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rlclrose21

Apollodorus

How appropriate that Plato should frame this work as a tale told second hand.  From his pen, we are hearing the story as told by a disciple of Plato named Apollodorus who had heard the story from Aristodemus who was present at the symposium in question.  Apollodorus has verified the account with Plato, and so we may consider it fairly accurate. Still, we are reading about it approximately twenty-four hundred years later and are also twice removed from the actual event.

Apollodorus is particularly ready to tell us because he has already recounted the story to his friend Glaucon while on the road to Athens.  Glaucon had caught up with Apollodorus by formally hailing him as “The Gentleman from Phaleron.”  I read in the footnotes that the joke is that men like Apollodorus are not addressed in this manner except in formal situations, such as when they are assembled at court.  Of course, this is how members of Congress are addressed today and calls attention to how much the Greeks still influence us.

Apollodorus makes much of the idea that philosophy is the only worthwhile pursuit in life and that focusing on the mundane activities of life as Apollodorus once did and as his friend does now, dooms a person to a life of failure. Unimpressed with this sentiment, Apollodorus’ friend urges him to begin to recount the speeches given at the symposium.
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Eccl 8:15 – Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. (KJV)[2]

rlclrose21If we consider the Epicurean philosophy emphasizing its position on death, the existence of God, and the resulting conclusions that follow regarding an afterlife, it seems that a more attractive philosophy than Epicureanism would be difficult to devise, for it holds that a man should arrange his life so that it yields the greatest amount of pleasure with the least amount of pain[3] and worry.  This is accomplished by seeking to be satisfied with the simpler things that come to one in life.  Simple food, clothing, shelter, and the like are good things that are “easy to get.”[4]  Richer fare and fancy goods, while not to be eschewed should they come one’s way, result in exposure to too much stress and strife in their pursuit, and therefore such pursuits should be abandoned.  The gaining of power and high office should likewise be abandoned as being equally stressful. Instead the joys of personal friendship can be relied upon for one’s security.[5]  The writer has lived this kind of life I have lived the last thirty years, and recommends it highly.
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Pa’ntes A’nthropoi Tou^ Eide’nai Ore’gontai Phy’sei.
All men by nature desire to know. —Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1:1

rlclrose21 When one begins to take a closer look at Socrates of Athens, (469-399 B.C. ) it immediately becomes clear that he is a man in a unique and enviable position. A citizen of an established polis, he was neither obscure nor highly celebrated. His service to his country as a soldier was established, yet he did not distinguish himself to the extent that it required him to bear the burden of celebrity nor assume the mantle of hero (Vlastos, Pg. 50). He was born of a good family but not of a noble or patrician one. His father was an artist; a sculptor, he himself was an artisan; a stonemason. Apparently a man of limited independent means, he was far from what would be considered wealthy. This fortuitous combination of circumstances worked to place Socrates, not in the center of urban life and culture, but rather in the middle of it. He found himself in an ideal position to observe his fellow Athenians, and to interact and converse with them.
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A discussion at Experiential Philosophy. (HT: X-Phi FB Page)

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http://www.open.ac.uk/openlearn/history-the-arts/culture/philosophy/lie-or-not-lie

I hope this engenders an open discussion about meta-ethics in general.

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Could this irreparably harm the field? A close reading suggests not. (HT: Maureen Eckert)

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The Department of Philosophy is very pleased to announce that Paul Carelli (Kentucky) has accepted our offer for a tenure-track teaching position at UNF. Dr. Carelli is a specialist in Ancient Greek Philosophy, with a particular interest in Plato’s moral psychology. He also has teaching interests in Asian Philosophy, Ethics, and Logic. We look forward to welcoming him in the fall!

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