The Dispassionate Study of the Passions

By |2019-06-14T17:02:37-05:00June 10th, 2019|Categories: Apology, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, Plato, Socrates, St. John's College|

Ancient pathos, passion, was an affect emanating from an object; the object elicited the responsive affect, from the outside in. Modern emotion comes from inside out; it emphasizes expression; subject prevails over object. It is the Romantic worm eating its way out of the Enlightened apple... Plato’s dialogue Gorgias ends with a long speech culminating [...]

Fit for the World

By |2019-06-06T02:33:40-05:00May 5th, 2019|Categories: Antigone, Apology, Christopher B. Nelson, Essential, Great Books, Humanities, Liberal Learning, Plato, Socrates, St. John's College|

  The mysteries of the human heart, and of the soul within you, are every bit as wondrous as the mysteries of the political and the natural worlds. And so you have asked questions of the world, in part because it is your nature to wish to know, in part because you wish to [...]

Socrates and Free Government

By |2017-10-26T00:09:36-05:00October 25th, 2017|Categories: Apology, Gleaves Whitney, History, Plato, Socrates, Stephen Tonsor series|

A free government is only sustainable if citizens can govern themselves. Socrates patiently revealed, through conversations that held a mirror up to fellow citizens, that they did not sufficiently understand such basic concepts as justice, piety, virtue, truth, and goodness when applied to themselves. Yet they presumed to govern others?... Author's Note: Following is my revised [...]

Fit for the World

By |2019-04-30T14:51:00-05:00May 22nd, 2017|Categories: Antigone, Apology, Christopher B. Nelson, Great Books, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Plato, Socrates, St. John's College|

Your world needs you; it needs your desire to understand it, your openness to what it has to teach you, your acceptance of its imperfections, and your sincere wish and best efforts to be useful to it because you care for it as it has cared for you, however unconscious that care may have [...]

The Lie of the Open Society

By |2019-03-16T10:19:41-05:00June 6th, 2016|Categories: Apology, Conservatism, Crito, Featured, Free Speech, John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Liberty, Plato, Willmoore Kendall|

II John Locke The related problems of “the public orthodoxy” and “the open society” were major concerns of  Willmoore Kendall throughout his professional career. In his reappraisal of John Locke in 1941, Kendall’s Locke emerged as an exponent of the public orthodoxy as expressed through the majority. As Kendall sees it, in Lockean thought, “In [...]

The Theology of Socratic Piety

By |2018-12-18T14:52:31-05:00March 23rd, 2016|Categories: Apology, Crito, Greek Epic Poetry, Homer, Myth, Phaedo, Socrates|

“One Being, the only truly wise, does not and does agree to be called Zeus.” – Heraclitus This reading of the Euthyphro will grapple with the accusations of impiety leveled against Socrates. It will set out to answer certain basic questions about Socratic piety that arise and are not satisfied by repeated readings of [...]

The Dispassionate Study of the Passions

By |2018-11-21T08:39:08-05:00August 4th, 2015|Categories: Apology, Aristotle, Books, Cicero, E.B., Eva Brann, Featured, Plato, Socrates, St. John's College|

Plato’s dialogue Gorgias ends with a long speech culminating in a rousing cry by an aroused Socrates. He is speaking to Gorgias’s student Callicles about his swaggering opinionatedness and their common uneducatedness. The words he uses are neanieusthai, ‟to act like a youth,” to behave like a kid, and apaideusia, ‟lack of teaching,” ignorance. [...]

Plato’s Apology and the Gorgias: Yearning for Political and Spiritual Regeneration

By |2015-05-19T23:10:18-05:00December 29th, 2012|Categories: Apology, Classics, Lee Cheek, Plato, Political Philosophy|

The purpose of this essay is to elucidate the importance of Plato’s commitment to rational discourse in the Apology and Gorgias. Both dialogues chronicle the transfer of authority from the destructive world of Athens to the philosophers. The organization of politics and society, according to Plato, is determined by the orderliness of the souls of its citizens. The [...]

The Trials and Death of Socrates

By |2017-01-26T14:37:39-05:00April 17th, 2012|Categories: Apology, Christopher B. Nelson, Classics, Crito, Liberal Learning, Phaedo, Socrates, St. John's College|

I am grateful for the opportunity to have reflected on the life of Socrates as I wrote this evening’s lecture. Of course, it’s not every life that is told through the story of its death, but I think this is particularly appropriate in the case of Socrates. I am speaking now only of the [...]