Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, February 1, 2016

Quiz Feb2

Happy Groundhog Day...* 
==
Socrates, Plato

1. (T/F) For Socrates, a conversation that ended in everyone realizing how little they knew was a failure.

2. (T/F) For Socrates, wisdom consists in knowing lots of facts.

3. Plato's parable of the cave was intended to illustrate the distinction between appearance and reality, and to introduce his Theory of ______.

4. Was Plato's utopia democratic, by modern standards?

5. What were Meletus's charges against Socrates?

6. Why did Socrates question everything?

BONUS QUESTIONS from PB podcasts:
  • Does M.M.McCabe prefer to teach by lecturing Socratically?
  • Who said Eros is the search for your other half? 
  • What's good about Plato's concept of Eros as contemplation of the Form of Beauty, according to Angie Hobbs? OR, What's bad about it? 



DQS:
1. Do you think the point of conversation is mainly to demonstrate that you already know what you're talking about, or that someone or other in the discussion does? How else might it be possible to think about philosophical conversations?

(If you're discussing politics, religion, ethics, metaphysics, science-vs.-superstition, or some other Big Question, do you presume that one of you is right and everyone else is wrong? Do you consider that you all may be partly right and partly wrong? Do you expect to gain from such conversations or do you shun them? What would Socrates say?)

2. Can an ignorant person be wise? Can a knowledgeable person be ignorant?

3. Do you think ordinary life is a misleading appearance, and reality something most of us fail to perceive? Why or why not? How should we go about seeking to discover reality, if it is in fact elusive?

4. Do you like sitting and listening to long speeches, sermons, and lectures? Do you get more out of them than you do from conversations with your peers? What do you see as the benefit or the deficiency of Socratic dialogue?

5. What's your definition of love? Are you looking for your perfect match? What makes for a good marriage or relationship?

6. Do you like Plato's concept of Eros as Perfect Disembodied Love? Why or why not?
==
Western philosophy began well before Socrates, but we'll leave the pre-Socratics to themselves for now and pretend that Socrates was indeed the first (western) philosopher. We'll also soft-pedal Bertrand Russell's judgment (later shared by Izzy Stone) that the Platonic Socrates is "dishonest and sophistical in argument... smug and unctuous... not scientific in his thinking... [guilty of] treachery to truth" and so on. If the esteemed Socrates-as-paragon and personification of intellectual integrity ("I'd rather die than give up my philosophy" etc.) didn't exist we'd have had to invent him. Perhaps Plato did.

In the southern part of Europe is a little country called Greece… the Greeks have lived in it for more than three thousand years. In olden times they believed that before they came to the land it was the home of the gods, and they used to tell wonderful stories


And then Socrates came along to challenge some of those stories. (There actually were some important pre-Socratics like Thales and Democritus already challenging what everybody knew, but we’re jumping ahead in our Little History.) And that’s why, from a western philosopher’s point of view, the Greeks matter.

The old Parthenon must have been lovely, but I think ours is prettier nowadays. And btw, our Parthenon's city ("The Athens of the South") is hot (as in cool) lately.

[There's a new theory about the old Parthenon, btw. "Horses and riders, youths and elders, men and women, animals being led to sacrifice: What is the Parthenon’s frieze telling us?"... more]

Socrates, from Alopece, near Athens, asked a lot of questions. Like Gilda Radner's Roseanne Roseannadanna. Like Bertrand Russell:

Bertrand Russell ‏@B_RussellQuotesJan 31

In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.

Did curiosity kill the philosopher? No, a narrow plurality of 500 jurors did. (His unrepentant attitude during sentencing didn't help, either.) They convicted him of "impiety" (atheism) and corrupting the youth of Athens. One more reason I'm lucky to live in the 21st century: I don't like hemlock. I'm like Woody Allen, that way. (But if shocking new allegations are true, hemlock may be too good for him.) Steve Martin (did I mention that he was a philosophy major?) had a go at it too. Here's a good Discussion Question: what would you do, in Socrates' cell?



He was “snub-nosed, podgy, shabby and a bit strange,” says our text. "He was ugly," says podcastee Mary McCabe. But brilliant and charismatic too, as gadflies go. Said he had nothing to teach, but those around him (including young Plato) said they learned plenty from him, especially how

to discuss with others in this open-minded, open-ended way that allows them to reflect on what they think and us to reflect on what we think, without dictating, without dogma, without insistence, and without imperative... to be true to themselves: to be sincere about their beliefs and to be honest... and to have some respect for their companion.

If that's not good teaching, what is?

The annotated and hyperlinked Last Days of Socrates is a gripping and inspiring tale, whether or not its hero was really as heroic through all the days of his life as Plato and his other admirers would have us believe. The honored pedestal version of this gadfly remains a worthy ideal for philosophy.

"Plato, they say, could stick it away..." -they being Monty Python. And the late great Hitch sang it too, sorta. But Plato was a serious and sober fellow, in Reality, usually capitalizing that word to distinguish it from mere appearance. The everyday world is not at all what it appears to be, he said. If you want Truth and Reality and the Good, get out of your cave and go behold the Forms. He seemed to think that’s what his hero Socrates had done. I’m not so sure. But read the relevant Platonic dialogues telling the tragic and inspiring story of the last days of Socrates and see what you think.



He also had interesting thoughts about love and eros, as expressed through his constant dialogue character "Socrates" (who may or may not have spoken faithfully for his martyred namesake) in Symposium. Angie Hobbs says Plato rejected Aristophanes' mythic notion that we all have one unique other "half," formerly parts of our hermaphroditic spherical selves, that would complete us and make us happy. But he defended a view some of us find equally implausible, the idea that the true and highest love spurns (or spins upward from) particular persons and embraces the Form of Beauty.



The Form of Beauty "is always going to be there for you," but on the other hand "it's never going to love you back." Unrequited affection is hardly what most of us think of as Perfect Love. There's a myth for you. This really was an early foreshadowing of the phenomenon recently deplored in the Stone, our modern turn to abstraction and virtual experience in lieu of immediacy and reality and touch. ("Losing Our Touch", nyt). Reminds me, too, of Rebecca Goldstein's Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away.

We romantics (as Angie Hobbs pronounces herself, and as I confess to being too) should know better than to seek a perfect match. We should know better than to think that any enduring relationship can be wholly free of "pain, fragility, and transience." Those are inevitable parts of the story and the glory of human (as against Ideal, Platonic, Perfect) love, no? Just ask Cecil the Butler about Sidney Poitier.

One more thing about Plato, that will be important for understanding how his pupil Aristotle came to differ from his teacher: the famous Allegory of the Cave from Book VII of Plato's Republic.


 
==
*(in which Bill Murray returns to Punxsutawney, PA again and again, but not eternally… just till he gets it right. He learns how to live well, treat others respectfully, and  enjoy the present. Then he can leave, happily and with no regrets. That was, after all, the intent of Nietzsche’s “gift” of eternal recurrence.)



46 comments:

  1. Sterling Smith (#6)6:47 PM CST

    Discussion Question: If someone today questioned all that we believe to be truth, like Socrates did, how would it make you feel, and would you be willing to listen to their ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ryan Horony #68:16 PM CST

    Discussion Question: Can an ignorant person be wise? Can a knowledgeable person be ignorant?
    I would first like to define wisdom as I understand it. Wisdom is not a place or an attainable position, it is a journey toward understanding. The traveler of this journey must be rooted in a foundation of purity. They must be able to morally and emotionally separate themselves from the issue at hand. Only then can a person be considered wise, in a specific area. This also answers the question of whether a knowledgeable person can be ignorant. If they are complacent and assume their knowledge to be the only knowledge, yes they can be very ignorant.

    A person who is ignorant of a situation can, (please note that there is an emphasis on the word can), be among the most wise in its understanding. I say this because they have the ability to question the motives or rudimentary understanding of the supposed expert. The can ask "Why?" to the most basic components of the system. Often, when challenging the why, we find no valid reason for having it. At other times we can find a deeper understanding of the foundations of the issue. Experts tend to find themselves at the top of the pyramid and are unable to see the foundation that it was built upon. A person ignorant of the situation can force them to reevaluate that foundation and see if it is still sound.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Please disregard the previous post: I put a sentence or two in the wrong paragraph. Bumping the mouse mid thought can be disastrous.
    Discussion Question: Can an ignorant person be wise? Can a knowledgeable person be ignorant?
    I would first like to define wisdom as I understand it. Wisdom is not a place or an attainable position, it is a journey toward understanding. The traveler of this journey must be rooted in a foundation of purity. They must be able to morally and emotionally separate themselves from the issue at hand. Only then can a person be considered wise, in a specific area.

    A person who is ignorant of a situation can, (please note that there is an emphasis on the word can), be among the most wise in its understanding. I say this because they have the ability to question the motives or rudimentary understanding of the supposed expert. The can ask "Why?" to the most basic components of the system. Often, when challenging the why, we find no valid reason for having it. At other times we can find a deeper understanding of the foundations of the issue. Experts tend to find themselves at the top of the pyramid and are unable to see the foundation that it was built upon. A person ignorant of the situation can force them to reevaluate that foundation and see if it is still sound. This also answers the question of whether a knowledgeable person can be ignorant. If they are complacent and assume their knowledge to be the only knowledge, yes they can be very ignorant.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous8:44 PM CST

    Devin Mahoney (6)

    I just really enjoy this quote. It really reverberates with a core philosophy of my own.

    "Love may be the answer, but its precondition is security backed up by force."

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous8:49 PM CST

    Devin Mahoney (6)

    Quiz Question - What are the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Adam Martin #4

    1. The importance of philosophical conversation for me can be explained in two ways. First, it helps me refine my arguments, and second, it allows me to find some kind of common ground with someone else. However, it is important that both sides are given adequate time to explain themselves and their ideas, to avoid assumptions. I believe that the best conversations lead to a synthesis of ideas. This doesn't necessarily mean a fusion of both, but the best possible outcome that can come from both ideas clashing.

    2. I believe that an ignorant person can only be wise if they apply their wisdom only to themselves. For example, perhaps someone can imagine the "best way" to live their lives in the area they are from, but they run the risk of forgetting that everyone has a different background. In my opinion, knowledge of other people, cultures, ideas, and periods of history is essential to becoming truly wise.

    3. To go along with what I said earlier, I believe that, unless we seek out information, we are given a very small glimpse of all of reality, as we cannot live everyone's life. In order to truly understand reality (meaning reality as we know it, not in a "everything exists as energy" sense), we must keep learning from all sources.

    4. I believe that listening to lectures allows me to absorb big ideas that I am unfamiliar with, while talking with friends helps me narrow down those ideas into something that can stand up against ridicule.

    5. Love, to me, is evidence of the natural connection human beings feel for each other, which stands in contrast to the idea that we are all able to function separately. It is what drives us to promote all of humanity over our own selfish desires.

    6. I see erotic love as being a part of our upbringing rather than something we are imbued with naturally. In this way, it can change or adapt for each person. I don't believe that there is a perfect other half for everyone, but I do think the search for love involves a balance between narrowing down the people you find most desirable and then being narrowed down yourself into someone else's category for the same. The reciprocated attraction, even if it is not initially as strong as an idealistic attraction or an attraction for another, will grow simply because of the joy one gets from being loved by someone they love. Eventually, they might not be able to imagine anyone else in their partner's place.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous5:24 PM CST

    Amy Young #4
    4. Do you like sitting and listening to long speeches, sermons, and lectures? Do you get more out of them than you do from conversations with your peers? What do you see as the benefit or the deficiency of Socratic dialogue?

    I do not like listening to long speeches. My interest cannot be kept this way. I get more out of conversations with my peers.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sterling Smith (#6)6:40 PM CST

    According to the podcast, what was the third sex besides male and female that Greeks believed in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katharine Khaoone - #4
      Hermaphrodite - a mixture of both male and female.

      Delete
  9. Sterling Smith (#6)6:42 PM CST

    Discussion Question: Would you consider your own personal philosophy to be Socratic in any way?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beshoy Aziz6:58 PM CST

    Beshoy Aziz(#6) 2. Can an ignorant person be wise? Can a knowledgeable person be ignorant? I don't think an ignorant person can be wise nor do I think a knowledgeable person can be ignorant. In order for a person to be wise, he/she needs to be knowledgeable, and an ignorant person is uneducated and lacks knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Caleb Morton (#6)

    QUIZ QUESTION

    Who first thought that knowing one's self and introspection were the key to true understanding?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous9:15 PM CST

    Devin Mahoney (6)
    Quiz Question: Plato's idea for the perfect society would classify citizens into three groups. What are the three groups/tiers? (Hint: Plato's "The Republic")

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stephen Martin (4)
      Philosophers - led the country
      Soldiers - defended the country
      Workers - Everything else

      Delete
  13. Katharine Khaoone - #4
    DQ #1: I don't think that the MAIN purpose of conversation is to demonstrate what you already know about the topic, or anything along those lines. More so, I think conversation is more about getting to know other peoples' viewpoints on a subject, while also expressing your own. When it comes to discussing things like religion and ethics, I personally don't think that I'm right and everyone else is wrong. I kind of think that that's the point of there being diversity in the world; People are meant to have different perspectives on things. I'm a pretty open-minded person so I'm always up to gain knowledge from other people.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sean Byars Section 6
    Quiz question: What was the symposium?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Symposium was a drinking party in ancient Greece where the literary work of Plato's Symposium took place.

      Delete
  15. Sean Byars Section 6
    Discussion Question 4: Do you like sitting and listening to long speeches, sermons, and lectures? Do you get more out of them than you do from conversations with your peers? What do you see as the benefit or the deficiency of Socratic dialogue?

    Honestly, I am contempt to sit in class and listen to a lecture for the entire time. My attention span is long enough to endure such a lecture; however, it is still important to engage in conversations with others as this provides different opinions and ways of viewing life.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ian Law #4

    Here's an animated explanation of Plato's Cave allegory I remember seeing a few years ago:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2afuTvUzBQ

    Quiz Questions:

    (T/F) Socrates recorded his own dialogues.

    Why, according to Plato, ordinary people bad at thinking about pure Forms?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ramzey Sidani #6
    How would Plato's ladder be represented today in modern romance or erotic love?
    I guess if someone were to ask the comparison in Platos version of erotic love could it be similar to that of how romance is today.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Chad Andrews - #6

    Quiz Question - How did Socrates die?

    Socrates lectures and conversations were free of charge, contrast to the high fees of the Sophists. Due to this, the Sophists did not hold a high opinion of Socrates. Do you think Sophists are in any way connected to the provocation of the death of Socrates?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sophie Raffo #611:03 AM CST

      What's your definition of love? Are you looking for your perfect match? What makes for a good marriage or relationship?

      Love cannot be defined, and there is no perfect match. I think love is a feeling that cannot be put into words, despite people's desire to define it. It is like trying to define a color. There are feelings associated with it, but yet noone can truly express the essence of it. As for "Perfect match" and Plato's erotic love, nothing is perfect, and every relationship has flaws. I think it is mostly how you learn to embrace your significant other's flaws and accept them for who they are. Acceptance and trust are the most important ideals in a good relationship. How can you ever feel comfortable in a relationship if you are not completely accepted by your spouse? As for trust,there should never be any doubt that your lover loves you unconditionally.

      Delete
    2. Sophie Raffo #611:25 AM CST

      Socrates was executed by being given hemlock to drink.

      Delete
  19. Logan, Sarah, Khy (section 4)
    We talked about ignorance vs. Knowledge, we agree the at times an ignorant person can be wise and a knowledgeable person can be ignorant.

    ReplyDelete
  20. J. Skylar Dean, Ian Law, Akmal Ishmetov Section 4:

    Talked about whether ignorant people can be wise and vice versa, we all agreed they can.
    Also talked about finding the perfect match, and what makes for a good relationship.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Group discussion #4 Luis, Ben, Adam
    We discussed what we considered what ordinary is to us

    ReplyDelete
  22. Danni Bonner 411:09 AM CST

    Amy, Ashley, and Danielle #4 discussed the topic of love for a disembodied concept possibly causing ruin in a relationship if the people do not love each other and only their concept of beauty.we also discussed the importance of peer discussion in understanding material, and we spent some decent time talking about the general concept of love.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Megan, Allie, and Katie Section 4:
    We decided that we all prefer listening to lectures and discussing afterward so we can absorb the information first. We think the point of conversation is to learn from each other.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Sophie Raffo #611:28 AM CST

    Quiz Question: Who fell in love with Socrates? Did Socrates love him back?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Beshoy Aziz11:31 AM CST

    Beshoy Aziz(#6) DQ:
    What does it mean to come to terms when having conversation?

    ReplyDelete
  26. 6
    DQ's
    1. Discussions must focus on both, because they require two or more sides. To ignore either side restricts the opportunity to learn and analyze your side or someone else's. I always expect to gain from big question discussions because when I focus on all sides of the conversation, I can either learn about my own views, a view I had not thought of, or even about views I may disagree with.

    2. Not really sure about this one because knowledge can be different from wisdom and knowledge can also come from a massive amount of topics. In turn, this also means people can be ignorant in some things and knowledgeable others.

    3. I think ordinary life is misleading. Their can be new experiences, knowledge, and wisdom hiding in the shadows, or even influential forces that people may not be aware of. By questioning things, and looking deeper into the world around you, one can find these hidden things, and become wise about them so that the world does not mold them agains their will, or try to slip past their sight.

    4. It takes a fairly interesting topic for me to enjoy long lectures, and I value a discussion more because it provides the ability to challenge some ideas that otherwise could not be answered because the lecture is only one-way. Discussions also provide the ability to find out more about why someone feels the way they do.

    5. I view love as less romantic than the greeks or many writers and poets may display it. Love is a beautiful feeling, but in a world like ours, love takes commitment to more than just the person, different situations and scenarios may breakdown a relationship that otherwise would be perfectly fine. Truly functional relationships require the effort and health of both parties, and both must be ready to make hard decisions, because life may get in the way.

    6. His view of love is a very romantically aesthetic one, but ignores the ability of reality to interfere and twist relationships. Feelings and lust do not define healthy relationships. The idea of finding your "other half" is an optimistic look at love, but ultimately shouldn't be taken too literally. I do agree, however, with the idea that people in a relationship should aim to better each other.

    ReplyDelete
  27. 6
    Quiz Question:
    What is the top rung and what is the bottom rung of Diotima's Ladder?

    ReplyDelete
  28. 6.
    I feel as though we are all ignorant to something in life even if we are know to be wise

    ReplyDelete
  29. 6 Brock Francis
    DQ2
    The definition of ignorance is the lack of knowledge. According to Socrates, a person can be wise and know nothing. I understand this idea because it suggests that there are things that we cannot know completely. Due to the definition of ignorance, I do not think one can be knowledgable and ignorant.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Stephen, Cameron, Ellisha (4)
    We discussed the difference between knowledge and ignorance in its relation to wisdom. As well as what is Love and how there is no exact definition for it. Love is felt and not defined, it is different for each and every person.

    ReplyDelete
  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  32. 6 Brock Francis
    DQ1
    I believe the point in conversation is to be open minded in order to seek truth. Many people are set on their point when it comes to conversation, and the is not any gained ground in conversations of that nature. It is important to be able to admit to being wrong or not knowing something.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Nick, Sean, and Chad (Section 6)

    Today we talked about what our definition of love is and whether or not there is a perfect match for someone. We discussed how media plagues the definition of love, making it seem unrealistic. Our main conclusion about love was that it will never be perfect, that you need someone who improves your flaws

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  34. Section 6
    James, Cassie, DeAndra

    Most of our discussion focused around love and relationships like what makes a healthy one. We also incorporated Eros' idea of Disembodied love. Asked Can you have just one soul mate? Also discussed the Theory of Form and how Diotima's Ladder applies to that theory.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Ryan, Addy, and i discussed the concept of Conversation. We decided that conversation is used to relay information. It's a way to learn about others and about yourself. Conversation does not have to be something where 1 person teaches others

    ReplyDelete
  36. Dina Assad7:21 PM CST

    Dina Assad, Beshoy Aziz, Fatmah Alteleb
    section 6
    Beshoy, Fatmah, and I discussed how when someone gets in a conversation with someone else, or with a group of people, they should learn something new different from what they already know. The point of getting into a conversation is to learn something different and understand other people's point of view. we compared the first discussion question to the idea of discussing the topic after class and see others point of view or what they think about the topic. We learn so much this way. People may disagree, but it's not mostly about agreeing with each other, but the point is to know how the other thinks.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Section 6 -- Frank Dremel, Sterling Smith, and Brock Francis discussed the pros and cons of having a single lecturer vs group conversation. -- "4. Do you like sitting and listening to long speeches, sermons, and lectures? Do you get more out of them than you do from conversations with your peers? What do you see as the benefit or the deficiency of Socratic dialogue?"

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous10:21 PM CST

    Devin Mahoney (6)
    Kellie, Lace and I had a really nice talk about the concept of Eros or "the one". It seems we all agreed that the idea that you are predetermined to find your "other half" and are incomplete till you do so is truly a burden. We discussed the counter idea of finding the qualities of "the one" in the person you choose to be with. Why could you not find someone who makes you happy and gives you the things you need and want in life and they become the one.
    We also discussed the idea that you can be truly wise and know nothing and also know everything but be ignorant. The classic argument of having "book smarts" and "street smarts". The truly informed or the wise will more than likely have a defining amount of all types of intelligence. A trait we said that is crucial however is the ability to accept outside thought and opinions. You can only be wise when you accept that you may not know what you think you know and have the capacity to learn and change.

    ReplyDelete
  39. http://youtu.be/bURgTLHryrg

    A song by Immortal Technique that I think we all should listen to!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Lucas Futrell, Sophie Raffo, Spencer Carpenter (6)

    We discussed the idea of love and finding "other half." Spencer said he doesn't believe in soul mates because he thinks that people are all too flawed to find someone who matches them perfectly. Sophie believes that love is finding someone to accept those flaws and look past them, she believes in soul mates but thinks that we may have more than one. Lucas does not believe in soul mates. He believes that love is when someone makes you feel a certain romantic way but that that feel and bond is mostly temporary be a month, a year, or a lifetime. He believes that we as people are constantly changing and so are our ideal mates so in turn the idea of a soul mate from birth looking for his or her better half seems a little far fetched.

    We also discussed whether we like a traditional class setting or something that is more of a discussion. We mostly agreed that it depends on the class and the topic of discussion. Some classes are routed in hard facts and discussing those facts as opposed to just being taught them and how the work can be a waist of time and can at times confuse the topic of the discussion. On the other hand, when discussing classes with more malleable and theoretical topics an alternative class setting may be advantageous, given that the class and instructor are interested and knowledgeable of the topic.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Sophie Raffo #61:00 PM CST

    Sophie, Courtney M., and Spencer
    We discussed our ideas on what makes us happy and if children experience true happiness.
    Our group decided that life's purpose is doing what makes you happy, whether that be attaining material things, or giving back to others. It all depends on the person, and their idea of happiness.
    We also discussed the fact that children can obtain true happiness. They have not yet experienced the responsibilities of adulthood, so in that point in time they are truly happy.

    ReplyDelete