Philosophy and Death: Socrates as a Tragic Figure

His bare feet, firmly planted, show his ultimate connection to the earth. This is one of the more important symbols in the dialogue. If a man like Socrates, be dedicated to death as he exhibits as he so clearly manifests, then one must view the body and soul separate, but intimately entwined. For Socrates, the soul is eternal and everlasting, but not undying; this is an important distinction.

On Guilt and Domestication

As this ethic persisted from ancient times and into medieval Europe, it took on an economy of its own. Made possible by the Catholic Church, society (not only the plebeians, but the aristocracy as well), adopted life-denying, or rather ascetic principles, to guide one’s life. This is made clear by the laws and customs which we still track up to today, but also the very ethos of personal responsibility and autonomy. The sovereign individual is one who has attained mastery over the self, but with that comes a kind of moral baggage that one can be held standard to. This is where guilt and a desire to punish becomes important.

Capitalism and Circumstance

Whether or not we all admit it, capitalism has led to great prosperity across the globe. Whole populations of people have been lifted out of poverty, clean water is inexpensive and readily available to everyone, vast amounts of people are connected, simultaneously at any given moment on the internet, it has led to new forms of creativity and entrepreneurship, and most importantly has led to an enormous spread of information, which gives rise to new forms of education and acquiring of knowledge.

On Responsibility: Finding Freedom in a Determined World

It also doesn’t really make sense to speak about non-existence either. One could describe a state of nothingness, but that is ultimately outside of our experience. There could be neither hypothesis nor thought experiment that would reveal to us what non-existence would consist of; as it would consist of precisely nothing.

Addendum to Conversations: The Cost of Free Speech

So then, let me speak to the specificity of free speech, what it is, and why it needs to remain free, despite its consequences. Speech is not just our words, our language, but an ability to comprehend abstract ideas; ideas that don’t necessarily portend to the physical world; and are often metaphysical in nature.