Monday, March 23, 2015

Chapter 2 ~ Where am I? ~ Socrates Café

Looking for an image to represent "home," I turned up only pictures of houses.
Let's continue our conversation with some quotes:
  • The author:  "What happened to my childlike love affair with questions?" (p. 41).
  • Quoting Roger Scruton:  "Science can't address the 'why' of its subjects.  This is the domain of philosophy. ... There cannot be a scientific examination of personhood or the beautiful or the good life" (p. 42).
  • Woman who works at the café:  "I think that only by examining your life in every way possible can you be said to be examining your life philosophically" (p. 43).
  • Quoting René Descartes:  "I think, therefore I am" (p. 44).
  • The author:  "But everyone, whether he or she realizes it or not, or has articulated it or not, has a philosophy of life, and of place. ... every action we take, every move we make ... reflects in some way our worldview and our worldplace" (p. 45).
What do you think of those thoughts?  And what do you think of the church that no longer calls itself a church (pp. 45-48) because they are "open to just about anything" and "open to anyone"?  The author says his ideas for Socrates Café are very much like that (p. 49).
I've often characterized Socrates Café as a "church service for heretics," a place where we all feel comfortable challenging our respective dogmas.
That seems like a great idea to me.  And just below that, the author gives us a clue to his understanding of the Socratic dialogue (p. 49).
I think the Socratic way of inquiring is a paradigm of communication that calls on all participants in a dialogue to participate fully, and in an egalitarian way.  And it requires that participants help one another articulate and then examine their perspectives, as well as the implications for society of these perspectives, and the assumptions within these perspectives.
A big discussion in this chapter centered on what "home" means.  What does "home" mean to you?  The author wondered (p. 63):  "Is my home one I carry with me, my way of being in the world?"  Yet when I googled to find an illustration of "home," I got back pictures of houses, houses, and more houses.  (See the illustration above, which I chose because it is a "dream" house, at least.)  Would you want to live in that rural-looking location?  Why, or why not?  Quotes about "home" provided a sort of philosophy, I guess, like the illustration with this paragraph.  So what's your philosophy about what a home is?  And more questions from this chapter:
  • What is wisdom?
  • What makes a person wise?
  • Do our emotions ever hold us in mental prisons?
  • What else did you get from this chapter?

"I sought myself." 
— Heraclitus, 
6th-century Greek philosopher
(quoted on page 37) 

1 comment:

Shirley said...

In Death of a Hired Man, Robert Frost says: Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. Although this defines the people in the "home", I think home is more the place where your heart is--where you want to go which of course can include a place where you are accepted and the place you want to return to.

The participant who commented that she had never lived in a home she had chosen made me think of my situation. The home of my childhood was of course chosen by my parents. My homes since I married were somewhat chosen by me, but I am often reminded that I am restricted on how I can keep things arranged and who can be invited over (my husband doesn't like company).

When I was younger and my children were younger, a rural setting would have been nice. However, now that I'm older I'd prefer a place where I didn't have to worry about upkeep of the land and house.

I was amazed at the insight the prisoners demonstrated on wisdom.

The story of the author's mother who was born into dire circumstances yet had such a strong desire to learn and encourage her son to learn and question impressed me. The question it posed for me is what makes some people have such an inborn quest for knowledge and ability to seek wisdom?