Secrecy and Symbolism in Plato’s Philosophy

Document Type : Original Article



This research focuses on various dimensions of (or what may be regarded as) the terms secrecy and symbolism in Plato’s philosophy. This article reveals that Plato inherited some aspects of these two concepts from his predecessors and adopted them in his epistemological and instructional system in an especial way. These aspects could be found in Plato’s works as (1) esoteric and symbolic interpretations of some words or scripts in order to unveil the hidden meaning of them, (2) indications of secret and confidential instruction of master to disciple, and (3) recommendations for trying to avoid disseminating and uncovering the secret messages for the purpose of concealing the secret knowledge from the incompetent and common crowd.