Lily Lily's Comments (member since Jul 22, 2010)

Lily's comments from the Classics and the Western Canon group.

(showing 121-140 of 3,949)

Jan 13, 2017 10:20AM

19860 David wrote: "I think Socrates is a little troll-like, isn't he? With all of his annoying "what is it" questions and then refuting the responses he gets. Instead of invisibility by anonymity on the internet, he ..."


"... it being pretty clear that he does know."

Does he REALLY KNOW? Is that possible? Is he more exploring, trying to know?
Jan 13, 2017 09:31AM

19860 Dave wrote: "...the appalling behaviour of some internet trolls...."

Dave -- how are you defining "internet trolls" that you choose to include the modifier "some"?
Jan 12, 2017 02:37PM

19860 Let's see, do these hold in the world of reasoning and logic:

Validity is dependent on the rules of reasoning and logic, rather than on the truth of its premises.

The truth of premises is dependent on match with empirical data (observations based on the senses or extensions thereof), i.e., match with the real world.

Thanks for the list. As much fun as some of the recent news casts.
Jan 11, 2017 05:24AM

19860 Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "The "lies" must be banned. But what's really going on is that ideas damaging and contrary to the smooth running of the city are what must be banned. They are called lies because they threaten the state. ..."

Xan -- I think you begin to touch on Popper's critiques of the Republic, at least as I am beginning to understand them.
Jan 10, 2017 08:55PM

19860 David wrote: "That is a wonderful book. ... it put me in mind of the theory of universals."

[g] This was at least my third pass at it. And I set it aside again for when I can concentrate on the last third the way I did on the first two thirds. I still have questions about his allusions to what is currently playing out in that part of the globe. His Snow languishes in the background for its far more contemporary insights. Then he has all these other works I have hardly touched, a few more of them on my shelves. But that is of mostly negative value -- space and dust rather than ideas and thoughts.

...the perfect tree/horse/dog that all other tree/horses/dogs are judged against...

And then the gold coin that narrates its own chapter/story.....

(Ancient gold coins from a hoard recovered in 2015 and part of the recent Jerusalem exhibit at the Met):

Sorry for the side-step. Back to Athens.
Jan 10, 2017 08:13PM

19860 Adelle wrote: "...I'll have to check out the link. Thanks, Lily."

Enjoy, Adelle!
Of course we haven't aged a day, only gained in wisdom! [g]
Jan 10, 2017 12:10PM

19860 Postscript to the previous post on "deliberate mistakes": I have recently been struggling with Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red again, probably reading Google entries (on ancient Persia) as often as the book. The impression I have is that traditional Persian painting that revealed the identity of the creator by a signature method (unique, recognizable) was, at least at some level, an act of hubris. Non sequitur, perhaps, but I am now curious about the impact of ancient Persian thought on Greek thought.

(Yes, considerations about the impact of hubris on thought are brought to attention by current news environment. :-( Do I return now to the Book of Job or to the New Testament or to other sacred and secular writings or to the reasoning of Socrates to explore "justice"? Or all of the above -- and otherwise as well? Well, obviously, at the moment, Plato and Socrates!)
Jan 10, 2017 11:58AM

19860 Thomas wrote: "It is a translation issue. The Greek says "if we are making a mistake... know well that we do so unwillingly." (... εὖ ἴσθι ὅτι ἄκοντες ἁμαρτάνομεν.) The operative word there is "akontes" : ..."

Thomas's words are the wise ones here. But my thoughts about "deliberate" mistakes went to Persian carpets and the admonitions that human hands (and minds) can create only the imperfect:

I got to the above link via another tradition/myth(?) about deliberate mistakes that I hadn't encountered before, but that didn't surprise me, Amish quilts:

Among the comments, I like this, attributed to Picasso:

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
Jan 10, 2017 11:32AM

19860 Lynne wrote: "Thank you!"

You are most welcome. Enjoy. I did. In fact, I wanted to invite at least one participant back for this discussion. Others may be intrigued to compare their comments half a decade apart.
Jan 09, 2017 05:05PM

19860 It is easy to find, but in case you overlooked it and are interested in the Book I discussion thread back in 2011, it is here:
Jan 09, 2017 04:57PM

19860 David wrote: "It is natural although probably incorrect to infer that Cephalus, or Polemarchus for that matter were still alive at the time of the conversation in Republic published around 380. ..."

Thx for the puzzle pieces, David. Earlier, I found myself trying to overlay the Golden Age of Athens, the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), the life of Socrates (d. 399 BC), the publication of the Republic (~380 BC), and a guess at the time line of its content. Finally just gave up for the time being! :-( Not sure of the relevant elements and (time) relationships yet.
Jan 09, 2017 12:44PM

19860 Everyman wrote: "Cephalus makes much of the benefit of being wealthy and how that makes him able to be just. The original readers of the dialogue would have known that Cephalus's family lost all their money in the ..."

Help with the timeline here? Or I shall have to go figure it out myself? [g] I.e., when did Cephalus's family lose its wealth relative to the story in the Republic? (He seems to have regained it?)
Jan 08, 2017 07:30PM

19860 Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "...But I'm wondering if that wouldn't make justice skill specific (many justices, one for each skill), and is that what we want out of justice? Or is justice something more elemental, something most recognize by simply participating in the culture they grew up in?..."

"Definitions" always do seem to trouble us, at some point or another, don't they? I'll only comment here that if medicine or doctoring is considered a single skill, then
's examples/cases suggest a single skill may lead to many examples/cases of justice. I guess I'm suggesting I can't envision a unitary correlation of skill and justice, but rather something more like justice may require bringing to bear a multiplicity of skills, many of which skills could also be used to practice injustice.

I am reminded here of what we called in the mid-sixties and seventies, "situation ethics." Right or wrong, good or bad as judged in a particular situation might or might not be applicable to another situation. But that is probably to wander astray from the discussion we are attempting of the Republic.
Jan 08, 2017 07:05PM

19860 Genni wrote: "I know this was directed at Jonathan, but it encouraged me. Thanks for posting. ..."

Well, hopefully, "to" rather than "at"! :-o Glad you also found White's words useful, Genni. They, along with some of the background readings about which I posted elsewhere, are helping sustain me.
Jan 08, 2017 12:18PM

19860 Jonathan wrote: " I am still on book 1...."

Jonathan, perhaps these words from Nicholas White's Companion to Platos Republic will be useful to you:

“I urge readers of all kinds not to dwell too much on Book I of the Republic. It is an introduction and is not intended by Plato to be a complete, or even a fully cogent, treatment of the issues which it broaches (see 354a-c). In my experience it is not even a good book to use in introductory courses in philosophy—a purpose to which it is sometimes put—because it annoys students more than it stimulates their thoughts, and it convinces them that Plato and Socrates were dishonest. Readers of the Republic should not allow themselves to become bogged down in it. For this reason, I have treated it quite briefly and have emphasized only the points on which it anticipates or foreshadows later discussion.” p.8.

Personally, I have always found the discussion with Thrasymachus to be off-putting, rather like returning to a sophomore college dorm late night b... session. So I am allowing myself to be encouraged by White's words.
Jan 08, 2017 12:08PM

19860 Thomas wrote: "Lily wrote: "@129Thomas wrote: "Before we can get to justice, we have to know what the good is, and that's something we can't intuit...."

Thomas, help me with the logic of how this concluding sent..."

Thomas, thanks for your reply. Not thinking through whether I agree or disagree nor whether I now see how what you wrote followed in your paragraph. At the moment, my train of thought is elsewhere. Hopefully will return in a more centered vein.
Jan 07, 2017 10:49PM

19860 @129Thomas wrote: "Before we can get to justice, we have to know what the good is, and that's something we can't intuit...."

Thomas, help me with the logic of how this concluding sentence follows from the earlier part of your statement.

I stumble, too, over "...perhaps everyone in general, starts out with a 'natural sense' of right and wrong." Even granting having a sense of "right and wrong" may be a universal human characteristic, to what extent is the content universal versus culture or gender or class or ..... specific? We use a blindfolded woman holding scales to personify justice. What are the meanings we ascribe to such symbolism? What other symbols are relevant, but may provide different perspectives?
Jan 07, 2017 12:21PM

19860 Roger wrote: "There's skill and knowledge involved in making just judgments, just like in making the correct judgments when piloting a ship. So there's some similarity. But in piloting, one isn't tempted to make..."

I think I understand the points you are making, Roger. But it seems to me in the many cases and examples Atul Gawande presents on the practice of medicine, one could argue that fairness, appropriateness, possibility, justice -- whatever the term that seems most accurate -- can also become entangled in self-interest, whether in the world's finest medical facilities or in the poorest third world village. (The trivial example -- tests ordered to protect against malpractice; more invidious, creating financial opportunities by exploiting local modes of health delivery.)
Jan 07, 2017 11:43AM

19860 I promised to post some of the resources I am using to background The Republic: Here are a couple:

Karl Popper has been a well-known critic of Plato, so I went looking for a few details. I have started here:

The other place stream of consciousness took me was to what has been written about the evolution of the concept of "justice" across the centuries. A comment in White's Companion (see @18) has alerted me that comparisons may not be obvious or easy or even really possible, but who am I to let that stop me... Hence, another Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry:

I am still waddling my way through these myself, but they seem to be worth the time so far. I noted that this latter one is authored by a person associated with Gonzaga University, a Jesuit University in Seattle. Jesuits still pushing the world to understand areas like these?
Jan 07, 2017 11:05AM

19860 David wrote: "Lily wrote: "David wrote: "....I do not make the mistake of equivocating Law with concepts of justice. ..."

?Your word choice is usually so careful, David, so I'm going to bother to ask here: Do y..."

Thx, Dave!

PS again. I like your question @101 about Plato/Socrates and the justice of slavery. It suggests to me the extent to which justice has been an evolving concept over time, but I am undoubtedly headed for my usual difficulties with "Form" and the "Cave" with its shadows.

topics created by Lily