The Crito

Is doing injustice to an unjust city an injustice?

Such was our discussion matter yesterday in freshman comp, and although I did better responding to the actual shape of the discussion in 9:00, both classes had good things to say about duty, freedom, and justice.

(One discipline that I’ve yet to master is keeping previous teaching sessions out of the one I’m conducting. I’ve found myself more than once this semester attempting to force 10:00 into the same discussion that 9:00 had. Afterwards I realize that very good things could have come from what the folks in 10:00 actually said, but as I noted, I’m no master of that discipline yet. –A pretty good reason not to cut TA teaching loads.)

Okay, so I used a Nietzschean aphorism-dash. Yes, I’m derivative.

Anyway, back to Plato. Although we lacked the time to do hard-core discussions about duties and privilege and such, we did start to explore Plato’s absolutism and its tendency to sit ill with our preference for self-determination.

This week we’re doing peer revision, but next week, we get into Republic, and we begin with Thrasmychus’s claim that morality is a tool of the strong that serves to keep the weak in their place. Not as sophisticated as Machiavelli or Marx or Nietzsche or Freud or Foucault or Greenblatt, admittedly, but I figure I’ll let them have a run at the punching bag before they start to read the ones that punch back.

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Filed under Plato, teaching

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