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philosophy

The Poetry of Love: Plato’s Symposium

In the Symposium, Socrates recounts what his teacher, Diotima, taught him about love. In her speech she indicates a relationship between the act of loving and the act of creation, or, as she says, of poetry. We all, she says, love... Continue Reading →

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Plato’s Symposium: My Wisdom is … a Shadow in a Dream

In the middle of Plato's dialogue the Symposium, Aristophanes follows several others, all of whom have been tasked with giving speeches on love or eros.  Aristophanes prefaces his speech, once his hiccups have subsided, by saying that he will speak in... Continue Reading →

Piety, Justice and Love: Plato’s Euthyphro

A servant gets drunk and angry and kills a slave. Your father, wanting to bring the man to justice, sends someone to a prophet to ask about the proper course of action. In the meantime, he ties the servant up... Continue Reading →

Plato’s Timeaus: Where the Heavens Meet the Earth

At the beginning of the Timeaus, Socrates indicates that what we are about to witness is a work of a political philosophy. Having presented an image of the most just city the day before, he now asks the men gathered... Continue Reading →

Our Hearts are Restless: David Adams Richards’s Mary Cyr.

In the Confessions, Augustine writes “my heart is restless until it rests in you.” In a book that describes Augustine’s many failures, particularly his failure to sufficiently love others, this phrase explicitly explains Augustine’s incapacity to find peace until he... Continue Reading →

Un-Lock-ing Genesis: Labour, Freedom and John Locke

Essentially concerned with the creating the philosophic foundation for consensual governments, Locke's Second Treatise is haunted by echos of the Book of Genesis. This is not surprising given that Locke's primary opponents are those who argue that all government should... Continue Reading →

Plato’s Ladder of Love: No One Gets Left Behind

Gathered to celebrate Agathon's victory at the theatre, a group of men discuss how to entertain themselves. Having had too much to drink the night before, they decide to give speeches about love. In other words, having physically experienced the... Continue Reading →

Mindfulness Plato-style: The Parmenides

At the end of yoga class, you are supposed to lie like a breathing corpse. I think it has to do with being in the moment - as in - if you were a corpse that could actually breath, why... Continue Reading →

Plato and Penelope: The Politics of Weaving

Homer's Iliad, which tells the story of the Trojan war, reveals in clarity the devastation of a world at war. Having come to Troy to avenge the abduction or seduction of the Menelaus's wife, Helen, and to reassert the principles... Continue Reading →

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