Next Meetup

Read and discuss Plato's dialogue "Theatetus"
For those at the last meet up, this subject is a change from what we discussed at the time. For our next session I've decided to return to Plato and to read an important dialogue about his understanding of knowledge and truth, the Theatetus. You can find the Benjamin Jowett translation online here - http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/theatu.html The dialogue takes its name from the young man Socrates discusses with, who is a student of mathematics under his older teacher Theodorus, the other main participant. The dialogue is introduced as having been written down, discussed, and corrected by Socrates himself, making it the closest Plato gets to telling us that any dialogue is a "work" of Socrates. The primary subject matter is the nature of knowledge, and includes such famous questions as whether knowledge is perception or based on perception, whether knowledge is true opinion plus "an account" or reason (the original version of the famous "justified true belief" that was debated by later analytic philosophers). We also see Socrates presenting himself as a "midwife" of the ideas of others rather than as a proponent of his own views, though that is a somewhat ironic position here. Theatetus is the first of an important triology of dialogues on the nature of knowledge and what philosophy is, that runs Theatetus, Sophist, and Statesman. I have picked it with the idea that we might complete the whole triology over mutual sessions, if there is sufficient interest. Many of the issues we have raised in the past 3-4 discussions are touched on in this set of dialogues, notable the "greatest kinds" discussion in the Sophist, presented there by the Eleatic Stranger as part of the "gigantomachia", the war of the gods over Being. To understand that in its full context one must see the trilogy as a whole, and the starting point for that must be reading the Theatetus. As always, interested newcomers are welcome, and regulars should let me know if the chosen time works or a week later would be preferable.

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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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