoia (understanding) and Noesis (knowledge) together are Episteme, the intelligible. Doxa should indeed be horizontal, corresponding to the phenomenal of Richard McKeon’s Aspects of Knowing, and the subjective or content of other double duals. I believe Eikasia should come before Pistis, as the substance and form of content in Hjelmslev’s Net. Considering the vertical axis, Episteme as Dianoia and Noesis should surely be there for Plato, corresponding to McKeon’s ontic. But how do Dianoia and Noesis relate?

By the measure of the Aspects of Knowing or the Archic Matrix, Dianoia could be considered the method/knowledge and Noesis the reality/knowable of Plato’s Divided Line. Thus Dianoia should be above Noesis, as method/knowledge is above reality/knowable. Yet by other measures, that of the Here and Now or Hjelmslev’s Net, Noesis should be above and Dianoia below. Noesis is the form to the substance of Dianoia. Dianoia can also be thought of as meroscopic, reducing all to number and quantity, and Noesis can be thought of as holoscopic, combining all thing into the hierarchy of forms that culminate in that ultimate form, “The Good”.

The difficulty may be because the lower position, here Noesis, serves both as the position of the real in some fourfolds, as well as the position of earth and matter in others. This is a bias that I would like to avoid, but a resolution will need to come later.


[*6.158-*6.165, *6.186]