ok, boomer: can the ancients tell us anything about today?
March 20, 2021
In our second workshop, six folks from Philosophy Twitter explored whether, and how, ancient philosophy can help us address contemporary problems.
Sophistry and Bullshit
I compare Harry Frankfurt's Bullshitter ('On Bullshit') to various forms of lying and sophistry across a few Platonic dialogues (Phaedrus, Republic, Gorgias). Mostly because I want to say 'bullshit' a lot. and also because bullshit is a problem.
with comments by
Thomas Bonn (aka Mr. Jackpots)
8:30am-9:30am PST · Mar 20 · Plato Room
What is Time if Not Change Persevering
What is time? Aristotle has an answer that doesn’t fit into the modern philosophy of time framework, which is a good thing! The modern framework rests on a mistaken distinction between the A & B series. Studying the history of philosophy helps identify the limits of our context.
with comments by
8:30am-9:30am PST · Mar 20 · Aristotle Room
A Boomer Responds: Why Republic II Still Matters
This Boomer is going to argue that Plato's Republic II sets the stage for pretty much all Western Moral theory. Plus: Glaucon's argument is not just a re-statement of Thrasymachus'.
10:30am-11:30am PST · Mar 20 · Plato Room
On Useless Wights: An Aristotelian Critique of Fake News
Could a conspiracy theorist be virtuous by *trying* to "save the children," even though the conspiracy theory is false? Aristotle says: "No; in fact, they might be culpable for their ignorance."
10:30am-11:30am PST · Mar 20 · Aristotle Room
Socrates and the Love of Money
Socrates doesn't say we should eat the rich, but he does say they're worthless. Strong words, and it might be personal: Socrates' own life is built around his poverty, and the poverty of his philosopher-kings. Does our emblem of cold rationality feel contempt for the rich?
10:30am-11:30am PST · Mar 20 · Socrates Room
Rhetoric and Responsibility in Plato's Clitophon
Plato's Clitophon is a largely neglected dialogue. But in it, Plato illustrates why he does not live a Socratic life. Through Clitophon's interaction with Socrates, Plato shows that Socratic protreptic is irresponsible. Plato wishes instead to pursue justice justly.
1:00pm-3:00pm PST · Mar 20 · Plato Room