Again, I will endeavor to lure us into discussing that which is so plain as to be invisible: Opportunity, here used broadly, shall refer to what could be. It is the philosopher's job (and joy) to render the too-familiar strange enough to be grasped. Speaking of grasping, we again have at least three props to anchor our abstractions; feel free to bring other props, note topics you'd like to address, and share stories or quotes that may provoke deep thoughts.
• A six-sided die manifests the multiplicity of what could be, in that a roll of the die will select one of the six possibilities. This opens us to discussing probability, randomness, and chance in relation to human affairs.
• An American flag alludes to the liberties afforded by our political system and traditions. Besides connecting us to the impending holiday, it demonstrates that a prop's meaning is context-dependent (for Place, it meant a society, generally).
• A rubber ducky reminds us of play time and how imagination unfolds without a plan. Like Place's dolphin-shaped locket, it evokes a process in time, often involving more than one person (it also speaks to the poverty of what is available in my home;-). One might even suppose that a novelty item like this is representative of radical novelty.
We'll familiarize ourselves with the props as part of our usual warm-ups. By that time we'll be brimming with topic ideas, such as
• "Freedom from" vs. "freedom to": which is essential, which is worth fighting for?
• Why do small children seem to be able to amuse themselves better with the box a toy came in, than with the toy itself?
• Why is mathematical probability so hard to teach?
• How might we understand the phrases "stock market opportunity," "learning opportunity," "land of opportunity"?
• How does opportunity make us feel? And missed opportunities?
I would list more, but you always come up with something different! You might jot down when you hear any of these words in conversation this week.
If you can't picture it now, note that we had a wonderful discussion last month, which exhibited a great deal of continuity AND novelty. Trust that affinities will arise, affording new opportunities to make sense of life. See you Tuesday at Au Coquelet.