Charmides reading: the First and Second Definitions of Sophrosyne

NOTE: This is the 6th of a series of posts and discussions of Plato’s dialogue Charmides. To view previous posts, go to the main blog page and scroll down from there. Please feel free to add comments, questions, corrections, etc.

The following is an experiment, so I would appreciate feedback to let me know if it works for you. I am recoding talks of less than twenty minutes on Charmides’ definitions of sophrosyne.

To listen to my discussion of the first definition, click on this link. Here Charmides defines sophrosyne as “a certain quietness”.

To listen to my discussion of the second definition, click on this link. Here Charmides defines sophrosyne as “bashfulness.”

My sense is that there is something present in the voice that is not present in text and I am hoping that, by providing audio, something can be added that is lost in written text. But I will let you adjudicate whether this is helpful or annoying. Please comment and let me know either way. I can put up transcripts later if you are having problems with these.

Please also feel free to comment on the content of this audio.

3 thoughts on “Charmides reading: the First and Second Definitions of Sophrosyne

  1. I really enjoyed listening to these. I felt at times like you were reading a book and not just sharing your thoughts. Did you write it out beforehand? Have and outline? Or was it extemporaneous?

    I listened to these before my replies to the previous post, so those responses are informed by these ruminations.

    When you spoke of the critical gaze and the possibility of judgement or exhortation, I immediately thought of 156d “and I, when I heard his praise, was again emboldened…” It makes me conscious of how I often am the blushing Charmides or the stunned Socrates, not being moderate by silence but being restrained by fear of judgement. And conversely, how I often unwittingly or intentionally discourage others from speaking out. So I won’t hesitate to put forth my doxa under the critical gaze of others and will try to encourage others to both speak and be rewarded/reproved in the same way.

    Keep up this portion of the experiment if it seems good to you also.

  2. David, thanks so much for the feedback. You were spot on in your hypothesis: I was largely reading from something I had already written. (This kind of defeats the purpose of offering it in audio form in the first place, doesn’t it?) For my third audio talk, I spoke extemporaneously. I don’t know if that is an improvement: I probably still sound wooden. It’s hard to speak naturally, as if I am speaking to someone, when no one is there! Anyway, let me know if it is an improvement in your estimation. It is both easier and harder.

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