Tagged: teaching

On Teaching Abnormal Souls

Throughout my teaching life, I have naturally had many opportunities to counsel students who were looking for some guidance on personal matters — typically, given my philosophic character, matters of a “big picture” nature, rather than passing practical concerns. The most interesting and enriching of such opportunities, from my perspective, are usually those in which the student’s problems are more fundamentally spiritual, his...

Random Thoughts on Principle or the Lack Thereof

Socrates and Plato made their criticism of the Greek sophists a central part of their respective philosophic missions. The core of their criticism: The sophists were paid teachers, who as such had a vested material interest in pleasing their listeners, rather than educating them. Thus, fathers brought their sons to the sophists for lessons in how to succeed in practical, political life. The...

Plato: Mythologist or Philosopher?

Apropos of a discussion of Plato’s intentions in his depiction of Socrates, and specifically the notable ways that Plato’s Socrates differs both from Xenophon’s contemporaneous depiction and from the historical figure later Socratic philosophers, such as the Stoics, had in mind, a friend who views Plato with some skepticism confronted me with this provocative question: Is Plato a philosopher or an artist? Is...

Happy Easter to All!

Happy Easter to all my visitors in Limbo. Limbo may seem a strange place from which to celebrate Easter, but then again maybe it’s not so strange. First of all, in this age of cheapened faiths of convenience, and holier-than-thou hypocrisy passing itself off as piety, perhaps a little good old-fashioned admission of unworthiness is the most authentic religion. Secondly, and on a...

My Personal Hero

In this egalitarian age, the concept of the hero seems as superfluous and out of touch as the pomp and circumstance of the British royal family. Paradoxically, our fetish for equality has combined with our impious self-absorption to turn us into idolaters, rather than hero-worshippers. We have infantile personality cults where in the past mature men admired genuine greatness as a guide for...