The title of this web site is more than a play on the name of its author. It refers specifically to Socrates' insistence in the Republic (at 435d and 503b) that the philosophical life is a lifelong endeavor oriented by the insistent desire to pursue truth, justice and beauty in a world that all too often shows itself as false, unjust and ugly. This is the longer road of which Socrates speaks.
Philosophy is not simply an academic discipline; it is a deeply rooted human activity that requires a heightened sensitivity to the world we inhabit, a commitment to engage honestly the people we meet, and an ability to articulate thoughtful criticism with an eye toward the true, the just and the beautiful.
This web site is actually three weblogs with links to a fourth combined into a single unified web presence that endeavors to give voice to a philosophical life in its rich complexity.
the long road
This is my longest running blog in which I reflect upon the everyday happenings of my life, the joys of parenting, the struggles of local and national politics, the rhythm of life in State College, and my ongoing attempts to make meaning of my experience. Here you will find links to a video collection related to my work and life.
In Plato's dialogue Gorgias, Socrates claims to be one of the only Athenians who attempts the true art of politics (521c7). As is well known, Socrates haunted the public places in Athens looking for young people with whom he could converse. During these discussions, Socrates was intent on turning the attention of those he encountered toward the question of the good and the just.
It is difficult to understate the lasting political power these dialogues have had over the course of time. Yet the emergence of social Web 2.0 technologies opens new possibilities for this ancient practice of politics, which Socrates fittingly called in the Gorgias, a techne, or art.
This blog is part of a larger project entitled, "Socratic Politics in Digital Dialogue," for which I received a Teaching and Learning with Technology Summer Faculty Fellowship. The project is designed to explore the opportunities digital expression offers to enhance, deepen, expand and promote my academic scholarship in philosophy by focusing on issues related to the Socratic practice of politics.
This blog is a central part of this project. It is designed to serve as a site of digital dialogue where I hope to expose my research into the question of Socratic politics to a wider community. Here you will find posts related to my research, conversations that arise in my graduate and undergraduate courses in Ancient Greek Philosophy here at Penn State, and the Digital Dialogue podcast in which we discuss how to cultivate the excellences associated with digital dialogue.
My hope is that a community will emerge around the sorts of questions that originally animated the Socratic art of politics.
CpL digital vita
Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies (LAUS)