Republic Slow Reading project, day 5

This is the last of our “slow reads” of Book I of the Republic. Today, we are discussing 350d to the end of Book I, a continuation of the conversation/argument between Socrates and Thrasymachus.

Tomorrow, I will post some observations about Book I that require the perspective of having read the rest of the dialogue. I didn’t want to bring any of this material into the discussion since I thought (1) it would disrupt the close, attentive reading that was our goal, and (2) I didn’t want to “spoil” the rest of the Republic for those who are coming at it for the first time.

NOTES:

1. In 350d Socrates claims that Thrasymachus and he “agreed” that justice is virtue and wisdom and that (more…)

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Republic Slow Reading project, day 1

This week we will be conducting a Slow Reading of Book I of the Republic. Today’s short text consists of the opening of the dialogue and Socrates’ conversation with Cephalus (opening to 331d). (If you haven’t ready Saturday’s post on Slow Reading and the nature of this project, start there.) Here are a couple of ground rules: (more…)

The Dialogue as Icon

By far the greatest impediment and aberration of the human understanding arises from [the fact that] . . . those things which strike the sense outweigh things which, although they may be more important, do not strike it directly. Hence, contemplation usually ceases with seeing, so much so that little or no attention is paid to things invisible.” — Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, Aphorism 50.

What characterizes the material idol is precisely that the artist can consign to it the subjugating brilliance of a (more…)