Next Meetup

Read and discuss Plato's dialogue "Sophist"
For our next session we will continue with the Plato trilogy we began with Theatetus, this time reading the dialogue "Sophist". You can find the Benjamin Jowett translation online here - Several of the participants of the previous discussion carry over to this one, but now the main participant is an enigmatic Platonic character, the Stranger from Elea, rather than Socrates himself. The "Parmenidean Stranger" presents himself as disciple of the famous philosopher of the One and opponent of the same set of partisans of flux, becoming, or the many we encountered in the Theatetus. The theme is the nature of the Sophist, literally the wise man, but a term that under Plato's influence (and to be fair contemporary reputation) came to designate the "wise guy" given to tendentious forms of argument, focused on winning debates rather than arriving at truth. The dialogue attempts to define the nature of the sophist, in the process setting forth a general method of definition, discussing the role of the "greatest kinds" or transcendental ideas, as well as a famous discussion of "the altogether not" and Parmenides' injunction not to speak of it. Along the way we will see a famous definition of man considerably less flattering that Aristotle's "rational animal", and other subjects of interest. If the previous dialogue debated the nature of knowledge, the continuation considers a leading class of pretenders to possession of knowledge and to something like the claims of formal method, while hinting at the possible limits of such claims. Assuming that interest holds, we plan to conclude the trilogy with the dialogue "Statesmen" at a following meeting, where the Parmenidean Stranger continues his teaching with a discussion of rule and royalty, time and the ages of the cosmos. But that is for next time. As always, interested newcomers are welcome, and regulars should let me know if the chosen time works or a week later would be preferable.

Panera Bread at Norterra

2370 West Happy Valley Road · Phoenix, AZ

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    Welcome to the Phoenix Philosophy Meetup Group! Our purpose is to discover the depths and joys of Life through our philosophical discussions, and to expand our members' mental horizons in a fun, harmonious setting. We discuss thought-provoking and mentally-stimulating topics in order to learn from one another about how philosophy can enrich our lives in ways we may have never thought possible! Our activities include discussions on topics relevant to today's world, classical philosophical inquiries, how the ideas of great philosophers from the past can be useful in the here and now, and how to empower ourselves by developing our reasoning skills; as well as other social events (parties, movie nights, etc.) of interest to our members. We are a non-profit, all-inclusive group that welcomes everyone with open arms!

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