Platon in den Augen der Zeitgenossen
An evaluation ofPlato sine ira et studio seems hardly possible. Especially since the publication of Popper's sensational book "The open Society and its Ennemies" adherents and opponents have been more sharply divided than ever. lt may help to clear up the matter if we consider how Plato was regarded in Greece itself in his own time. Then we see that his contemporaries - with the exception of the more intimate circle of pupils and admirers-reacted partly with antipathy, partly with surprise because of the un-Grecian cha racter of his philosophical and political theories. Plato was thought to be haughty and unsympathetic. This fits in with the philosopher's personality as we encounter it in his books: nowhere do we find warm, genuine human kindness, spiritual values are the only thing that matters while, as with Plato's teacher Socrates, the heart does not receive its due. lt has been said, wrongly, that no humanist ideas may be expected from Plato, because the idea of humanism is of later origin, and in Plato's time unknown. In his treatise on Anthröpismos-Humanitas Dr. ]. Meerwaldt has shown this assertion to be at complete variance with the real facts and that the Greek equivalent of the Latin humanitas has already been formulated by Plato's contemparary Aristippos. In his judgment of slavery, in his militarism Plato is behind his times.