in a perfect world of yancies: Hungry for Talking

28 March 2015

Hungry for Talking

Lots to say, but first how about a quiet moment of anticipation with Franklin and Beckham:
Checking out the big boys
Watching West Seattle High School baseball practice. (Thanks to B's mom for the great photo!)

Meanwhile, just a little recap. Franklin likes my Plato mug (best gift from a student ever!), and the other day asked about Plato's books.
I started reading the beginning of the Republic. He was surprisingly patient (and kept asking for more), and asked some great questions, like what is wealth, and eventually "what does justice mean"?

Maybe my favorite though was when he didn't understand what Socrates meant when he said he had an appetite for conversation. I tried explaining that it meant something like being hungry for conversation, which Franklin found hilarious—kept repeating the phrase and giggling all morning :)

And as for hungry, how about these nascent chopsticks skills!

Oh but speaking of Plato, less giggly scene at the International Plato Society meeting in Atlanta. Great experience though.

I have been working on book 10 of Plato's Laws lately, and gave a paper about that. I won't go into the details now (but maybe I'll post the handout at some point...), but I do want to share one of my favorite quotes, which mostly made it into my paper.

Laws 10 is all about what to do with troublesome atheists, deists, and folks who believe gods can be bribed or bought off. Anyway, there's a great bit in response to the idea that gods don't care about us:

ὧν ἓν καὶ τὸ σόν, ὦ σχέτλιε, μόριον εἰς τὸ πᾶν συντείνει βλέπον ἀεί, καίπερ πάνσμικρον ὄν, σὲ δὲ λέληθεν περὶ τοῦτο αὐτὸ ὡς γένεσις ἕνεκα ἐκείνου γίγνεται πᾶσα, ὅπως ᾖ τῷ τοῦ παντὸς βίῳ ὑπάρχουσα εὐδαίμων οὐσία, οὐχ ἕνεκα σοῦ γιγνομένη, σὺ δ’ ἕνεκα ἐκείνου

Now then, you stubborn fellow, one part of the universe is you—a mere speck that nevertheless constantly contributes to the good of the whole; but you have forgotten that nothing is created except to provide the entire universe with a happy life. You forget that creation is not for your benefit: you exist for the sake of the universe (903c)

Very charming, no? I can't help but also add this bit on the punishment that people like me would face if they ever moved to the city described in the Laws:

Consider first a complete atheist: he may have a naturally just character and be the sort of person who hates scoundrels, and because of his loathing of injustice is not tempted to commit it; he may flee the unjust and feel fondness for the just. Alternatively, besides believing that all things are ‘empty of’ gods, he may be a prey to an uncontrollable urge to experience pleasure and avoid pain, and he may have a retentive memory and be capable of shrewd insights. Both these people suffer from a common failing, atheism, but in terms of the harm they do to others the former is much less dangerous than the latter....

The dissembling atheist deserves to die for his sins not just once or twice but many times, whereas the other kind needs simply admonition combined with incarceration

I mean, um, that seems fair, right? ;)

What else? Had some fun with the end (alas) of basketball season:

Getting pretty good at the alma mater too:

Thanks for the photo, Wendy!

As of now the big question seems to be, will Franklin ever wear another shirt, and if so, when?

And thanks to Emily for getting me one to wear with him!

Okay, I can't resist one more Plato thing. Just saw this in the latest issue of Phronesis, a leading journal for Ancient Philosophy:
Screenshot 2015-03-27 20.34.11
Check out note 14! Woo!

And if you want to read (or maybe re-read?) Dominick 2010, I've posted it online.

Other big news (bigger than a footnote? maybe...) is my new role as Associate Director (!) of the Seattle U Core Honors program, but maybe I'll wait and say more once I've actually started.

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