Plato’s cave

Just my luck–the day comes to teach Plato’s allegory of the cave, and my voice is failing because of a cold. Ah, well. I think that most famous bit of Plato will serve nicely to introduce paper 4, the most philosophical of the papers and thus the hardest. The assignment is to say what freedom is and whether or to what extent each paper’s writer is free. Last time I assigned this paper, some fell predictably into high school civics essays, and others couldn’t pull together their thoughts on education and responsibility and money, but some rose to the occasion and really did some good thinking on paper. I imagine I’ll get the same in this paper.

We also talked a bit about The Matrix and C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair and their connections to this most famous episode, and we talked at some length about the allegory’s place in the larger argument. All the while, though, I was fighting my throat, so what could have been a great moment in the class rather fizzled.

Monday is revision day, but on Wednesday those who come to class are going to discuss Thoreau’s “Resistance to Civil Government.” That ought to provide a radical enough departure from Plato’s live-for-the-city ethos that the class can do some good thinking about freedom and what it means.

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