Electronic Classroom

Steve Sewall
Wed Nov 25 08:52:59 CST 1998

Fred, thanks for your remedy for the poison of writing; it makes sense to me. I have passed on your thoughts to my buddy Rich, with whom I debate Plato. Now this Rich is a great foe of writing and a friend of speech (face-to-face learning). For my part, I cannot say I have learned more from speech than writing or vice versa. As you say, the main thing is to learn. And we learn wherever we can learn, which is what I take you to mean when you speak of a "dialectic of inquiry." So thanks and have a great day!! Steve (from Chicago) I haven't time now to sum it up, but are you familiar with the Platonist Stanley Rosen's Chapter on Plato and Derrida in his wonderful little book called Hermeneutics as Politics? Rosen reads Plato as ironist, a revolutionary thinker who used irony -- an ironic double rhetoric of esoteric and exoteric meanings -- to elude the same oppressive forces that put Socrates to death. In this chapter, Rosen faults (ridicules) Derrida's deafness to irony, which Rosen argues originates as a figure of speech, not of writing. This deafness, he argues, deafens Derrida (and other Platonists) to the irony that is the most "audible" feature of the Platonic Dialogues: that Socrates, a thinker who refused to write and who condemned writing, is the central character in the Platonic dialogues through which (and only through which) his teachings have survived to the present day.


General Response:

Please use this form to offer reactions to Fred's attempt to portray an alternative to the classroom.



[Feel free to use whatever HTML coding you'd like in this field.]