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
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