*Choose one to write about with noting which one you write about at the very beginning of the post. Below are your discussion prompts.
(1) In Book V, Socrates and Glaucon consider an argument that is intended to persuade ‘lovers of sights and sounds’ that all they possess is “opinion” (as-translated in your text; though see comment below, after the questions).
How should we understand this notion of opinion, as discussed here? [476d-480]. Consider the following – What, according to Socrates, can be known? What can’t be known? [476e-477b]. What is a power, such that (for example) a power is said to be “set over” something? [477c-d, see also 477a-b, 477e-478c]. What is knowledge set over, and what is opinion set over? Why is opinion said to be “intermediate” between ignorance and knowledge? [aside from above – 478b-479d, see also 533e-534b].
You might also consider (you are not required to respond; take this as a more advanced version of the prompt above): How should we understand the comparison of ignorance (anepistēmosunē, agnoia, agnõsia), knowledge (epistēmē), and opinion (doxa), in light of the positioning of belief (pistis) and thought (dianoia) between imagination (eikasia) and understanding (noêsis) discussed in the ? [See note below, regarding terminology].
(2) In Book VII, Socrates claims that an education in calculation, arithmetic, and geometry should be compulsory for philosophers [525b]. Why does he claim this? Consider…
Socrates says that philosophers “have to learn to rise up out of becoming and grasp being, if they are ever to become rational” [525b]. What is the purpose of education? [518b-518e]. What is meant by “that which is,” what is the opposition of “being” and “becoming,” and what do these distinctions have to do with knowledge, and with understanding? [see e.g. 478c-d, 479d, 508d-509a, 529a, 511d-e, 518c – “this instrument cannot be turned around from that which is coming into being without turning the whole soul until it is able to study that which is”]. Given what you have read so far, what does any of this have to do with becoming rational? [For this, refer to what is mentioned here, as well as previous weeks’ discussion]. Note that the sections specified are a starting point. You might consider including other sections, as they occur to you)
(3) According to Socrates, dialectic is the only method of inquiry that “systematically attempts to grasp with respect to each thing itself what the being of it is” [533b]. Why would this be so? Consider…
Dialectic is said to ‘do away with hypotheses’ and ‘proceeds to the first principle itself’ such that it is “secure” [533d]. How should we understand the distinction between proceeding (or investigating) from hypotheses, and proceeding to the first principle itself? [see e.g. 510b-511e (perhaps review 511b first), 532a, 533e-534b, 534b-535a]. Given what you have read so far, what do you take the relationship between dialectic and understanding to be? Why does Socrates advocate dialectic (as a method of inquiry) for developing understanding?

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