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Get-together discussion of Plato's "Protagoras"

People arriving at yet another Socratic philosophy event at Frederiks Bastion here in Copenhagen yesterday.

Taking turns in pairs as Socrates and Protagoras we read a section from Plato's Protagoras where Socrates and Protagoras try to demonstrate that there is no such thing as weakness of will. If we eat that cake it is not because we are overcome by desire for the pleasure of eating it but because we consciously decide that it would be a good thing to eat it. If it truly is a bad thing to eat it and we do so anyway, it's because we don't fully understand that it would be a bad thing to eat it. Not because we don't have enough will power.

After reading the text we had a great discussion with lots of interesting observations from real life. In particular, we were discussing the "art of measuring" which Socrates talks about in the text. If we consciously compare the value of eating the cake and the value of not eating it and decide that the value of not eating it is greater than the the value of eating it and then eat it anyway is it then because we were in fact overcome by something too out of reach of consciousness to become part of the "art of measuring" or because we actually valued eating it more than we would admit to ourselves?


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