Monday, January 30, 2017

Reading Plato

It occurs to me that we can, and ought, read the dialogues on several distinct levels. We initially engage with the dramatic or dialogic presentation; we can enrich and deepen our understanding of it with historical or other contextual background; we can explore the lines of reasoning and ideas that so centrally inhabit the content; and finally we can attend to the sunousia between ourselves and the author, or amongst ourselves in the discussions that the dialogues stimulate.

I suspect that attendiing to these four dimensions of the dialogues, as well as how they interact, will be a fruitful method for working through Plato.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Plato's Dialogues

Welcome to skeptiblog! This will be the central clearing-house for course blogging in Plato's Dialogues, so you will want to bookmark it. Student blogs will appear on the list to the left. Here's my theory of course blogging: 

Why Blog? To be a good student is actively to engage with the course material in collaboration with others – the most effective students have always spent considerable time outside of class talking with one another about the course material and everything that relates to it. Since some students will tend to speak more readily than others in class discussion, and since class time is severely limited, active learning must spread beyond the classroom to be effective for everyone, just as teammates do not learn to play tennis just by showing up for the meets. Regular course blogging enables and encourages interactive learning, while removing many of the barriers to it – you can craft posts and replies at your own pace, and post them at any time of day or night. Blogging is a relatively informal type of writing, so it fosters drafting and editing as well as conversational skills in a low-pressure context.