Wed, Sep 20
How do you decide what to believe? You might think that you should only believe something if you know why it is true. Socrates thought that we should question absolutely everything and not rest until we know our beliefs lie on a secure foundation. In this class, we'll consider Socrates' approach to the good life. And we'll debate whether there are some beliefs we shouldn't question at the risk of destabilizing ourselves, our relationships... maybe even our form of government.
We have three main learning goals for this day. You will:
- Know what "Socratic Ignorance" is and why Socrates thought it was a virtue.
- Understand the Socratic Method (elenchus) and be able to perform the method on others.
- Articulate the role that you think pursuit of the truth should play in the good life.
Secondary: Gadflies, toilets, and biases, oh my!
Required: After you've finished today's reading, make sure you complete the reading quiz, which you can access through your section's Canvas page.
Suggested: Take a minute to think about someone who deeply values the truth (perhaps by never telling a single lie, or by pursuing truth in some particular area with a fiery passion). Do they remind you a bit of Socrates? Use this class as an excuse to call or text them and ask what motivates them to value the truth in the way that they do.