Archive for the ‘Phil 201’ Category

Third Paper?

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Is anyone else completely lost on this third paper? I don’t feel like I can manage to get the two different views and passages and evaluations into 4 -5 pages. Let alone pick them. Any advice?


Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Alain de Botton discussing Epicurus on YouTube-Your Comments–do you agree/disagree with his account?

Liszt/Beethoven transcriptions

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Um… I just downloaded Glenn Gould playing Liszt’s transcription of Beethoven’s Symphony 5 off of iTunes and it is blowing me away! I can burn a copy for anyone interested! Just let me know.



Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Youtube has some great videos of philosophers talking about, well philosophy and other philosophers. You might find the series with Miles Burnyeat ineresting now that you have finished Plato. Go to Youtube for the whole series:   Miles Burnyeat

Then check out Martha Nussbaum on Aristotle:

Martha Nussbaum

Study Questions for Exam

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Study questions—note for each that as you reconstruct arguments or present theories, you should also be prepared to evaluate those arguments/theories:

What are the “intellectual attributes and assumptions” that make it possible for us to group the “presocratics”? In what way do they demonstrate a “spirit of …rational inquiry” ? Give examples from several including the Milesians, the Plutalists, etc.

Discuss the fundamental or defining ideas of Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides.

Who were the Sophists and what is their significance?

What connections do you see between the presocratics and Plato’s theories?

What were the charges against Socrates in the Apology and how does he respond to them?

How does Socrates present himself and interact with the jurors in the Apology? With other interlocutors in other dialogues? What is the significance of that interaction?

What is Plato’s theory about the nature of the polis and the relationship of the individual to the polis?

What is the nature of philosophy and who is the philosopher as defined by/practiced by Socrates?

What are the arguments for and against Socrates leaving prison in the Crito?

What is the nature of knowledge according to Plato—what do we know when we know something? What is the difference between knowledge an opinion? How do we acquire knowledge? What is its value?

What is the nature of the natural world or “reality” according to Plato? How is Plato’s ontology related to his epistemology?

What is the significance of the following: Socrates as a gadfly, the parable of the cave, Socrates as a “stingray,” the different speeches about eros as a God,

What is the nature of the human being according to Plato? The purpose of human life?

What are Plato’s arguments for the immortality of the soul?

What is Plato’s theory of virtue? Beauty? Love?

What are the fundamental questions or issues posed in each of the Crito/Meno/Symposium—are these answered, and if so how?


Thursday, September 11th, 2008

I felt like we covered Phaedo pretty well in class today, but I still had a few things to throw out.  My main thought was that since Socrates is about to die, doesn’t it make sense that he emphatically believes in an immortal soul and the afterlife?  I can’t think of an example when a dying man didn’t “find religion” and really thought he wasn’t going to an afterlife.  During the discussion his first three proofs for an immortal soul are shot down by his disciples, and they start feeling doubtful and depressed.  Socrates has to tell them not to worry about his feelings and continue to question his assumptions.  But isn’t it significant that in his trial he considers the possibility of no afterlife, just eternal sleep?  He says this would also be a perfectly good thing to have happen, but when he’s about to die he completely ignores that option.  I just couldn’t believe that someone with so much at stake could remain totally objective.  Or perhaps that’s why Socrates was such a great man.


Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

So, I was thinking about Crito today in class (as I should have been) and when we started to talk about Civil Disobedience and Socrates, my main point that I kept in my little head was that Socrates didn’t have a problem with the Laws. Does anyone doubt that? I mean, he said himself that he would have been expected to move (or change them) if he didn’t like them. It was the men. If Socrates had really been “corrupting the youth” and was the great man of morality and integrity that we know him to be, there is obviously some discrepancy there with who Socrates is and who we think he is or the laws themselves. We know Socrates was not “corrupting the youth” as he was accused because of the various reasons he gave us in Apology, but, rather, the accusation by Meletus and Anytus was unjust. Nothing wrong with Socrates, nothing wrong with the laws, just the men executing them. Socrates justifies this with the fact that the souls of those men will be judged in Hades, also the reason he shouldn’t wrong a wrong, because he will also be judged in Hades which he perfectly and reasonably justified in Crito. So essentially, the whole point is that Socrates was such an incredible genius. So, nothing new.

Plato– Apology

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

eegbert |

I’d thought there would be more comments by now. Plato, anyone? Am I the only one who sees Socrates as a definite Christ figure?