Socrates and Saying What You Believe

February 7, 2018, 7:00 p.m.
Lane Hall

Presented by: Trevor Anderson, Notre Dame doctoral student, alumnus of Hillsdale College and DSPT

Room 124
In several of Plato’s dialogues, Socrates asks that his interlocutor not affirm or deny anything contrary to the interlocutor’s ‘real opinion’— a requirement that has come to be known as the ‘say what you believe’ rule, or the ‘doxastic constraint’. That Socrates repeatedly insists on this practice implies both that he thinks it important, and that it does not come naturally to his interlocutors. In this talk, we will examine why Socrates prizes saying what you believe, and how appropriating something like his doxastic constraint might help us avoid becoming thinkers who, as Kierkegaard says, “cheat their master by copying the answer out of a book without having worked out the sum for themselves.” This talk will be of special interest to those engaged in theological and philosophical studies.

Open to all students and faculty