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Default The Witcher - Now Available in NA

November 1st, 2007, 14:50
Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon View Post
If we have to use a word to describe him, taking into account all his works, that word would be "idealist", not "fascist".
I was speaking about his ideas (and behavior) on politics, not his philosophy in general. However, I don't agree with you even so, unless you're using "idealist" in the sense of "Platonic idealist," which he most certainly was. "Idealist" in the common usage sense — "an individual who puts beliefs in abstract ideals before self-interest or pragmatism" — certainly doesn't fit Plato; he acted very much in his own interest and was quite pragmatic as a politician.

Calling him a fascist is certainly a stretch, since the economic and social underpinnings of fascism didn't exist in his time. However, I think it's a pretty descriptive analogy: just like it's completely wrong to call Pericles a democrat in modern terms, in the Athenian/Greek political field of the time, he occupied a similar position that democrats occupy in today's political field. Similarly, Plato's position was analogous to that of fascists in modern history.

Unfortunately, the only way we can hope to understand how someone like Plato thought is through analogies — we're so far removed from the mental landscape of Athens at the time. So, keeping in mind that these are analogies and as such limited, it is IMO fair to characterize Socrates as a counter-cultural maverick hippie type, Plato as an authoritarian fascist type, and Pericles as a democratic statesman type, to pick three examples at random.

To go off on another tangent, I've often wondered what it is that Socrates really said or did that pissed off the Powers that Be in Athens badly enough to have him executed. I'm fairly certain that Plato didn't give us the whole truth of the matter: while he appears to have transmitted us a fair bit of the real Socrates, he also cheerfully turns him into a sock puppet when propounding some of his own ideas.

But that we'll never know, sadly.
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November 1st, 2007, 16:09
Plato was not a politician, he was a philosopher, so you can't directly compare him with Pericles. His "ideal state" was an idea, never meant to be realized but rather to serve as a means of evaluating current political systems. According to Plato we can only have approximations in real life whilst ideas are perfect states and in this sense 'more real'. So Plato's whole philosophical program is to 'explore the world of ideas', not pragmatism at all. And yes, I'm not using "idealist" in the common sense of the word.

Socrates was executed most probably because he was challenging the established ethics. His ideas about sex in particular, including sensitive topics such as having sex with someone else's woman or homosexuality. We will never know the exact reason as Socrates never wrote a word.

“Of all the journeys you will undertake in this life, uncovering the secrets you hide from yourself is the most dangerous voyage of all.” – Shyha Tuhlwin, Therish Philosopher
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November 1st, 2007, 16:23
Actually, we don't know that for certain. He *says* that he abandoned his political career and left Athens voluntarily, due to a high-minded disgust at the dirtiness of the game (Letter VII), but… I don't believe him. It's just the sort of thing you'd say if you lost a power play. Much of what he writes reads like political pamphleteering, not philosophy, and given what we know about political life in Athens at the time, I think it would be extremely naive to take him at his word when it comes to his motivations for doing as he did. In fact, much of what he says just plain doesn't make *sense* if you try to read it as disinterested philosophizing, whereas it makes perfect sense if you read it as political pamphleteering by a vocal member of an opposition party.

But the main problem remains — we know virtually nothing about Plato other than what Plato himself wants us to know. As such, it's vitally important that we approach him critically — that we don't take his word on himself at face value, but also ask why he would have said that, and what, perhaps, he may have left unsaid.
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November 1st, 2007, 16:39
This is a valid argument. Regardless, Plato was a brilliant philosopher and has contributed much to the philosophy of all sciences, eg Newton's concept of the 'point particle', or the seperation of consiousness and the physical world in modern psychology. But I feel we're getting somewhat off-topic and this would be the subject for a seperate thread

“Of all the journeys you will undertake in this life, uncovering the secrets you hide from yourself is the most dangerous voyage of all.” – Shyha Tuhlwin, Therish Philosopher
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November 1st, 2007, 17:13
Originally Posted by Crolug View Post
Now that's an interesting discussion over here… Anyone actually has started playing the game and could reveal his/her first impressions?
Crolug, visit our Witcher subforum for all kinds of first impressions.

It's a great pleasure to have the deficiencies in my educational background in philosophy augmented so easily by this discussion.

I now feel that I ought to include a few examples of the writings of Plato, et al, among my bedside reading material.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
Last edited by magerette; November 1st, 2007 at 17:21. Reason: smilie overdose
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November 1st, 2007, 17:50
Originally Posted by Lethal Weapon View Post
This is a valid argument. Regardless, Plato was a brilliant philosopher and has contributed much to the philosophy of all sciences, eg Newton's concept of the 'point particle', or the seperation of consiousness and the physical world in modern psychology. But I feel we're getting somewhat off-topic and this would be the subject for a seperate thread
Oh, absolutely. I have no beef with Plato per se; however, I do think that one of the great tragedies of the Western world is that we have taken and continue to take him at face value. Plato's ghost has poisoned the blood of everything from the Christ to Marx. That's not his fault, of course; it's the fault of his followers.

BTW, if you're interested in reading a really good critique of Plato, check out Karl Popper's "The Open Society and its Enemies," vol. 1.
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November 1st, 2007, 17:54
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Crolug, visit our Witcher subforum for all kinds of first impressions.

It's a great pleasure to have the deficiencies in my educational background in philosophy augmented so easily by this discussion.

I now feel that I ought to include a few examples of the writings of Plato, et al, among my bedside reading material.
Actually, I'd suggest you start with a commentary on Plato rather than the man himself. Plato's world was so different from our own that unless you're already really deep into it, you'll completely misunderstand him.
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November 1st, 2007, 17:54
Well, sorry to post on-topic … but my copy arrived via UPS this morning! Still downloading the updates.

— Mike
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November 1st, 2007, 18:10
Interesting discussion.

@Tom Ohle: I completely agree with your assessment, but I'm wondering how much of it is based on firsthand knowledge. As a PR consultant, you surely worked with the guys who made this decision, but was it actually something they discussed with you?

IMO, ratings are a good idea, but this one isn't working the way it was intended. Parents could use all the help they can get. To be a useful reference, ratings need to reflect mainstream American values (not Greek values or any others).

The big retailers are the culprits here. They're so significant that a standard business decision of theirs is throwing this system out of whack. High technology companies are especially under their thumb, and it's been that way for a long time now.
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November 1st, 2007, 19:57
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Well, sorry to post on-topic … but my copy arrived via UPS this morning! Still downloading the updates.
You're forgiven, but only because mine just got here, too.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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November 1st, 2007, 21:19
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
You're forgiven, but only because mine just got here, too.
You got the regular UK import (NOT limited edition), right? If so, can you tell me if there's a map in the box, please? Thanks.
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November 1st, 2007, 21:32
The regular UK edition has no map I'm afraid. Well, at least the one I bought from the shops last week didn't.
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November 2nd, 2007, 00:15
Nope, no map, but a pretty decent manual (70+ pages). And yes, chamr, this is the plain vanilla UK DVD edition, not a Collector's or Limited.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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November 2nd, 2007, 00:46
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Nope, no map, but a pretty decent manual (70+ pages). And yes, chamr, this is the plain vanilla UK DVD edition, not a Collector's or Limited.
Gah! Now I'll be paying more again just to feed my map addiction!! Damn you, Atari!!!!

Thanks for the info, Mage and Dyne…
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November 2nd, 2007, 00:59
Did everyone get 'The Lesser Evil' story by Andrzej Sapkowski in a little booklet? That was a nice thing that came with mine.

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November 2nd, 2007, 02:05
No, just a really small excerpt from a story called Spellbreaker in the manual introduction. Fortunately I think Lesser Evil is the one story I've read. It's a really nice touch, it being included though.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
Last edited by magerette; November 2nd, 2007 at 03:09.
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November 2nd, 2007, 04:46
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Did everyone get 'The Lesser Evil' story by Andrzej Sapkowski in a little booklet? That was a nice thing that came with mine.
What version did you order, Mike?
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November 2nd, 2007, 08:17
Why don't you guys continue your fascinating Plato discussion over in the P&R forum. I'm much more of an Aristotelian than a Platonian (do such words exist?? ) but I used to teach Plato as part of an introduction to classic philosophy!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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November 2nd, 2007, 12:55
Originally Posted by chamr View Post
What version did you order, Mike?
It is a review copy (not for RPGWatch) - US version. It wasn't in the box but packed in the shipping container. So I was wondering if it was normal or something our good friend Tom Ohle packed in

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