Socrates and the “town hall meetings”

Lest any of you think that I have abandoned my thread on Socrates, far from it!

Indeed, the reason that you haven’t heard much lately from me about the great and controversial and perplexing man is that I’ve decided to do a big piece on him in the Christmas issue of The Economist (large parts of which we actually produce in September).

So am I thinking about him? Every day, especially this week, as I cannot avoid, no matter how much I try, the news about these alleged “town hall meetings” on health care.

Town hall meetings?



Oh, please. This is what the thread on Socrates has been about: Good versus bad conversation, debate that wants to find truth and climb higher versus debate that wants to win, to debase, to obscure.

PS: As I post this, I am downloading yet another lecture series by The Teaching Company on Plato, Aristotle and Socrates

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5 thoughts on “Socrates and the “town hall meetings”

  1. In the matter of the health-care Town Hall meetings, don’t Americans have the right to conduct them in ways other than the Socratic?

    According to opinion polls, more Americans are against the health-care proposals, than are for them. Ergo, Americans like the current system, and the passion they show at the Town Halls is their collective expression of this.

    What better example of democracy in action.

    Trust the American people, is what I say.

    • I’m not against people showing passion. I’m against people talking (indeed shouting) without thinking, which is what has been going on at these town hall meetings.

  2. Ask Americans whether they think the government should get out of Medicare (or any other of dozens of government created programs), and an appalling number will answer yes. This ignorance, surprisingly, is true of our representatives in Congress.

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