Justice and religious education in Plato’s Republic

Image from Prospect Magazine.

Perhaps the only entities more revered than philosopher-kings in Plato’s Republic are the gods. Perfection, to him, is defined as the epitome of justice, virtue, goodness, and other ideals Plato categorizes as forms (abstract and immortal concepts that transcend the human perception of time and space). Since the gods epitomize all these ideal values in the Ancient Greek world, Plato’s education of the guardians provides the gods as a model for such qualities as justice.

In an exchange between Socrates and Adeimantus in Book II of Republic, Plato argues that ‘imitators’ or poets, who portray the gods as fallible, are…

Ritsos’ ‘The Barracks’

Army barracks terminal yards, 1920. Image from Consortium Library.

Traditionally, structural conventions went hand in hand with poetic emotional effect. When Wordsworth argued that a poet feels, expresses, and transfers his emotion to readers, his readers likely assumed that that poetic experience would involve a particular poetic form. However, since the emergence of free-verse and less structured poems around the turn of the 20th century, this assumption is no longer as explicit; in fact, we are led to wonder if form plays any role in the emotional effect produced by a poem. I would argue that regardless of obvious layout and structure, form by definition plays a role in…

The Underpinnings of Conservative Economic Policy as We Know It.

Image from ESSA.

Why is this important?

Whether or not you support conservative economic policies (I do not), in the current world of political polarization and economic instability, parallel circumstances in the mid-20th century become increasingly relevant. In particular, the dynamic fall and rise of capitalism as a result of the Great Depression and later distrust in government may prove incredibly applicable to our times. This article explores the origins of a conservative economic policy promoted by Hayek in the aftermath of World War II (when socialism was increasingly popular) that I hope will prove interesting and enlightening for folks encountering similar dialogues today.

The interwar fall of capitalism

The Great Depression…

Morrison’s A Mercy and Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape

Image from My Book Affair.

Is the way that I remember the world around me just as important as what I remember? Nietzsche might spin in his grave at the question, but physical forms of recollection rarely bring up reflection on how they are taken down, more what we are trying to remember. But oftentimes in conversation, how we speak dictates how we feel and even changes what we remember, so as we engage in conversation with literary works such as the following by Toni Morrison and Samuel Beckett, their form does the same. Towards the end of Toni Morrison’s A Mercy, the narrator describes…

Circe and Odysseus

John William Waterhouse, Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus. Image from Reproduction Gallery.

In Homer’s Odyssey the question ‘what distinguishes god and man in the eyes of the Greeks?’ comes up much more than ‘what distinguishes man and woman?’, and yet, the latter yields extraordinary insight into the former. Homer describes the gods as immortal, and usually beautiful and superhuman, but otherwise quite variable in form. They partake in the usual human proclivities and experience pleasure, success, and pain, if on a more extreme level.

However, the lines between humans and gods are never so blurred as in the house of Circe. In this critical scene, Odysseus, on his long journey home to…

Toni Morrison. Image from the New York Times.

Toni Morrison, A Mercy, Knopf, 2008, pp. 6–7:

Once every seven days we learn to read and write. We are forbidden to leave the place so the four of us hide near the marsh. My mother, me, her little boy and Reverend Father. He is forbidden to do this but he teaches us anyway watching out for wicked Virginians and Protestants who want to catch him. If they do he will be in prison or pay money or both. He has two books and a slate. We have sticks to draw through sand, pebbles to shape words on smooth flat rock. When the letters are memory we make…

Rethinking how we support an unnecessary clothing binary

Image by author via Canva

The point of this article isn’t to say that we need to abolish gendered clothing ASAP because it contradicts my beliefs. Honestly, I don’t think we’re at a place where something like that would be very feasible, and besides, lots of people, including myself, actually like many gendered clothes. What I do want to talk about is something I think we can and should change in the near future: people shouldn’t feel limited in their fashion expression to the clothing sections that match the gender they were assigned at birth.

A quick reminder on identities and expression

Gender expression versus gender identity

Gender identity = gender you are in your brain (does…

Image taken from The Emory Wheel.

I. Introduction

Homer’s epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, have long been (and continue to be) cited as one of the most influential works in Western history.[1]

In recent years, progress in feminism and questioning of traditional norms has led to an elevated sense of awareness for gender issues in various forms of media, including literary text. …

A Lesson From Yiannis Ritsos’ Epitaphios

May 1936, Thessaloniki: A mother weeps over her son, one of many protesters killed by the police after participating in a tobacco workers’ strike. Image from Global Rights website.

6olice brutality, violence, political oppression, public apathy, much-needed press, and public attention have increasingly come to these issues in the US. However, police brutality, despotism, and an atmosphere of resistance are not novel phenomena, nor are they geographically unique.

We have been fighting such issues in our press, our hearts, and our art for many years. In the 1940s, Yiannis Ritsos used his poetic skills to weave a call to action against it that can teach us very much about how we can all use our personal skills to fight injustice.

“And look, they are picking me up. …

Image taken from this source

Mass media likes to neatly label and box up mental illnesses

Paranoid schizophrenia. You probably see people with it from time to time on TV. Reid’s mum in Criminal Minds has it, and viewers probably feel sympathy for both him and her when she’s institutionalized. Lolly in Orange Is the New Black probably has a form of schizophrenia, and believes numerous government conspiracies that made her so paranoid she was eventually imprisoned for perceived attempted assault. We all probably feel bad for these people — in some way they’re victims, hurt not through their own intentions actions but because thoughts that went untreated landed them in ultimate isolation. In most cases…

Chaidie Petris

Stanford ’24. Poet/writer. chaidiepetris.com

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