Phaedrus, a whole lot of the people I talk to routinely seem to suggest that reason itself is some kind of universal language. But the more you talk to such folks, the more convinced you become that they do not have the least clue what reason is.
I gather that is why a "culture war" is continuously a-brewing these days. Its result for practical human political and cultural purposes is a kind of "Tower of Babel scenario" in which each one speaks his own "private" language. The discourse of the British "commons," or of the ancient Greek "Agora," is completely missing.
Which quite possibly may be some part of the reason why many people today don't have either a map or a compass.... That is to say, they are perfectly clueless about things that are larger than themselves.
Phaedrus: You know that I believe truth to be a "felt thing", and an example I would give is your earlier post recounting a vivid, compelling, enlightening dream, a moving experience having everything to do with truth.
I agree! Truth is revealed, it cannot be discovered by intellectual prowess. It is discerned spiritually, and results in a sense of knowing. Some call the experience illumination or enlightenment. It doesnt compare with solving an equation or riddle or actualizing an image.
Betty boop: The search for a common language seems to be the main challenge these days.
Phaedrus: You are asking, though, a very large question, bb, and I know you have your thoughts, but I don't believe the answer is to be found in improved communication for a large minority of our culture. Most do not think and are thus led apathetically toward vague "conclusions".
Betty boop: Phaedrus, a whole lot of the people I talk to routinely seem to suggest that reason itself is some kind of universal language. But the more you talk to such folks, the more convinced you become that they do not have the least clue what reason is.
This is an excellent and timely debate! Thank you both!
My two cents: we have become a society of spectators with very few players. People choose sides in causes, politics, ideology and scientific theory with as much thoughtfulness as picking a football team to win the Super Bowl. The advocacy is based on sound bites, spin and slogans. The results are strength in numbers - energetic, loud, loyal - but at the same time, deaf and blind. Thinking has nothing to do with it for the spectators. IMHO, whereas a universal language would be useful to the precious few players - it will nevertheless require marketing for the spectators to benefit from the effort.
The sneers of Callicles can be effective only against men of his own ilk. They fall flat before a man who is ready to die. . .
The argument [between Socrates and Callicles] is not yet directed personally against Callicles, but we feel the tension increasing toward the point where Callicles [in his speech] is co-responsible, through his conniving conduct, for the murder of Socrates and perhaps of Plato himself. The social conventions, [FR protocol?] which Callicles despises, are wearing thin; and the advocate of nature is brought to realize that he is a murderer face to face with his victim. The situation is fascinating for those among us who find ourselves in the Platonic [Socratic?] position and who recognize in the men with whom we associate today the intellectual pimps for power who will connive our murder tomorrow. . .
Insofar as a dialogue is an attempt at existential communication, it is an attempt to liberate the soul form its passions, to denude it of its body. Socrates speaks to his interlocutors as if they were "dead" souls, or at least as if they were souls who are capable of death. On the part of Socrates, the dialogue is an attempt to submit the others, at least tentatively, to the catharsis of death. The judgment of the dead thus is enacted in part in the dialouge itself, concretely, in the attempt of Socrates to pierce through the "body" of his interlocutors to their naked souls. He tries to make die, and thereby to make live, those who threaten him with death.