Plato, “Lovers”

for Nathaniel Cochran & Christopher Kirk I Or Rivals, or On Philosophy. This short dialogue probably found disrepute because of its unabashed frankness about Socrates’ life. Two boys debate the theories of Anaxagoras and Oinopides while at school; their young adult lovers attend them. Socrates finds this scene attractive, to say the least, immediately sowing […]

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Plato, “Cleitophon”

Plato, “Cleitophon” (trans. W.R.M. Lamb; below, citations and quotes are from Clifford Orwin’s translation. Numbers in parentheses without an author are section numbers from the dialogue.) You may choose to read the Cleitophon, by far the shortest of Plato’s dialogues. It should take 10-20 minutes to read, and its subject is refreshingly direct: Could Socrates […]

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Seth Benardete, “A. E. Housman”

For Nathaniel Cochran Seth Benardete, “A. E. Housman” Benardete begins by telling us Housman was a great scholar. So great he had a specific wish for how he wanted to be remembered. In his field, with two other scholars, he would compose “the triumvirate of textual emendation.” Inasmuch he advanced knowledge, he would provide a […]

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David Foster Wallace, “McCain’s Promise”

1. $4 bought me a small book by David Foster Wallace about the Republican Presidential primaries in 2000. At one point, McCain was incensed that the Bush campaign did push polling (“Would you vote for McCain if you knew he…”) and stood with some kook accusing McCain of treating his fellow veterans like dirt post-Vietnam. […]

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Note on Francis Bacon, “Of Unity in Religion”

Almost hidden in “Of Unity in Religion” is a comment on the conduct of a philosopher, reproduced below. To summarize:  The “rending of God’s church” can be effected by problems which resemble philosophical ones. In essence, such problems are also political, as we are not really told of what their substance consists. Bacon tells us […]

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