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Miscellaneous Rambling

Ceiling. Trastevere

The whole priestly abuse thing, a summary to date. Handy reference. Pope Francis, meanwhile, has asked those who seek division to opt for "prayer and silence." Part of me says that makes sense. Another part of me says silence is an odd admonition coming from a Pope who made constant communication--Tweets, plane interviews, etc.--the hallmark of his Papacy. Yes, he's the Pope and we're the people so different standards apply, but it would've helped if he led, just a little bit, by example.

Ceiling. Trastevere

Both links above, btw, were courtesy of The Loop at Catholic Vote. It's an excellent daily email.

Ceiling. Trastevere

Bizarre occurrence: On the way to Boston, I sat next to a professor of political philosophy. Super amiable fellow, which I found surprising. He was heading out to a conference, where he was going to discuss his work on Plato's Letters, with emphasis on what exactly Plato was trying to accomplish in Syracuse. We talked about The Republic a bit, and he assured me there was no way Plato meant his ideas to be taken literally ("Banish everyone over the age of ten? He of course didn't mean that"--not an exact quote). After the plane landed, we parted with a wave. And then that evening, while riding the MBTA subway to my B&B, a young man was reading Plato's Republic directly across from me. Two Plato Republic sightings in one day. I can't say that's ever happened before. It's enough to make me take Allan Bloom's modern classic off the shelf.


Ceiling. Trastevere

The professor? He just gave me his first name: Ariel. But there aren't many Ariels who teach political philosophy at Wayne State, so I was able to find him easily enough. He's Ariel Helfer, author of Socrates and Alcibiades: Plato's Drama of Political Ambition and Philosophy. Based on the Amazon description, and Helfer's position that Plato was not proposing some tyrannical utopia in The Republic, I'm wondering if I was sitting next to a libertarian fellow traveler of sorts. I'm going to email him to find out.

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