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Writing Material: Plato Informal Reflection...

It has always been my understanding that Plato acted as a scribe for Socrates. The text supported my thoughts by noting that Plato's early dialogues were closer to the teachings of Socrates. Plato would write down the things that Socrates was saying. This reading dealt largely with the art of rhetoric and the transition from oral to written culture.

According to the Egyptians letters would make them wiser and give them stronger memories. Letters were specific and sharpened memory and wit. I gather that Theuth was the father of writing and of letters. He believed writing would improve our memories because facts would be solidified on paper forever.

In contrast Thamus believed writing would create forgetfulness in the learners because they would stop using their memories. He argued that truth becomes a semblance of truth and memory became reminiscence. Theuth thought writing was better than spoken knowledge. Writing also seen partly as a way of preserving memorials. I don't know how I feel about this text overall because it seems like Socrates is a hypocrite. He is against writing yet sits there and lets Plato take down everything he is saying and set it in stone through writing.

This entire text is a little bit confusing because it imitates an actual conversation as well as tells a story. I am not sure how I feel at this point about the statement from Socrates that writing is dead, because if that is the case then all art forms that are non-verbal must be dead as well.

I thought that Rachel Prichard's agenda item was something worth discussion. I commented that I agreed that this particular quote summed up much of Socrates' argument. Though I was conflicted by his strong feelings against writing, especially because of the nature of the work that he was doing with Plato. I feel like halting the progression of writing would not make us lazy, but rather stifle our progress as far as literary evolution is concerned.

I also enjoyed reading Chris Ulicne's agenda item. On his blog I commented that the comparison of memory to reminiscence and truth to semblance was also something that I found intriguing about the reading. The key link is that reminiscence is not an accurate reflection, but rather an interpretation. The same goes for the truth comparison. I also agree with you that there is more to wisdom than knowing facts and a lot of that has to do with the application of wisdom.

After reading Stormy Knight's agenda item I went back to debating art and words as one. I wrote: Do you think it is right to compare paintings and words? I wrote a little about this on my blog and it was really puzzling. I think of myself as a visual learner, but then again I hate reading books for the sheer joy of it. So does my lack of an affinity to like reading books make me any less of a visual or kinesthetic learner?

Comments (2)

Kayla Sawyer:

Was Plato writing everything down as Socrates spoke? I thought he wrote it from memory, after Socrates died.

I stand corrected. Thanks for pointing that out.

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