Are Social Objects “Really Real”? There is an intuitive suspicion expressed in common sense, that certain kinds of objects – namely, objects that seem to be dependent upon social factors – aren’t “really, real”. The intuition is a skeptical one arising out of a default common sense empiricism. While there may be some nominal understanding or some social agreement about the reality of things like national borders or governments, they’re not “really, real” in the sense that, say, an airplane, or a boulder, or a dog, are “really, real”.
Is Homo Mensura Self-Refuting? Plato’s Theaetetus involves a famous exchange between Socrates, an old mathematician named Theodorus, and his brilliant young pupil named Theaetetus, in which they attempt to answer the question of what is knowledge. The common denominator in this exchange, is that Protagoras is an old friend of Theodorus, and Theaetetus has adopted Protagorean relativism as his own doctrine. The exchange between Socrates and the two men is at least in part (in addition to attempting to discover a theory of knowledge in general) intended to demonstrate that the doctrine of Protagoras is self-refuting.
A good friend of mine recently presented me with an abandoned draft of an article. My friend claimed the essay lacked a solid thesis. Though I was unable to convince my friend to revisit it, I still think that a thesis presents itself fairly clearly in the article’s depiction of the famous conflict between C. S. Lewis and F. R. Leavis. The gradual domination of academia by a regime of forgettable Leavis-like characters has a cause that we are only now beginning to examine seriously, as a culture.