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education

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 →

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 →

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 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 →

(Not) Just Another Word: Freedom and John Locke

Locke's Second Treatise on Government is famously cited as providing the philosophic foundations of the liberal democratic world. Arguing against the right of of absolute monarchs, Locke says that if we imagine how we might have existed in an original... Continue Reading →

How to be Good: Plato and the Purpose of The Laws

Sometimes my dog Tim does things that he shouldn't.  Like the time he ate the right shoe of two different pairs. Or when he jumped up and broke the ceiling fan. Or when, just prior to Thanksgiving dinner, he lunged... Continue Reading →

The Problem with Alternative Facts: Plato’s Alcibiades

The image we get from Plato's dialogues of his teacher, Socrates, is strange and often startling. He wanders around Athens speaking to everyone, bothering most people, rarely taking the hint. He is generally barefoot and goes without bathing such that... Continue Reading →

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