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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 8, Issue 10, 1998

Selected Contributions to the Third World Congress of Universalism, Part I

Peter W. Wakefield
Pages 107-114

Responding to Shame
Plato's Gorgias and the Philosophical Curriculum

Socrates presents philosophy as an intrinsically valuable process, which renders human life valuable even if no human being attains complete knowledge. I show first that Plato viewed an ongoing commitment to dialogue as the key to a good life and to justice, both for the individual and for society. Second, I trace possible applications of this view of philosophy as ongoing dialogue to the contemporary philosophy curriculum. I discuss two specific apphcations: exposing the curriculum to Afrocentric challenges and insisting upon the liberating power of the discussions of justice presented by the ancients.

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