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189. Learn How to Discuss Ideas from Plato’s Symposium

Plato’s Symposium is a great guide on how to discuss ideas. In this book, you’ll get an in-depth look at a lengthy discussion about love. Despite having competing theories, the people in this book are able to discuss their ideas amicably. Furthermore, they ask good questions and understand each other’s ideas. This helps the conversation dive into a deep discussion, rather than staying at the surface-level. If that interests you at all, listen here to learn more.

Learning How To Discuss Ideas

This book is a discussion on love between several friends. One is a doctor, some poets, and others are philosophers, but each has an insight into what love is. What I found helpful in learning more about discussing ideas was that the Symposium is written in the form of a dialogue, like Plato’s other works. The men take each other’s ideas seriously despite being very different and having conflicts. Although they could attack each other’s arguments, they decide to put forth ideas and seek truth. Dive deeper into the Symposium with Spencer Klavan’s episode of Young Heretics.

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Learn About What Socrates Was Like

Another part of this book that I love is that you get a good description of Socrates (check the meme below or in this tweet). He was constantly aloof thinking about some other idea, much like a daydreamer. In the beginning of the book Socrates is snapped out of an episode like this and brought along to the party. And, it’s at this party where the dialogue for the Symposium begins.

“Socrates dropped behind in a fit of abstraction, and desired Aristodemus, who was waiting, to go on before him. When he reached the house of Agathon he found the doors wide open, and a comical thing happened. A servant coming out met him, and led him at once into the banqueting-hall in which the guests were reclining, for the banquet was about to begin. Welcome, Aristodemus, said Agathon, as soon as he appeared–you are just in time to sup with us; if you come on any other matter put it off, and make one of us, as I was looking for you yesterday and meant to have asked you, if I could have found you. But what have you done with Socrates?”

Symposium

236. Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Conversation of Our Generation

According to Wikepedia, "Materialism is a form of philosophical monism that holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental states and consciousness, are results of material interactions. According to philosophical materialism, mind and consciousness are by-products or epiphenomena of material processes (such as the biochemistry of the human brain and nervous system), without which they cannot exist. This concept directly contrasts with idealism, where mind and consciousness are first-order realities to which matter is subject and material interactions are secondary." Valid Concerns and Good Points At first, it seems to make sense. Much of what we encounter is material. Our food, light, furniture, etc. is all material. It would be easy at first glance to think everything boils down to what is material. But, does that really comport with what we experience and know? Errors of Materialism Materialism leaves out a large chunk of the human experience. First, it fails, like naturalism, to fully account for the supernatural and the spiritual. And, in doing so, it denies free will and many other parts of our experience that are products of the spirit. Also, materialism doesn't allow for the abstract truths we know to be. Moral truths, natural laws, beauty, and even some mathematical truths can't exist if everything is material. So, materialism fails to explain all that we know about the world. Corrections There is more to the world than just the material. It doesn't fit with our understanding of the world. We experience more than just the material in art and music, as well as abstract concepts. We also experience the phenomenon of free will, which is impossible in a materialist world. In order to fully comport with reality, we need to take into account more than material things. In order to fully experience the world, we have to take account for the non-material parts of our lives. Related Episodes in this Series What is Objective Reality? What is Subjective Reality? Unity of Subject and Object The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
  1. 236. Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  2. 235. Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  3. 234. The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality
  4. 233. Is Patriotism Good? | Reflections on the 4th of July
  5. 232. Unity of Subject and Object

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