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Philosophy Discussion

1-At the end of the Meno (around 100b) Socrates says that if Meno can convince Anytus of the things they have concluded in the dialogue he will provide a benefit to the Athenians. Given the background of the Apology what do you think Socrates means by this. What is the overall topic of the Meno? and how is it relevant to the Athenians or to us for that matter?

2-In the Phaedo Socrates is preparing for his death and consoling his friends that death is not a bad thing. There are echoes of the end of the Apology here. Much of the dialogue deals with arguments for the survival of the soul after death. We have already seen in the Meno the famous argument for the pre-existence of the soul to explain the puzzle of learning (cf Meno 81e ff); Aristotle in his Posterior Analytics (76a ff) will provide another solution to this puzzle that doesn’t require the preexistence of the soul. My question here regards Plato’s general conception of the body in the the Phaedo. He famously states that the proper aim of philosophy is the practice of dying and death (64a). He goes on to claim that only the philosopher (lover of wisdom) can have genuine virtues; non-philosophers overcome fear by greater fears and overcome desires by stronger desires (69a-c); virtues require knowledge and only the philosopher has real knowledge so only the philosopher can actually be virtuous. What is Plato’s underlying attitude towards the body in this dialogue as you see it? What essentially is the human being for Plato as you can gather from this dialogue? is he correct in this? why or why not? (address any or all of the above in your posting and end your posting with a question of your own).

3-How does Descartes find certainty in the Meditations?

4-As a background for Gandhi it would be helpful if you watch the Academy

Award winning film entitled Gandhi from 1982. This will give you a sense of his history, development and context as well as some of most powerful events of his career.

In what sense can Gandhi’s life be considered a success? Returning to the Socratic credo “a good man is not harmed in life or death” and “better to suffer injustice than to do injustice” (cf. Discussion above on the Apology and Gorgias), is Gandhi’s life proof of these claims? How are Gandhi’s ethical/ political views grounded in his religious/ metaphysical/ philosophical views? (in your discussion respond to any or all of the above and end your posting with a question of your own).

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