Philosophy

Part I Mandatory Questions: 1. Compare and Contrast two speeches in the Symposium. What do they agree and disagree about? Why and/or Why not? In making this comparison makes sure to consider the speakers’ identity, their psychology, and domain of knowledge or expertise. In making this comparison you need to touch on the various categories by which they talk about Eros: its role in human happiness, human wholeness or completeness, means vs. end, young or old, heavenly vs. common, the goal or end of Eros, as a god vs. not a god; the role of virtue and which virtue; as something between humans or something else; beauty and the good; moral, political or philosophical issues; etc.…) Choose One Comparison: a. Phaedrus & Pausanius b. Aristophanes & Socrates c. Agathon & Socrates d. Eryximachus & Socrates Part II (Choose 1 only) 1. Explain the meaning of the title of the play “Oedipus Tyrannos”, or Oedipus the Tyrant in itself, and in relation to the action of the drama. What do the two words of the title mean? Discuss the various meanings of the word “tyrant”. In discussing the negative notion of a tyrant discuss Oedipus’ crimes and his culpability for his crimes. Next the name “Oedipus” signals a private or personal identity and refers to an individual and head of a family, while “tyrannos” refers to a political identity. Explain how the conflict of the play is built around the conflict or interplay by his private/family identity vs. his public/political identity. 2. Explain the roles and tension between reason and revelation in Oedipus Tyrannos. Oedipus seeks to know the truth in a way that does not seem to benefit his city and may ultimately leads to his downfall. Analyze the tension between the use of human reason as opposed to faith in gods, oracles and prophets. In particular analyze Oedipus’ relation with prophecy compared to other characters (Jacosta, the Chorus) and the tension in his relationship with Teirisias which results from this attitude. What do you think the moral of drama is regarding reason and revelation? What do you think Sophocles is trying to tell us about our use of reason and its possible limits?

 

 

 

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