British historian and philosopher of science Jay Kennedy says he's deciphered the hidden philosophy long rumored to be buried in the collected texts of Plato. In a five year project, Kennedy cracked the "secret code" by noting patterns related to the 12 notes of the Greek musical scale. The revelation: Plato believed mathematics was the key to everything, anticipating the insights of Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton. Solving the "Plato Code," says Kennedy, was "like opening a tomb and finding new set of gospels written by Jesus Christ himself." But has he, in fact, unpuzzled a "code," or is this just a bad Dan Brown wannabe?
This is just hype: Sure, Plato believed that math is the key to being, says Max Reed in Gawker. We know this because he wrote about it "all the time" in "codes and symbols" called "'words' and 'letters.'" Kennedy's "absurd pretend 'secret' message" is only hidden if you are illiterate. The only thing he's revealed is the media's insatiable desire for more "shoddy Dan Brown ripoffs."
"What's Plato's 'hidden philosophy?'"
Plato's genius is finally given its due: "Another Dan Brown book in the making? Perhaps," says Michael Suen in Geekosystem, But laugh at your own peril. Kennedy has proven that Plato beat out Isaac Newton in conceptualizing the Scientific Revolution by 2,000 years. And Kennedy's only scratched the surface, because the sophisticated Pythagorean mathematical-musical code he cracked is in all 2,000 pages of Plato's works.
"The Plato Code: Secret symbols discovered in Plato’s books"
Code or not, Plato has a message: Kennedy's analysis "won't change the gist or significance of the philosophical musings of Socrates and his groupies," says John Terauds in The Toronto Star, but we can still learn from it. Our "fragmented" Western "intellectual universe" might be better off if, like Plato and other pre-19th century thinkers, we didn't draw a hard line between art and science, "the magical and the rational."
"Stop the presses! There's music in Plato's philosophical musings"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- 16 characters from other languages that make great emoticons
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
Subscribe to the Week