Post-Socratic dialogue on love

Sunday 23 October, 13.10 - 13.50 , Frobisher 4-6 Festival Attractions

In Association With:

This lunchtime session is a chance to participate in a modern day, Post-Socratic Dialogue about the universal theme of love, with philosopher Dr Greg Scorzo. This is different from the original Socratic Dialogues as it is not straight-forwardly endorsing a philosophical position. Rather, the goal is to induce the audience to look at contrasting arguments and explore and challenge their pre-existing viewpoints. Unlike a conventional piece of philosophy, the context of this will be a conversation. We will listen to a dialogue between a couple called Janet and Joe, which challenges us to confront the way we normally think about love. We tend to think about love as something both blissful and selfless, grounded in altruism, honesty, and an unconditional acceptance of the beloved. Those assumptions will be cast into doubt. We will then commence a group discussion where the audience will get to try and make sense of the paradoxes the dialogue will force them to encounter.

In the 21st century, the West needs dialogues without a Socrates-like authority figure. Unlike Plato, we live in a consumer culture where it’s considered downright fun to reject nuanced thinking; it’s exciting to give into black and white vitriol; self-righteous narcissism feels like a roller coaster ride one can take from the privacy of one’s own keyboard. We travel at high broadband speeds down an oblivious echo chamber of indignant hysteria. Like the playground, this hysteria gives us opportunities to be both far too sensitive and far too cruel. In order to step out of this sand box of dogmatic sadism, we need to be able to have our allegiances tested. We need to experience doubt and confusion. We need to be able to be offended. We need to engage honestly with the messiness that is moral life as a human being. We can’t experience these things when we believe we are in the presence of a wise teacher. We can only experience these things when it isn’t clear at the outset who is talking sense and who is talking nonsense. This is the human condition. We are all imperfect.

Come and relax and listen to the first Post-Socratic dialogue in Dr Greg Scorzo’s seven-part series on the universal theme of love. Then engage in your own dialogue with other audience members and ponder whether the nature of love can ever be about self-interest.