Hi all, hope you’re all keeping well. Iv been thinking more about a blog I did and wondered where I stand on the topic now, what have I learn since I first wrote it?  That is the topic of good, what is good in itself? it is very hard question to answer and one philosophy has wrestled with for its entire history, what is the form of good? Socrates or rather Plato had in interesting way of describing good while falling short of saying what he believed the good is, he opted for an simile in the Republic and called it a child of good. Meany times when a philosopher or lay man (as it were like me) was asked he says they would clamed good is something that is desirable and describe it as pleasure or knowledge, when asked what that was, they would say it is good. Falling short of an adequate expiation being unable to say what good in itself was, Plato (or Socrates) took umbrage with this and rightly so. He stated though he himself could not state what good in itself was, he had discovered a child of the good.

The simile is as fallows. He draws a parallel between the visible world and intelligible world;

Visible World

The Sun

Source of { growth and light,

which gives

visibility to the objects of the senses


 power of seeing

to the eye.

The faculty of sight


Intelligible World

The Good

Source of { reality and truth,

which gives

intelligibility to objects of thought


the power of knowing

to the mind.

The faculty of Knowledge.

He clarifies this in his argument by saying that “…particulars are objects of the sight but not of intelligence, while the forms are objects of intelligence.” By forms Plato (or Socrates means the thing in itself). He goes on saying we see with our sight and here with our hearing and so on with the other sense organs, going on to compliment the creator saying he was “lavish” when he gave us the ability to see. He goes on to show a lack of knowledge in his time saying that the ear needs no other thing to hear sound, when now we know that sound doesn’t travel in a vacuum it needs air to propagate through. Yet his point I think I still sound and clear, noticing that the eye needs something other than the object and the eye to see. Sight needs light and that it is the sun that provide this light, with out it nothing is visible. Light then is good, but it is not the source of itself. Yet the sun itself is not sight it is the cause of sight and is seen by its cause, according to Plato. So it is then to my understanding that the faculty of knowledge is not the good itself but is a child of the good, as light and sight are the children of the sun—the faculty of knowledge helps us see the good as the power of sight helps us see the truth. Then “the good” in itself is something that transcends the objects or particulars that it touches. The good transcends the truth in this case and is the cause of this ability to see the things it touches as seen by the intellect. The good is then not that witch is pleasurable or desirable, it is not knowledge these things have their own ends and may or me not be children of the good. They may be negative or indifferent, in some sense may harm and even be abhorrent to the cultured and intelligible mind. Yet the faculty of knowing is and always will be good, but not good itself.

It is true that that we cannot know or have knowledge things that don’t exist in or outside the mind, therefore these things have qualities good then is a quality and illusion (as Plato would say) of the good. It is this ability to hold knowledge that is good not the things that we have knowledge of per say. These things may be good (beautiful) or ugly (bad). Across cultures these things vary feelings towards things vary these thus are relative, so that much in me has not changed. I still hold that we view the world relative to our experience yet think there are things that transcend this– like a child of the good. Then things that are seen as good such as laws, morality and culture can be in error in their particulars because we are limited creatures and do not yet know the good in itself—can in a general sense have the quality or appearance of good. (Which may be all we can hope for.) Yet the fact that we can come close to good gives me hope. Human history is filled with tragedy and error, yet we see a progression in good. We have divined individual rights as good, the right to life the right to property and the right to liberty as good. We have set limitations theses to varying degrees and set out laws, this is good. We recognise we having limits this is good and we change all be it difficulty with new information, this too is good. Yet we still do not know our own potential, we have ideas about it yet can never know how high the sealing is. We keep in mind that we have the potential even in good intention and faith to do evil as much as good, this then is a balancing act. We fear ourselves and this I say is good, it gives us prudence and caution. Yet for all this we still do not know the good in itself, perhaps in time we will or perhaps only god in his infinite wisdom knows and may be the only one to ever know. We as human beings can never be certain what’s good, so we act in good faith and hope for the best. (A rather bleak conclusion I’m sorry.)

But I’m rambling know, I feel I have a better understanding of good and good in itself. Its only with knowledge, truth, time and faith that we can come closer to the good. I hope we don’t make to many mistakes along the way.

Anyway thanks for reading, I hope you dear reader got something from this. If as always you think I have something wring, think I’m missing something or want to share anything pleas let me know leave a comment or send me a message. Remember these are just my thoughts on the topic. Stay well all.

Published by Engine Mortale

Engine Mortale is my chosen pseudonym, I’ve chosen a pseudonym because I think it most appropriate as some of work will be rather personal. I figured this was the best way. I’m an autodidact, my to prominent fields of study’s are behaviour and philosophy, most recently art and poetry have been of keen interest. I hope genuinely that some good comes out of my out of this thing i call a life, if nothing else just that.

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