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A Great Book Can Change Your Life

Philosophy and Literature For Your Life

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philosophy

Knowing Me Knowing You: Love and Self-Knowledge in the Phaedrus.

At the beginning of one of Plato’s dialogues, its namesake, Phaedrus, lures Socrates outside of the city with the claim that he will try to recount, in his own words, a speech he has just heard from Lysias – a... Continue Reading →

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Democracy and Civic Education: A Question of Justice

The story of The Nicomachean Ethics appears too good to be true. Aristotle has discovered, it seems, the path to happiness.  The only catch: attaining the prize requires a great deal of hard work. Happiness, he tells us, depends on achieving a fair... Continue Reading →

Aristotle wrote You a Valentine

In Aristotle’s Ethics, he sketches a pathway for our happiness. On the surface it seems quite arduous - a list of moral do’s and don’ts that could send anyone into a state crippling anxiety. A closer look, however, reveals an... Continue Reading →

The Beauty of Justice: Plato’s Euthyphro

In the Euthyphro we might take Socrates’s great delight in meeting Euthyphro at the courthouse with a grain of salt. Euthyphro is a professed expert in piety who came to the court house to prosecute his father for murder - an... Continue Reading →

Sentenced to Love: Socrates and Athens

In Plato’s Alcibiades Socrates implies that knowledge of the good and the true depends on knowing yourself, Knowledge of yourself, however, depend on the friendship of another. We only know ourselves, Plato suggests, by knowing and understanding those who we love and... Continue Reading →

Of Love and Justice: Plato’s Republic

At the beginning of the Republic, Socrates piques the interest of  the group of young men he is speaking with, suggesting that to know justice is to know the only way of living that is worthwhile.  However, as he begins... Continue Reading →

The Wisdom of Humility: Plato’s Gadfly

At the beginning of Plato’s Republic, Socrates encounters Thrasymachus, a sophist or wise guy, who argues that “justice” is whatever the person or people with the most power want, and they always want what is to their advantage.  Plato heightens... Continue Reading →

What are Words Worth: Plato’s Crito

Imagine a friend you have had since childhood has been tried, convicted, and now will be executed for a crime he did not commit. Now imagine that you have the means for him to escape and can provide a safe... Continue Reading →

Palm Trees and Being Just

In the “Symposium,” Diotima, who is described by Socrates as the women who taught him all he knows about love, but also as a sophist, describes a ladder of love. Desirous of beauty, she says that individuals ascend from limited... Continue Reading →

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