Discussion – 8/28/07
Get into groups and discuss the following questions:
Who are you?
o This doesn’t just mean your name. Give me more. If you wanted someone to
understand who you are and you only had a few sentences in which to convey that
information, what would you say? Why did you choose that?
Why are you who you are?
o What factors have led to you being who you are?
o Which of those factors do you think are most important?
o Which of them do you think have had the most impact?
What is history?
o What importance does it have?
o What importance should it have to you? For you? Why?
Consider the following quote from Plato’s Crito. To set the stage, Socrates (who’s
speaking here) has been convicted of impiety and sentenced to death, which entails him
voluntarily committing suicide by drinking hemlock. His friend Crito is trying to
convince him to escape, which he could easily do. Socrates refuses and in his response,
he imagines the laws of Athens, could they speak, would say this to him:
‘Answer, Socrates, since you are in the habit of asking and answering questions. In the
first place did we not bring you into existence? Your father married your mother by our
aid and begat you. Say whether you have any objection to urge against those of us who
regulate marriage?’ None, I should reply. ‘Or against those of us who after birth regulate
the nurture and education of children, in which you also were trained? Were not the laws,
which have the charge of education, right in commanding your father to train you in
music and gymnastic?’ Right, I should reply. ‘Well then, since you were brought into the
world and nurtured and educated by us, can you deny in the first place that you are our
child and servant, as your fathers were before you?’
What do you think this means? You may need to read it a few times. What does it mean
What do you hope to get out of this class? What do you expect to get out of it? (Those
are two different questions.)