On November 29, the 135th On Tao Forum was held in School of Public Administration in Xingmin Building, Room 634-A. The theme of the lecture was ‘The transform and new development of Platonism’. We were honored to invite Professor Liang Zhonghe, the director of Research Institute for Ancient Greek and European Medieval Philosophy of Sichuan University to be the keynote speaker. Professor Tao Tao from Department of Philosophy, School of Public Administration hosted the lecture. Many students were attracted and the room was filled by the enthusiastic audience.
At the beginning of the lecture, Professor Liang raised a question ‘how many times did God die in the history of Western Philosophy?’ to inspire the students to think. In Antient Greek Philosophy, Thales advocated the theory of water origin, which indicated the nature substance, but not God being the origin of the world. The Sophists also removed God’s status of ultimate ethical reason of the world. Then Professor Liang associated Antient Greek Philosophy with the contemporary reality. He pointed out that nowadays, human beings are in the end state under the rule of the strong artificial intelligence. Pure rational computationalism will prevail and unique human states such as will and emotion will decline or even disappear in the future. Under this background, Professor Liang made a brief introduction of the features of Platonism and the division of the history of antient Platonism. Back to the reality, Professor Liang said that though he majored in Platonism, he was against pure rationalism throughout his academic career. Human beings should avoid becoming extreme rationalists in the era of artificial intelligence. Professor Liang’s lecture showed his deep concern for reality and profound accomplishment of ancient philosophy.
At the end of the lecture, three students shared their opinions and raised questions based on Professor Liang’s report. And Professor Liang answered these questions in detail.
This lecture was a review of Platonism, which contributed to answer the realistic problems and cultivate the ability of thinking and analyzing of the students. It is a rare spiritual feast for us.
(Wang Tiancheng, Wang Yuanzhao)