Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Plate Full of Plato

I was excited about going to class today knowing that there was going to be a guest speaker in the afternoon. So we finally started on Plato's Republic today during our lecture and discussion group. It was amazing learning about the inner meanings of Plato's work. Our TA told us a quote that said, "Plato is really easy to read, but extremely difficult to understand." I could not have said it any better. The reading was also very difficult to focus on due to the repetitive text and the jumping around of topics. However, the book as a whole was very enjoyable and insightful in explaining a utopia. It was very interesting when Professor Kramnick compared the ancient fundamentals of politics to our modern fundamentals. 

During our group discussion, we discussed about the 3 traits of human nature: intellect, courage, and appetite. We went into deeper detail about what would make our society a utopia. We referred to books such as 1984 and A Brave New World. It was very interesting when we were asked how we would prevent corruption and monopolization.  

Our guest lecturer this afternoon was Professor Ross Brann who teaches Middle Eastern studies at Cornell. He discussed the relationship between the Middle East and the uprising of the people in the Middle East due to injustices and the suppression of their freedom. He went into a deep lecture about the logistics of Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia. After the guest lecturer, we stayed after class to attend Professor Kramnick's discussion session. He talked about his ideal democracy: all political figures are selected, not elected. He told us that choosing presidents would be like a lottery. Professor Kramnick's session was extremely engaging and entertaining.

After class, we hung out at Risley Hall and watched the Euro Cup, the Wimbleton Final, and the Olympic Trials. Tomorrow, I am looking forward to having the afternoon off and going to the gym (I have to burn off all the food I eat here!).

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