Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lazy Sunday: Philosophizing

Lazy Sunday: Philosophizing

I just finished a great book called Socrates Cafe by Christopher Phillips and it's had me feeling especially philosophical all weekend. The book recreates dialogues from Socratic inquiry discussions Phillips has facilitated in cafes, assisted living homes, elementary schools, and prisons around the country, along with his own reflections and fitting bios and anecdotes of philosophers past and present. Anyone ready to bring a deeper level of inquiry and curiosity into their own life can channel their inner Socrates by asking questions, and more questions, and still more questions... For example, in one senior center a participant asked the question, what is home? The questioning went from there - When is one most at home? Is home a physical location only? Can a person have more than one home? Can you return home? Can one be without a home?

Phillips wraps up the book by quoting from Socrates's Apology - an excerpt I think fits quite well given the current state of US affairs: "As long as I breathe and have the strength to go on, I won't quit philosophizing... Esteemed friend, citizen of Athens, the greatest city in the world, so outstanding in both intelligence and power, aren't you ashamed to care so much to make all the money you can, and to advance your reputation and prestige - while for truth and wisdom and the improvement of your soul you have no care or worry?"

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