Monday, July 11, 2011

Quote of the day

Flavia writes:
Maybe I should be pleased to open my inbox and see an email from a former student with the subject line "Platonism." But I'm not. I'm just not.

Hey, Plato is fucking awesome!


Andrew Stevens said...

It depends on if it's referring to Plato's general philosophy or, specifically, Platonic realism (as I normally expect the word "Platonism" to be used). I'm an Aristotelian (immanent) realist and I get to debate with nominalists all the time, but rarely with a Platonic realist, so I'd love to receive such an email if it included a defense of Platonic realism.

Flavia said...

To be clear: I have nothing against Plato, platonism, or neoplationism (the last of which I know the most about). But an email out of the blue from a former student, in the middle of the summer? Can only mean I'm being asked to give a long explanation of some sort.

My experience of this particular former student may also have influenced my reaction.

Withywindle said...

Dear Madam,

I am Andreas Karakaraides, and I have just come into possession of a LOST manuscript of Plato ...

FLG said...


Does that work?

Can I, if I were a former student, send you emails, like: De doctrina Christiana, thoughts?

Flavia said...

FLG: depends on the former student and the nature of the query. If you just said, "Tell me about X," unless I felt reasonably warmly about you, I wouldn't give more than a one-sentence reply (but I do generally reply).

But if you said, "Hey, I just started trying to read X, and am I understanding it correctly--or do you have suggestions for where to start or what resources I could use?" I might be willing to chat at some length. It's the difference, I guess, between someone who really seems to want an interlocutor and someone who's using me as a Wikipedia substitute.

But you, of course, may always ask me half-baked questions.


Have you seen this?

Withywindle said...


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