Lebenskünstler

Philosophical Dinner Party – Frieda Klotz – Everyday Philosophy – Plutarch

Posted in Uncategorized by Randall Szott on 05/28/2012

The Philosophical Dinner Party by Frieda Klotz

Plutarch thought philosophy should be taught at dinner parties. It should be taught through literature, or written in letters giving advice to friends. Good philosophy does not occur in isolation; it is about friendship, inherently social and shared.

Plutarch begins “Discussions” by asking his own philosophical question — is philosophy a suitable topic of conversation at a dinner party? The answer is yes, not just because Plato’s “Symposium” is a central philosophic text (symposium being Greek for “drinking party”); it’s because philosophy is about conducting oneself in a certain way — the philosopher knows that men “practice philosophy when they are silent, when they jest, even, by Zeus! when they are the butt of jokes and when they make fun of others.”

…it’s now more than ever that we need philosophy of the everyday sort. In the Plutarchan sense, friendship, parties and even wine, are not trivial; and while philosophy may indeed be difficult, we shouldn’t forget that it should be fun.

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