Socrates and Phaedrus: Art of Thinking and Practice of Persuasion (Part 3 of 3)

This is the final part of the 3-part series on the art of thinking and pratice of persuasion as gathered from Plato's dialogue Phaedrus (a version of its translation available here). So far I have concluded that Socrates had the following goal in this dialogue: to demonstrate that no practice deserves to be called art if its practitioner does …

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Socrates and Phaedrus: Art of Thinking and Practice of Persuasion (Part 2 of 3)

Last week I published the first part of this 3-part series. This is the second part of the article where I continue by exploring in more detail the ideas that can be gathered from Plato's dialogue Phaedrus (a version of its translation available here). Of course, there are many insights that can be gleaned. The one I …

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Socrates and Phaedrus: Art of Thinking and Practice of Persuasion (Part 1 of 3)

In Plato's dialogue Phaedrus (a version of its translation available here), Socrates discusses the merits of rhetoric as the art of speaking. He wants to establish whether rhetoric, as practised and taught in Athens by the orators at the time and understood as "a way of directing the soul by means of speech" (we could say - …

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Spreading the Word: Philosophy vs Democracy (and what Socrates thought about it)

In this week's "Spreading the Word", I share with you a short video. It is a provocative invitation to assess our uncritical value of democracy as the ultimate good. To what extent is it good, really? I found it interesting that both crucial achievements of Ancient Greeks - philosophy and democracy - were far from …

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130 Years Before Socrates: Historical Exploration (Introduction)

Pre-Socratics in the history of philosophy are a group of Greek thinkers who lived and contemplated the nature of reality before the great Master of Western philosophy (a bit like Yoda from Star Wars), Socrates, was born. By the way, he was born in Athens in 469 BCE. Despite his monumental role, Socrates was not …

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Before Socrates – Origins of Western Philosophy (Part 2 of 2)

Last week I wrote the first part of this article. In it, I started drawing the historical background leading up to the first recorded ancient Greek philosopher - Thales. In this second part, I finish the article and bring our time journey from its last stop (­~10th/9th century BC) some 300-400 years ahead to the …

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Before Socrates – Origins of Western Philosophy (Part 1 of 2)

It is ironic, really - a man who made it his point to never write down any of his thoughts and claimed that he knew nothing is also the man who is among the most famous western philosophers. One of the "founding fathers", so to speak. I am referring to Socrates, of course. Luckily, his …

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Socrates in Prison and We in Self-Isolation

Many of us are in self-isolation these days and our freedom of movement (and socialising) is restricted. In most cases, it is because our respective governments decided this way. Although we understand the motivation, the reasoning and the purpose of these imposed measures, still - it is a limitation of some of our basic freedoms …

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