Friday, June 29, 2012

TGIF (This Greek is Fascinating)

Today class started with day two of Plato.  We talked about the natural social hierarchy in an ideal community and how everybody’s purpose in the society is to benefit the people as a whole.  The lecture progressed to Plato’s examples he gives to support his idea, mostly through theoretical metaphors, including his famous Allegory of the Cave.  We specified what qualifications define a Philosopher King (such as Plato or Socrates) and what responsibilities they have to serve the public.

In the discussion section we further explored the characteristics of the Philosopher Kings, and whether or not their motives for serving the public are for the good of the people or for their own personal benefit.  We decided that the kings gain personal satisfaction by serving the people, but argued whether that fulfillment was selfish or not.  We also decided that selfishness was not always a bad thing either, providing as an example that the self-satisfaction by doing charity work may be considered selfish by your personal gain, but is still morally a good deed.  We later discussed Plato’s ideal society in a general sense, whether this hierarchal society could function in our life today, and if it has ties to modern Communism.  We ended the class and concluded the school week by receiving our assignment for our Plato essay, asking us to elaborate on Plato’s opinion of democracy. 

We spent the afternoon and evening hours indoors, meeting Mr Chan-Law for dinner after he returned from Syracuse University.  We took our first bus ride and exploring the Ithaca Mall at night.  Tomorrow we hope to catch the bus to Buttermilk Falls for a hike and potential swim, but we are currently on the waiting list so our fingers are crossed.  The rest of the weekend may be spent reviewing Plato’s The Republic and writing our first draft of the essay, which is due Monday. 

Reflecting on the week, I cannot believe how much I have learned and how I have changed during my time at Cornell.  Being away from home has demanded me to be responsible and to manage my time.  The class has allowed me to become a better critical thinker and a more comfortable speaker.  Next week we will begin the teachings of John Locke and will have our Preliminary Examination on Wednesday.  

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