September 29, 2004 § Leave a comment
Wednesday is one of my favorite days. Not only does it mean that half the week it already over, but it also means that tomorrow is Thursday and my lunch date with Kevin. It is one of the only things I can look forward to every week. I do-I count down the days, and on Thursday the hours.
Thank God-Pete was at French class again this morning. He is running (not surprisingly) for Freshman Class Senator. Voting takes place today, and I have already cast my votes. Pete for Freshman Class Senator!
Apparently Pete and the French teacher had another "argument" after French lab (not mine, but the one immediately after mine) that got a little out of hand. People got really upset and complained to the Department. Our teacher got in trouble, and is forbidden to talk to the students about anything except the course material. Oh well. So much the better, I guess. I didn't really care about the political talk; but if they could just replace the teacher it would be nice. :-)
Philosophy class was very interesting. The discussion/lecture was on a section of Plato's Republic we had previously read. Using the Principle of Non-Contradiction (that something cannot be and not be at the same time) Socrates argued that the soul was made of three parts-the reason, the spirit, and the appetite. The appetite is our drive towards pleasure, i.e. drink, food, etc. Our reason is the rational part of us that argues with the appetite over moderation and what is smart. For instance, a man "knows" not to drink to much, especially if he is driving. Why? Because his reason tells him so. Next Socrates used a Greek story to illustrate his next point. A man was walking down a road next to which were laying a pile of dead bodies (a execution had recently taken place). At first the man had an urge to look at the bodies (his appetite, apparently, was sexual in nature) but he was at the same time repulsed and disgusted by it and thus covered his eyes. The reason in this case was not involved, but something else was. Since the same part of the man could not have at the same time wanted to see the bodies and not wanted to see the bodies, it follows that there must be two parts of the soul coming into play here. The part of the soul that felt disgust was what Socrates called the spirit. Thus, the soul is made of three parts: appetite, spirit, and reason.
Next he gives another illustration about these three parts and how they work together in harmony. He likens the reason to a shepherd, the spirit to a sheep-dog, and the appetite to the sheep. If the shepherd (reason) rules well, then the sheep-dog (spirit) will assist him in keeping the sheep (the appetite) under control. But if the shepherd repress the sheep, or the sheep overthrow their shepherd, then the flock is in a state of civil war. The inner person is fighting against itself and is no longer in harmony. It is only by using these three parts of the soul in the correct fashion that anyone is happy.
Lunch was fun, and I got to "meet" a couple more guys. I say "meet" because technically I have met them before, but I didn't know their names. Andrew is an Italian and a Sophomore, and Jeffrey is a Freshman and is in my Chemistry class. Both of them were part of the scientific side of the little "argument" that some of us Philosophy students had a couple weeks ago. Andrew had stated point blank that Philosophy was useless, and Jeff had proceeded to say that "Philosophy was like dirt." Now, Jeff says that he didn't mean anything negative about Philosophy, but that Philosophy was necessary to the world just like dirt is. Yeah, right. Anyway, it was really nice to meet both of them outside of the argument and find out that they are both nice guys-they are just pretty stupid when it comes to Philosophy. ;-)
Words cannot describe how fun Social Science class was today. We began our study of Karl Marx and his philosophy of Marxism. *Oh my gosh.* I have never been so fascinated in all my life! The evolution of Karl Marx's ideas, the different philosophies that he drew from, and the story of his life are amazing. I have already put it down in my calendar to order "The Communist Manifesto" for reading over Christmas break. Don't worry-I'm not going to become a Marxist or a Communist, a Materialist or a Hegelist, or even a Socialist, but I am going to do some further reading into the subject. The whole philosophy of the thing is…fascinating. Perhaps when I grow up I will be a tenured Sociology professor with my specialization in Politial Philosophy, just like Dr. Shneck. It would make a fabulous job.