Past Meetup

The Philosopher and the Masses

This Meetup is past

18 people went

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How should the philosopher regard the "many"? As something to be avoided? To learn from? To be taught?

Can we even admit a distinction?

Let's grant that the philosopher is a thinker of the good and true, and to that extent has cultivated an attitude of mind which lights the world with the true colors which that attitude of mind has discerned in it. As the pattern gets more intricate and subtle, the philosopher's speech and reason become unconventional, her world taking on a privileged visage unshared by the rest.

We then will remember the death of Socrates — how the public mocked the vanity of his enterprises, and closed their ears to reason in order to abandon themselves to custom — and cry out "the crowd is untruth!”

But is it right to regard the public as an unthinking animal? Left only to be quieted and roused? If so, what does that say for ethics? (what is so "good" about it?) For the philosopher’s cherished “reason”? (what really is so "true"?)