Tag: Socrates

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Professor Bettany Hughes, award-winning historian, BBC broadcaster, and author of the best-selling books Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore; The Hemlock Cup: Socrates, Athens, and the Search for the Good Life; and Venus and Aphrodite: History of a Goddess.

Prof. Hughes shares insights from her most recent book about the ancient deity known as Venus to Romans and Aphrodite to the Greeks, and her impact on our understanding of the mythology and history of beauty, romance, and passion. She discusses Aphrodite’s mythical role in sparking the Trojan War, portrayals of her across Western culture, and enduring lessons. They then turn to the ancient Greeks’ contributions to the foundations of Western philosophy, poetry, and government, and why studying classics, including figures like Socrates, is vital for education in the 21st century. And they explore the timeless wisdom and cautionary lessons all of us can draw from studying ancient Athenian democracy, Sparta, and the civic life of Greek city-states, the West’s earliest models of self-government. She concludes with a reading from her book, Venus and Aphrodite.

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We live in an age of simple sentences. Some may say we have moved into an age of simple words, or even simple letters and numbers where smartphone texting rules all. Language embodies consciousness, and simple sentences embody simple states of consciousness. The ancient Greeks, and philosophers for the next 2,500 years after, expressed complex […]

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Socrates is a funny guy. Yes, he is serious, but he is never solemn. You can be funny and serious at the same time. This dialogue, the Euthydemus, is a fine example. First a little background: Socrates believes that Athenians are being poorly served by the Sophists, a group of self-proclaimed teachers of rhetoric (the […]

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Bridget and Peter Boghossian have a conversation under the Colorado stars about the search for ultimate meaning in life, the denigration of reason, the loss of being able to wonder publicly, figuring out the best type of life to lead, and teaching people how to value the right things. Peter explains how bales of hay, lifting weights, and prison inmates got him started on his career path and led him to question whether you can fundamentally change the way people think about problems and the way they view morality. They cover street epistemology, the truth about “pecking orders,” the difference between rationalizing and reasoning, and the glorification of violence in our society. His book, How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide, co-written with James Lindsay, is a distillation of decades of study and offers the best ways to approach and have conversations with people who have different opinions and foster a climate of civility.

Full transcript available here: WiW-PeterBoghossian-Transcript

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  In episode 354 of The Ricochet Podcast, Mollie Hemingway suggests that the widespread confusion over Trump’s election is reasonable. Later she reminds us that Trump is but a symptom of what is happening in America. In a sense, I suppose it is right to say that an incessant analytical fussing over a mere symptom […]

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“What if Hitler had not declared war on America?” is a question that teaches us nothing useful. But, “What if I had chosen a different path then? What if I choose a different one now?” becomes an essential ingredient of any well-examined life. It is the ability to work with the theoretical “What If?” that […]

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So it’s not as impressive as How It Should Have Ended, but my TeacherOfPhilosophy hits can now be measured in the millions–albeit, at 0.1 million, with the use of a decimal place. The History of Philosophy playlist is a good introduction to the dialogues and speeches (plus one letter, one prayer, and one story) from the history of philosophy. There’s dudes like Socrates, […]

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This is the first of three Rodgers & Hart numbers on In the wee small hours. It is the only song you could call funny–the title announces a love of paradox, to speak in the old manner, & that implies a sophistication not usually suspected in American songbook lyrics–a strategy. The first two songs on […]

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A long time ago, my fellow Ricochetti, I tried your patience with an especially eloquent defense of Senator Rubio, that contradiction in terms which brightest shines in the eyes of the American electorate. The internet is forever, so you can read it. The man is back at it–bravely mocking philosophers, dreaming of summoning blue collar […]

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I expect most people on Ricochet have lives to live, so that the experience of folks who live out fantasies might be of some exotic interest, in the way visiting Europe has been interesting to Americans, every now & then, but not too soon after escaping the dead hand of the past… I expect, further, […]

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Only four things are certain since social progress began: Dogs will eat to excess; pigs will enjoy being unclean; people will play with fire; & GOP politicians will do the Philistine song & dance for the national audience, making sure no one suspects that their presidential-looking bodies harbor souls moved by the greatest enterprises known to mankind. It’s a […]

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