Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A New Name: "Philosorapters"

Today we discussed who should focus on what in the reading assignments, and came up with a new name for the group. Not much talking today due to time constraints , hopefully that will change in the near future. Our new group name is "The Philosorapters". If anyone can think of any other puns, feel free to post them in addition to any comments\links\quiz questions\discussion questions you think of.


  1. I guess I'll be the first to comment.
    Hey guys.
    So, I focused primarily on the reading assignment from A Little History of Philosophy. The chapter on Socrates and Plato was extremely concise and informative (I think this book is by far my favorite of the three we have for the course). I found it kind of amusing that Socrates was compared to an annoying horsefly, though I suppose it's an extremely accurate description. His method of confronting people in the marketplace and challenging people's beliefs and ideas with questions could be seen as an annoyance, though I don't perceive any real harm that could be done by it. Also, I thought the account of Socrates' friend Chaerophen going to the oracle of Apollo at Delphi was very enlightening. Chaerophen asked if anyone was wiser than Socrates, and the oracle replied no. Socrates himself was surprised at this and reexamined his own definition of wisdom. He spent years of questioning people to see if anyone truly was wiser than he, and in the process he further separated 'knowledge' and 'wisdom'. I think this shows a lot about Socrates' character as well as the pertinence to the Socratic method. I almost wish it was more conducive to approach academia in a similar method, for I feel people would learn more and be better for it, though I know it's just not feasible.

    Here's a link about Socrates I found. It has a short video clip as well as a good account of Socrates' life, both early and later.

    Similarly, here's a link to a short but detailed biography of Plato.

    DQ: Do you think in Athens during Socrates' time, that what he was doing was worthy of being sentenced to death?

    FQ: Socrates did not write anything down. Who wrote down and kept record of Socrates conversations and ideas, as well as his own? -Plato

    FQ: What theory of Plato's describes thinking about things in an abstract way, not through examples and sensual perceptions? -Theory of Forms

    1. Aaron Caveny12:07 PM CST

      I thought the horsefly comparison was funny but definitely could be accurate. A person like Socrates was definitely one of the more wise and knowledgeable people we are going to study.

      DQ: If a modern day Socrates stood in the middle of a busy shopping mall and began questioning everyone walking by would you stop and answer?

      FQ: According to Socrates, what are men unwilling to lose? -The simple pleasures in life.

      Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KWNIBGCTvQ
      video about Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle done by grad students

  2. I did my reading over AP 20-23
    In these pages author Carlin Ramano discusses the layout of his book.
    Part 1 (American Philosophy and Tradition) : Ramano aims to walk the reader into the subject of the book
    Part 2 (Abandoning Toothless Truth): Ramano takes an assault on America the Unphilosophical
    Part 3 (The Rising Outsiders) : Ramano offers an overview of the diversity of American philosophy
    Part 4 (Gutenberg's Revenge) : Ramano hopes to confirm America's place at the forefront of philosophical thinking
    Part 5 (Isocrates: a man, not a typo) : Ramano introduces "Isocrates" and tells of a "remapping" of philosophical culture.
    Part 6 (Just saying no to justification) : Ramano tells the story of John Rawls.
    Ramano then closes his book in the epilogue.

    I believe that is writing strategy and placement will make for a very interesting read.

  3. M. M. McCabe On Socrates:
    -His questions were often to get to the bottom of why you think you know something, and the implications of saying that you know this. When he asked questions, it was always at a double level in this way.
    -This is considered the Socratic Method: questioning to show how little people understand, and how little they understand what knowing that would mean. But farther than that, he wanted to look at a person's collection of views and see how they all fit together to see their Life.
    - He wanted mutual understanding and gain of knowledge. What he did came off very irritating, but he probably was not trying prove how smart he was, rather he wanted to find out more through conversation.
    - Above all, he respected differing perspectives and opinions and considered them the best way to gain wisdom. (though he said there was truth and falsehood, he didn't believe there were right or wrong answers to any question he asked).
    - He believed an unexamined life was not worth living, and through examination of values we find what we want to be responsible for, thus finding meaning in our life.

    FQ: Who was the ancient greek philosopher that believed the best way to gain wisdom was through conversation, as opposed to inward reflection? (Socrates)

    Second, Angie Hobbs on Plato On Erotic Love:
    - He wrote a story about being at a dinner party and described three different people and their ideas on love.
    - It seems in this case "erotic" and "romantic" are somewhat interchangeable, this is mostly talking about relationships and life long philosophies, not erotic desire that is short lived and surface level.
    - He described the positions the three people at this party took on love:
    The Poet: Aristophans
    - told a story where there were originally three different sexes, male, female, and combination
    - All of these being were spherical, consisting of two heads, four arms, four legs...(two of everything)
    - they made the gods angry by being basically arrogant
    - the gods decided to cut them all in half and have them all forever seek the "other half"
    - says this is what we are still doing today, but it puts us at risk because if the other half dies or is never found we are incomplete. (Lover in this case is irreplaceable).
    Plato's Idea:
    - Plato believed love should follow in the same manner as his "theory of forms". He believed everything we do is to pursue the ultimate Form of Beauty.
    - He thought all people and things are flawed versions of the ultimate Form, and that anyone you love is replaceable with another flawed person.
    - Encouraged everyone to "climb the ladder of love" meaning, love of a body (then realizing all bodies are similar, so loving all), moving to love of a good soul (and all good souls), towards more abstract things, up until revealed to you is the glory of the "vision" of the Form of Beauty itself.
    - if you love only one human you are enslaved to them, it is a painful, vulnerable existence.
    this Form is above loving you back
    The Very Beautiful Man: Alcibiades
    -really just an example of what it is like to be in love with "one other, utterly unique, individual"
    - in the story he loved Plato, who did not return love
    - describes the beauty and romance, intensity, and passion of loving one particular individual (who is irreplaceable); but also shows us the vulnerability, pain, jealousy and anger that comes with that.

    here is a link explaining the theory of forms a little better (it is really abstract to me)
    DQ: Which theory of love is closer to what you believe, is a lover replaceable, or irreplaceable?

    1. Love your summaries to the readings. I think you did a great job putting the main points into your post.
      As response to your discussion question, I feel like it's a mixture of both replaceable and irreplaceable. I think you find that someone that you are in love with, it is like finding your other half. You feel whole. (Much like Aristophanes story explains). I do, however, think that if something happened to that person and you were faced with the decision to try to find love again, you can find someone to replicate those feelings. They will never be identical to the feelings you had with that first person, but they can be close. In some ways your second lover may be better than the first, and it other aspects they may fall short. I don't think there is just one person out there for everyone. i think there is a multitude of people that can fill the role of lover and can make you feel complete.

  4. FQ
    Because Socrates did not believe in writing down the things he said. Who wrote and recorded most of what is know about Socrates today?

    "An unexamined existence is all right for cattle, but not for human beings" - Socrates
    Do you believe that questioning everything is what killed Socrates or was it that his way of thinking was dangerous to his society?

    Here are some good quotes from Socrates I thought I would

  5. Zachary VanDusen4:10 PM CST

    I personally feel that Socrates did not deserve the death penalty. He should not be sentenced to death for opening the minds of his fellow Athenians