Six Questions of Socrates: A Modern-Day Journey of Discovery through World Philosophyby Christopher Phillips
Socrates thought that understanding the perspectives of others on these six great questions would help him become a more excellent human being. In Six Questions of Socrates, Christopher Phillips poses Socrates' "original" questions -- as recorded by Plato -- in the most diverse cultural circumstances. This unconventional method of discussion brings out surprising commonalities -- he begins with "What is virtue?" in the remains of an ancient marketplace in Athens and moves on to a Navajo reservation in the Southwest, where it turns out that the Navajo conception of virtue, hozho, includes a sense of order and harmony with the natural world both similar to and distinct from the conception of the ancient Greeks. In Detroit, Phillips discusses "What is moderation?" with a group of twenty Muslim women, some veiled, some not, who explain to him the Koranic notion of a "just mean" or "balance between extremes."
Along Phillips's journey, one learns both about Western philosophers from the ancient Greeks to Nietzsche and about the philosophical traditions of Native American tribes, Asian cultures, and the Islamic world. Phillips shows how "big questions" are inseparable from timely political issues, as when in Mexico his companions consider the question of "What is justice?" and discuss the endemic corruption of the Mexican police force and political system; just as the question of "What is piety?" has particularly intense meaning for a group of Catholics reeling from the priest sex-abuse scandals. Six Questions of Socrates opens minds and reinvigorates the idea of philosophy not as an academic or historical exercise, but as a way of thinking about how to live now.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.36(w) x 7.98(h) x 1.11(d)
Meet the Author
Christopher Phillips is an educator, author, and pro-democracy activist. Visit him on the Web at www.christopherphillips.com.
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