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Week of: January the 14th

This week was an amazing initial experiance. Ralph and I spent quality time reviewing my reading from the Socrates section of Hannah Arendt’s The Promise of Politics, as well as I.F. Stone’s The Trail of Socrates. I had many points I wished to discuss from these books, mainly focusing around the idea of Doxa(Arendt, H., & Kohn, J. (2005), 7-8), and Socratic Ideology, ie. Virtue vs. Knowledge(Stone, Feinstein Isidor, (1989), 40). I had many ideas focusing around Arendt’s work and the challenge of defining the abstract. How can we do this? Arendt tackles this challenge beautifully by helping her reader cope with many of the challenges that all philosophers have dealt with. The major theme that I took away from her writing is that philosophy is defining the abstract to help others. 

Socrates made people think. Obviously there is no one way or set of ideals that makes the world go round or that one should solely live by. However, there are key points from Socrates teachings and important lessons that can help one live a better life and understand different aspects of life. Socrates wanted to make people think and question life. It was the power of the individual mind that Socrates was trying to unlock not just use his own knowledge to bestow upon everyone else. Socrates challenges people to unlock new ideas and depths in their minds to help answer the questions that haunted them. Obviously all one can ask is that you understand and take in these teachings as best you can for who you are, but as Ralph said, to make these teachings truly meaningful; one must always be aware of what is around them and always be open to new points of view.

I am beginning to grapple with these ideas and beginning to think about how they are related to government and the modern day. Socrates and Plato both had strong ideas about politics and how their philosophy related to their government. It is these lessons that I am focusing on and thinking about how they are relevant to my time. I cannot wait to get my first full week in, and I am looking forward to how my study unfolds and what my reader responses and new types of blogging look like!

 

 

 

Bibliography:

 

 

-Arendt, H., & Kohn, J. (2005). The promise of politics. New York: Schocken Books

-Stone, Feinstein Isidor, (1989). The Trail of Socrates. Mew York: Anchor Books

3 Comments

  • Thomas 18 months ago

    Excellent post Jake. I especially like your points at: “philosophy is defining the abstract to help others” and “Socrates wanted to make people think and question life. It was the power of the individual mind that Socrates was trying to unlock not just use his own knowledge to bestow upon everyone else”

    I am interested in how you interpret the concept of Doxa. What is Doxa to you and how do you see your life shaped, or not shaped according to this concept?

    I am also interested in your point “Socrates challenges people to unlock new ideas and depths in their minds to help answer the questions that haunted them”….Do you know of a common haunting question or questions of your generation? I would be interested in that discussion….

    Excellent to read your emerging analysis and synthesis of Arendt. Looking forward to reading/viewing more!

  • Ralph Moore 18 months ago

    Nice.

    The typo in the citation of Stone’s book offers a wonderful irony to ponder: the “trial” of Socrates is for us now a “trail,” in this case a path toward many unknowns but, due to our trust in his wisdom, suggesting risks that we’re willing to take.

    Let’s get back into “doxa” again.

    And here comes Aristotle, coming into focus with new challenges.

    Thanks, Jake

  • Shoshana 18 months ago

    Hey Jake, I loved reading your blog. Doxa is such a rich and powerful concept, one that has evolved in meaning over the centuries. I had a professor at Harvard who used to say that what freezes organizations and groups and even couples are the things that are “undiscussable”, and more importantly, “That it’s undiscussable that they are undiscussable”. Thus doxa embeds itself in the unconscious dimension of our lives, limiting the meanings that we can access alone or together.

    I appreciate your ideas about Socrates as a teacher who aimed to liberate the power of the individual mind. Wow. That gives me a lot to think about for my own work. Listening, questioning, dialogue. Therein lies the grace of all teaching.

    I can’t wait to read more as you explore these materials and the deep veins of human endeavor they expose. What is the doxa in our lives today that Socrates would have us question? I wonder. Looking forward to your next blog!

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