Know Thyself and Love Philosophy Essay

Question to answer in your paper: What does “Know Thyself” and “Love” mean to you through the lens of Ancient Greek Philosophy and Stoicism?

Description of the Paper

This is a reflection paper on ancient Greek philosophy and the philosophy of Stoicism. Below is an overview of what we will have read and discussed prior to the due date of this paper . Please use what is listed below as inspiration and also include what ever else may have piqued your interest. In short, please explain what it means to you to Know Thyself and to Love as you have experienced it and come to think about it while studying ancient Greek philosophy and Stoicism.

Line of Reasoning: In your paper, you will take a position and rationally defend your position. Keep in mind that it is not merely a matter of taste, feelings, or emotions, but rather it must be a position you can defend with textual evidence, life experience, and a line of reasoning.

Four quotes minimum: Please include at least four text quotes from the assigned readings to support your claims.

Details:

• 4 quotes (see above)
• 1000 words (4 pages)
• Times New Roman or Arial 12 point font
• Double Spaced
• 1” Margins
• Cite ALL resources. You do NOT need to use any particular style (e.g., APA or MLA). Pick one style

and be consistent. For example, after a quote, (Rousseau, p. 572), (Zoom Lectures, June 29th).

Also, please include a Bibliography
• You may use first person “I”
• Upload on Canvas in the assigned dropbox • 15 points

Goal: Come to know yourself with the writings of Plato and the conversations Socrates engages in, in the Symposium, and Aesop, PreSocratics, Sophists. Also, Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations and Heloise’s first letter to Abelard. You do not need to use all of what you learned but at least one of the ideas from the Symposium and at least one idea from Stoicism, either Marcus Aurelius or Heloise.

How to Prepare: Review the readings and use the questions below to excite your thoughts. Also, please review the study questions, slides, lecture notes, and resources provided on the slides and lectures notes to be sure you understand the material (on Canvas under “Modules”)

Overview of what we’ve covered so far

• Aesop’s Fables
• Mythos to Logos: Aesop, PreSocratics, and

Sophists
• Plato’s Symposium

• Socrates and Plato’s Philosophy • Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations
• Heloise’s First Letter to Abelard

Overview of Knowing Thyself and What is Love through Ancient Greek Philosophy and Stoicism I. Know Thyself

A lifetime of uncovering one’s false opinions to move to become wise

Knowledge

What is knowledge? This is a question that belongs to epistemology, the philosophical study of knowledge that analyzes what is known, yet unknown, and unknowable. What can you know about yourself?

Socrates

“I know that I do not know.” Socrates

[If]“ I am wiser than this man; it is likely that neither of us knows anything worthwhile, but he thinks he knows something when he does not, whereas when I do not know, neither do I think I know; so I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know what I do not know.” Apology (21 d)

Three different ways of knowing

• Belief
• Opinion
• Knowledge

II. Self

What defines you? Your body, i.e., the dwelling place of your soul? Your soul? What is your soul? Do you identify with Socrates’s notion of the soul?

According to Socrates, the most important thing is to care for one’s soul. What does Socrates mean? Do you agree? Why or why not? Does Plato’s description of the soul as described in Plato’s Phaedrus (253 d-e & 254a-e) resonate with you? Why or why not?

III. Wrong Doing

Socrates claimed, “All wrong doing is due to Ignorance” as opposed to Aristotle’s position on Akrasia

IV. Plato Forms – The Really Real

One comes to the knowledge of the laws of mathematics and geometry, according to Plato, through recollection. This must NOT be confused with memory (e.g., what one had for breakfast).

V. Recollection, according to Plato, is a coming to knowledge through:
(1) utilizing the dialectic to rediscover the knowledge of mathematics and geometry that is written into the soul of all human beings.
(2) the desire to know the Forms.

VI. Ladder of Love

Form of Beauty (beauty itself) is how one moves toward the form of beauty, toward the form as well as coming to know oneself. What is the role of erotic love? Love is, ultimately, wisdom, love of wisdom. In a word, “Philosophy”.

VII. Stoicism — Questions to inspire your thoughts

Aurelius (Stoicism) & Heloise (Medieval Stoicism):

a. Marcus Aurelius

What does it mean to have your thinking and willing in accordance with nature? Do you have virtuous intentions? Do you trust the unfolding of divine logos? Have you applied the Stoic Credo to your decisions making? What is useful? How might thinking in accordance with the Stoic Credo inspire you to love more? How is the phrase “Carpe Diem” essential to the philosophy of Stoicism? How might being in the present moment result in you loving fully and completely? Might fear of the future or trauma from the past interfere with your ability to love in the present?

b. Heloise

Is Heloise’s medieval stoic notion of the lover/beloved relationship a practical (useful) way to determine as if you are in a healthy relationship with friends, partners, family, etc? Why or why not? Heloise compares love to tending to a garden that needs attention, light, shade, water. If you were to love your beloved in line with Stoicism, might it improve your relationships? How can Stoicism (Aurelius or Heloise’s) inspire you to love more?

Writing a Philosophy Paper Guidelines

• Grammar matters. Please use complete sentences.
• Reasoning matters. Please be sure that sentences relate to each other. For example, sentence two follows from sentence one, and so on.
• Use new paragraphs to indicate a new idea.
• Consider using sub-headings to organize your thoughts and convey them in an organized fashion. • Be sure to introduce a quote and follow it with a sentence explaining why it is important to the point you are defending.
• The goal is, in short, to understand the material, convey an understanding of the material, take a position on the material, and defend the position with reasoning, and quotes from the text as evidence.
• While word count and page number matters, conveying your point and defending your position matters as well.

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