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Eva Brann

Here’s a cause close to my heart: public and semi-public speech. I mean occasions when we are addressed by our political leaders on grand occasions of concern to the whole republic, and times, like the present, when we...
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The ancient rhetoricians, who knew their business, taught that the way to begin a speech, the more so a breakfast talk, was with what they called a captatio benevolentiae, a “capturing of goodwill.” I’ll try that on you—I’ll...
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For the first time in nearly a decade I again have the great pleasure of teaching a freshman language tutorial. I am myself a believer in the "spirit" of a tutorial, because I am convinced that...
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Peter Kalkavage's The Logic of Desire presents an exemplary attitude for a reader to adopt toward a book. To use a fancy term, it embodies a “hermeneutic,” a principle of interpretation. The most respectful...
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Parents and Relatives, Fellow Tutors and Mr. President, Board Members and, above all, Santa Fe Seniors and Graduate Institute students! Some of you will remember that radio-telephone distress signal of old: “Mayday, Mayday.” It had, alas, nothing...
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Our readers have come to know and to admire Eva Brann, Senior Contributor to The Imaginative Conservative and tutor at St. John's College, who always challenges us with her insightful writings on liberal learning, the hidden treasures in Homer's poems, the...
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A Reflection on Three Questions Concerning the Re-telling of Sacred Stories and of Myths (An Academically Disreputable Inquiry) Questions:
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1c-d. The activity of this higher logos, dialectic itself, is beyond Glaucon's present reach and no part of the preliminary survey. To set out on the dialectical road would be to see "no longer an image......
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1a. After the cave image Socrates considers with Glaucon the actual education of the philosophers. He begins significantly: "Would you like now to see in what way such men will come to be born and how...
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1. Book VII begins with this invitation to Glaucon: "Now, after this, liken our nature, as far as education and the lack of education is concerned, to the following sort of state" (514al). The sentence...
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4a. Let us return to the invitation to reflection that is extended to Glaucon by the sectioning of the realms "as if" they were a line; he must wonder why, as has been said, the
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1. Socrates yields to Glaucon. He will speak, though not of the Good itself but rather of its "offspring," which is most like it (506e). Socrates reminds Glaucon of the...
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A. 1. Glaucon's introduction to philosophy will itself have a prelude. He will discover for himself the meaning of "opinion," doxa.  Opinion in its various meanings determines the musical key of the different parts of the dialogue by...
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Like many of you, I am sure, my first encounter with the term “the moral imagination” came through reading Russell Kirk. In an attempt to make better sense of...