What would Socrates do?

Posted by: coberst

What would Socrates do? - 04/27/09 01:52 PM

What would Socrates do?

Socrates sought to save Athenian society by making it self-critical.

Imagine that you and many other colorblind people live on this isolated island. All inhabitants are colorblind from birth and know nothing about color; there is no word for color in their vocabulary.

Assume Fred is a health nut who exercises constantly and is always advising others to start a strict exercise routine for their health. Fred is well liked but most people on the island think that he over emphasizes the value of exercise.

One day after pursuing a specific exercises routine Fred become conscious of color. He is shocked and frightened and discontinues the exercise. Many weeks later curiosity gets the best of him and he returns to the exercise routine and there again appears the perception of color.

Fred experiments with this matter and concludes that when he performs the afore mentioned exercise routine he can perceive color constantly.

If you were Fred would you inform your friends and acquaintances of this occurrence?

How would you explain this perception to others?

How would others respond to your efforts to explain what happened?

I suspect most individuals would walk away from such seeming non-sense with a shrug and a grin. Suppose some of those making the proscribed effort found it to be a bore and a struggle and lost enthusiasm.

Does this little game of make-believe give you a better appreciation of why the Athenians executed Socrates for “corrupting the youth”?
Posted by: eccles

Re: What would Socrates do? - 04/27/09 05:13 PM

coberst,

Congratulations on producing a non-didactic post for a change!

But this has nothing to do with Socrates and "critical thinking". It can only be analysed by an assumption of commonalities of "experience" based on an objective "physical reality". If I were Fred I would urge the others to follow the excercise regime to see if they had the same experience. "Sameness" would need to be verified by common agreement on the "experience" of say oranges and sunsets etc. If no commonality were forthcoming, Fred would merely be sidelined as an odd-ball with strange subjective "visions".

Sorry, hemlock is reserved for the worthy !
Posted by: coberst

Re: What would Socrates do? - 04/28/09 11:04 AM



A Ritual To Read To Each Other

If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider?
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give, yes or no, or maybe
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
-William Stafford