Food, thought and Philosophy.

The Maniace castleLungomare AlfeoA gem of thought was uncovered to me this week. Last week I discussed some ideas of bravery or courage. I had signed up for some university style seminars on Plato and philosophy, which were to be hosted on the Island of Ortigia. http://www.fontearetusa.org (An island he had visited on 2 or 3 occasions.) I had a week to prepare, and the cocky me reared up and felt I could get through a large chunk of Plato’s material in a week. In preparation, I started reading books on Plato and reading his works with an app called Scribd.

One of the first topics that I read in Plato’s dialogues was courage and how to define the word.

Oxford dictionaries definition:

“The ability to do something that frightens one; bravery.”

In this account, Plato writes almost a play like dialogue, (thus the name ‘the dialogues’.) where he places his mentor Socrates in discussion with others from Athena on what is courage or bravery. The premises are many, Socrates is aware that he has no way to truly define the word courage or bravery but is aware that people do think in their minds that they can define the word. Socrates won’t allow this and through asking questions begins to dissect definitions.

Bravery is an incredible piece to discuss. One that I had not had much thought of attempting to define but have always felt is evident in its meaning and universally understood. You can be brought to many conclusions or no conclusion, as bravery is a blurred line. When you think you are close to defining it, it slips through your hands and fingers like sand. It can be brave or reckless, it can involve luck, fearlessness or doing something that is wise or good and hopefully both. (This then leads to another discussion of what is wise and what is good, which I will leave for another talk.)

Suffice to say it was an interesting debate to have and one you could have with yourself.

Oxford dictionaries definition:

“The ability to do something that frightens one; bravery.”

The seminars themselves were extraordinarily fruitful and thought-provoking. There were professors from all over the world. All there to debate Socrates, and Plato’s views and works, with a heavy emphasis on the definition of beauty. The Greeks, even had a distinct set of parameters, one included on the body, was the second toe being longer than the big toe, which was considered to be very beautiful 😍🤤.

The week, flew by with discussion and debate with many colleagues over many issues that arose from the week-long seminar. It developed itself, through the professors reading pieces they had prepared, then questions and discussions being created as a result. Lunch and dinners were provided, and unlimited coffee and cake were eagerly eaten. With the evenings being filled with culture, from tours of the museums, the archaeological park, and tours of the city. The final night was wrapped up in a boat ride around sunset and a slap up meal.

Lungomare

The meal was quite amazing, with unlimited wine, Sicilian song and dance 💃

44 Via de Crocifisso

I was even put to shame, by the never-ending supply of food, I was disappointed with my appetite, I had to quit on the 8/9th course. Sumptuous and delicious delicacies from the sea, pliers onto our table. Squid, zuppatta, pasta dishes, anchovies in lemon, fried fish and I swear there was pizza as well. This was all blended in with conversations of Plato, politics, Spartans, Socrates, Mafia and Mussolini, with copious amounts of wine. The evening flowed, and I even came away with potentially co-authoring a book, hopefully helping with a second book, a few more friends scattered across the globe 🌎 and some food for thought.

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