George Hammond, Author, Conversations With Socrates and Rational Idealism
Monday Night Philosophy recognizes that reasoning has always been part of human life, but Plato played an influential and quite radical role in increasing our respect for the power of reason, cutting through mythological beliefs and inaccurate opinions. He developed and shared his passionate enthusiasm for reason with the students of his Academy and through his philosophical dialogues.
Plato carried his ideas out of the shadows of the cave of Pythagorean secrecy and spread them out in the sunlight for everyone to see. Plato even records Socrates arguing that philosophical discussions should not be recorded in writing because they will then be distorted and misunderstood.
Plato's mischievous and knowing disobedience was based on his acceptance that distortions and misunderstandings would abound. But his experiences also convinced him that clear conceptual reasoning is our greatest hope in understanding the world we inhabit. Plato made the right choice. The popularity of his radical respect for reason is still in its infancy of influence on human culture. Peer ahead to see what is still to come.
Location: 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program MLF: Humanities Program organizer: George Hammond
Notes: Parthenon photo by Adam Crowley/Photodisc/Getty Images
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