Socrates: I think so too, Meno. I do not insist that my argument is right in all other respects, but I would contend at all costs in both word and deed as far as I could that we will be better men, braver and less idle, if we believe that one must search for the things one does not know, rather than if we believe that it is not possible to find out what we do not know and that we must not look for it.” (Plato’s Meno, tr. G.M.A. Grube)
Last month, I was honored to speak at a Collegium event held by New College Franklin in Franklin, Tennessee. I teamed up with a faculty member to speak about “Seeking & Speaking the Truth in Love.” I was “seeking,” focusing on Plato’s Meno, and my counterpart was “speaking,” focusing on Plato’s Gorgias. Actually, I did some speaking too, which is what I’d like to share with you here.
My lecture was entitled “Seeking the Truth in Love,” and it focused on seeking the truth through Socratic dialogue–not Socratic dialogue generally, but specifically, as in the ones Plato wrote. After some introductory remarks and an historical introduction to Socrates and Plato, I walked through the first half of Plato’s Meno, all the way up to the end of the geometry problem with the Slave Boy. My application and conclusion summarized what I have been learning as a Christian studying Plato and how I see those lessons trickling down to my neighbor, who is also seeking the truth.
If you already enjoy Plato, I hope you enjoy this somewhat informal rehearsal of the dialogue. If you are unfamiliar with the study of Plato’s dialogues and have no idea why Christians even spend precious time reading them, then I invite you into one of my favorite things to talk about: Seeking the truth in love, and loving your neighbor through it.