Learning Classics is a bit like putting on a magic pair of 3-D glasses. Once you start delving into the language and the culture, you'll start to see it all around you. This blog is a record of the club's journey through the worlds and language of ancient Rome and Greece... and through modern times, too, searching for the influence of classics all around us. You'll also be able to find vocab, home tasks, links and generally enlightening info here, too.

17 April 2015

Lesson 19 - Why be good?

"o, s, t, mus, tis, nt" cantat Regina
Classics Club was back in full force after the Easter break today. In our language session, we recapped all the grammar we've learned so far, learned a musical (or humiliating?!) way of remembering the present tense endings, then flexed our parsing muscles as a group and individually. Good stuff, and great recall from the class.

Then we got onto the fun bit. It's not often that students respond to, "Today, we're doing philosophy" with a cheer, but you guys did, and we delved into Plato's ideas on why humans do good or bad things.

But first, a bit about the man and his work:

Jamellia read from Plato's Republic, telling the story of Gyges, who found a ring that turned him invisible. Plato's character, Glaucon, makes the point that people only do the right thing because they fear getting caught. If you could get away with something, you'd do it. In fact, if you didn't, people would think you're a bit of a loser.

Do we agree with Glaucon? We put it to the test. In pairs, we discussed a series of moral dilemmas where the chances of getting into trouble were low or zero, but which (at least to some of us!) just didn't feel quite right. Here's one we discussed:

A close friend gets a job as assistant manager of a shoe shop. You visit them and they give you a brand new pair of trainers saying, "The owner is really an idiot and the inventory system is so bad here they never know what they have in stock. Half the people who work here take stuff home for free. You can have these trainers if you want." 
Rings & invisibility - always trouble
Would you go along with Glaucon, and take the trainers, or would some inner voice stop you? Or perhaps using the analogy of an invisibility ring is misleading: are there ever any actions in life that don't have any possible negative outcomes? The discussion carries on next week!
In the meantime, to help your parsing muscles to become even buffer, this week's home task takes the form of an online quiz-game-thingy - here's the link. Enjoy!