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Philosophy and Literature For Your Life

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beauty

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 →

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 →

Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Dante Version

The Divine Comedy, Dante wakes up lost in a dark woods. He has to take a terrifying and arduous journey - first through Inferno, then up Mount Purgatory and finally through the dizzying spheres of Paradise before he can finally... Continue Reading →

Plato’s Symposium: Love as Reconciliation

Diotima, in Plato's Symposium, says that love is our way of participating in immortality, for those in love give birth in beauty. Explaining herself to Socrates, Diotima says, "And in that way everything mortal is preserved, not, like the divine,... Continue Reading →

The Poetry of Love: Plato’s Symposium Part II

At the end of the Symposium, Alcibiades bursts in and drunkenly declares his love for Socrates. To him, Socrates is both the beautiful and the good. Alcibiades, however, doesn't understand the poetry of love. He seeks the good for his... Continue Reading →

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 →

In Awe of Art: Plato and Poetry

In the Republic, Plato argues that an education in poetry or art more broadly understood is essential to the education of children. In one of my favourite passages, he says that we must "seek out craftsmen who are by nature... Continue Reading →

Remind me again of why I love you…

From the Greek, philosophy means the love of or desire for wisdom.   So when you think about it, philosophy is a pretty romantic gig. Like dating someone you actually like and want to know better. Except in this instance,... Continue Reading →

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