the socratic method


31.8.2017 | sorry to be MIA lately! i’m sure at least some of you can relate to needing a little bit to get back into a routine when school starts :+)

i tried out stea for the title font if you’re wondering why it looks a little different than my usual lettering (which is watermelon script-based kinda)

also i’m still tracking #serenitystudies if you want to tag me in your original posts this year!


SOCRATES: In the magnificent oration which you have just uttered, I think that you were right, my dear Agathon, in proposing to speak of the nature of Love first and afterwards of his works–that is a way of beginning which I very much approve. And as you have spoken so eloquently of his nature, may I ask you further, Whether love is the love of something or of nothing? And here I … yes, Glaucon?

GLAUCON: Is it of something?

SOCRATES: Yes, Glaucon, that’s what we’re getting to, but first I must explain myself… did you have a question, Aristophanes?

ARISTOPHANES: Going off of what Glaucon said, I was going to say that it’s probably something, too.

SOCRATES: …Right. But I must explain myself: I do not want you to say that love is the love of a father or the love of a mother–that would be ridiculous; but to answer as you would, if I asked is a father a father of something? to which you would … What is it, Phaedrus?

PHAEDRUS: This might not be right, but I think it’s that love is the love of a father or a mother?

ARISTOPHANES: Yeah, going off of what Phaedrus said, I think people love their fathers and mothers.

AGATHON: I agree.

SOCRATES: …Right, but – Okay, let me try something else. Is not a brother to be regarded essentially as a brother of something?




PHAEDRUS: Could you repeat the question?

SOCRATES: What I said was, is not a brother … Yes, Glaucon?

GLAUCON: This isn’t actually about this, but I was wondering if you could tell me what you mean by “justice.”

AGATHON: Wait, what page are we on?

Click here for the video version of this post!


 One of the first things I learned in my freshman year is the absolute need to study every single day. Even if there is no big test or assignment around the corner, reviewing your classes daily is the only way to make sure you are strengthening your knowledge on whatever you are learning, as well as filling in any gaps on unknown material that was lectured before. For weeks (and months) I was certain that people who told me I needed to study every day were just very unorganized people or were frightening me on purpose. However, if you are taking a course heavy in information like Law, you will quickly understand that it will be very difficult to remember every single detail that was lectured in multiple subjects, on the long run – and, in the end, you are also tested on the small details and not only on the big overall scheme of each class. If I could go back to my first semester, I would really push myself harder and organize my days to be able to review my previous classes.


Being a coffee hater throughout high school, I was always sure that I would never like the taste of it in my life. However, as soon as I got into my second year of college, I found out that the only way to survive a few of my classes was to drink an expresso beforehand. My addiction to coffee began as a need to survive. Now that I look back, my first year in college probably would have turned out better if I had more energy in class and while doing my assignments. However, I still try my hardest to never drink more than one cup a day – that really keeps my energy levels up, without creating addiction.


One of the things no one told me before going to Law School was the ridiculous amount of money I would spend on textbooks every single semester. Each one of my classes requires one or two mandatory textbooks, plus statute law and a bunch of optional readings that most of the time you end up buying because they are nowhere to be found in the library. Also, since Law is constantly being developed and changed, buying second hand books is not the best idea - most of the legal references in those books are probably outdated.
I remember that in my first year of Law School I refused to buy most of the textbooks the professors required me to, and I tried my hardest to study only with my class notes. Well, guess what? That ended up, as expected, in poor grades. The problem with Law is that 50% of our grade is the result of how hard we work at home. In class the professor doesn’t lecture ALL of the material we need to learn; they just summarize it as best as they can and highlight a few important things that they find relevant. However, in the final exam, all those details and footnotes in the textbooks will prove really useful to solve the cases and if you didn’t invest in your textbooks in the beginning of your term, you will not be able to use that information in your answers, which really harms your grade.


That takes me to the next point. For me, the best learning method is preparing all classes beforehand, be it lectures or discussion based classes. I only realized this in the end of my second year in college - and I think it makes a huge difference in your overall performance in class; if your professor uses the Socratic method to teach, preparing your classes thoroughly beforehand is absolutely essential! 

Basically, if you anticipate most of what is going to be taught in your class, you will have most of the work done for that specific group of topics or information. By taking your own notes to class and completing them with what the information that the professor adds during the lecture, you will be able to reinforce your knowledge on the subject, finishing any incomplete arguments that you have written down and also letting you participate in class, asking questions on the thematic you’ve studied and discussing it with your professor and classmates. Also, preparing classes beforehand will let you organize your time better, scheduling a certain time to prepare a certain topic and/or chapter.


Unfortunately, I found it almost impossible to prepare classes and do all of this homework while I was handwriting my notes. If I could turn back in time and change something during my time in college, I would certainly stop spending so much time making everything pretty and would start typing it all. I am a big fan of handwriting notes - I love pens, stationery and also the handwriting part in itself. However, when I started getting an excessive workload, insisting on handwriting all of my preparatory notes, completing them in class and also solve and summarize case law by hand was hurting my grades, my social life and my stress levels (and my hand, lol). I then had to make the hard decision to give up on all of my pretty stationery and start bringing my laptop to class.

I still handwrite a few notes, especially when I use the column method (which you can find more about here), but I am actually happy now that I have made the change – I can be much more productive and organized while saving a huge amount of time for all the other things I enjoy doing.


Finally, and I think this is the most important piece of advice I can give you: some people enter college with a very specific mind-set on what they want to do with their lives. While you are reading this, there is a huge possibility that you have already thought about a certain career; maybe you are picking only the classes that you think will help down that career path, as well.

However, never ignore all the other options that will be laid out for you. I can personally speak about my own experience: when I entered Law School back when I was 18 (I am now 21), I had a very specific idea of what I wanted to accomplish after I graduated - I was sure I wanted to be a judge. As soon as I got into my second year and started studying the most basic principles of contract law, I was 100% sure that I had actually changed my mind, and that it was imperative to purse contract law. Then, in my 5th semester, I started studying Tax Law - I still remember thinking that Tax Law was it and I was then decided to pursue it for my master’s degree; but then, I was able to get an internship in a law firm, in the Intellectual Property Law department; and you know what? I changed my mind again

So it’s perfectly normal to change your mind along the way; you are not less worthy of college just because you are still not sure of what you want to do career wise. Also, changing majors is fine - it’s just a sign that you are progressing as a human being and as a student, that you were willing to embrace new opportunities and give up on something that would not make you happy. Just make sure that you do your research beforehand on different career paths and use all the opportunities that college gives you in order to learn new things and meet new people. Internships, and other short-termed opportunities like job-shadowing programs are great ways to understand if you fit in the specific area you are thinking of pursuing or if, in real life, it has nothing to do with you.

Lots of luck!


The Apologist’s Anti-Elenchus

If Socrates were one of today’s apologists, his method wouldn’t look like this:

  1. Socrates’ interlocutor asserts a thesis, for example “Courage is endurance of the soul”, which Socrates considers false and targets for refutation.
  2. Socrates secures his interlocutor’s agreement to further premises, for example “Courage is a fine thing” and “Ignorant endurance is not a fine thing”.
  3. Socrates then argues, and the interlocutor agrees, that these further premises imply the contrary of the original thesis; in this case, it leads to: “courage is not endurance of the soul”.
  4. Socrates then claims that he has shown that his interlocutor’s thesis is false and that its negation is true.

It would, instead, look as follows:

  1. Socrates claims to have shown that his thesis is true and that all other theses are false.
  2. Socrates then asserts, despite the interlocutors doubts and disagreements, that his premises refute all other theses; in this case, it leads to: “god necessarily exists.”
  3. Socrates ignores his interlocutor’s demand for justification and evidence.
  4. Socrates’ interlocutor argues a thesis, for instance, “God does not necessarily exist,” which Socrates considers false because his thesis must be true.

As stated, philosophy of religion is the inversion of Socrates method. The apologist’s interest in dialogue goes as far as their belief that they can convert their interlocutor or sway minds in an audience, assuming there is one. The apologist otherwise doesn’t see any use for debate, for the apologist thinks it impossible to be proven wrong. Socrates’ elenchus aimed at discovering the truth of a matter whilst the apologist’s anti-elenchus aims at verifying what he already takes to be the case. Philosophy is about seeking truth rather than about verification of beliefs. Philosophy of religion simply has no place in the enterprise of philosophy. It is pseudo-philosophy and should be blacklisted as such.

which camarilla clan should you fight
  • brujah: what the fuck is wrong with you? why would you want to fight the brujah? they kick people out of the clan if they don’t own enough switchblades and motorcycles. this will not end well. if you HAVE to fight the brujah, your best bet is to get them so mad that they start making bad decisions, but even then you’re probably fucked. don’t fight the brujah.
  • gangrel: these guys are all exactly as angry as the brujah but can also go full on animalistic fury at you. also they can melt into the earth and summon animals and shit. if you get lucky, you can distract them with some beggin’ strips or something, but don’t risk it. don’t fight the gangrel.
  • ventrue: if there are no consequences for this fight, then go for it. most ventrue got embraced straight out of the boardroom and have never thrown down a day in their unlives. however, if this ventrue has contacts, you had better believe you’re going to be hurting more than they will by the time they’re done with you. probably worth it, though. there’s a lot of people who want to see them punched in the face. fight the ventrue.
  • malkavian: honestly, you’ve got about a 50/50 chance with these guys. either they will melt your brain so hard that it’ll leak out of your ears or they will have no idea what the hell is going on. even if they aren’t entirely lucid, there’s still the possibility that they’ll socratic-method you into torpor. do it if you have to, but fighting the malks is not a good plan.
  • tremere: the bright side: if you fight the tremere, nobody is going to stop you. nobody fucking likes these guys. the drawback: if you fight the tremere, you are fighting the tremere. these guys can fly? they can summon fire??? they can give the laws of physics the middle finger if they want. however, if you find a tremere neonate, feel free to stuff that nerd in a locker.
  • nosferatu: this is an entire clan full of assholes with a chip on their shoulder. they can talk to rats. they can sneak around unseen despite being six feet tall and smelling like raw sewage. they probably know everything about you already. don’t let the sewer thing fool you: this clan could kick your ass and mine with their creepy hands tied behind their backs. don’t fight the nosferatu.
  • toreador: please. PLEASE. please fight the toreador. i don’t care what generation they are. i don’t care how many of them know celerity. punch them in their snooty faces. distract them with glitter. fuckin do it. i will pay you to fight the toreador. there are no downsides to fighting the toreador. if you win, you have beaten up a toreador. if you lose, everyone will probably still buy you a drink for trying. do it. fight the toreador.

anonymous asked:

Was the "Mr. Bonnefoy's class 2B" sign on Francis' door intentional (2B = 2p?) or am I finding useless connections that aren't there again, I feel like I am, you can ignore this ask

Actually, Anon, you are very observant and very correct! Also the room number is the year of Socrates’ death to reference the socratic method of teaching. I never thought I’d have a chance to point that out. You are like Sherlock Holmes or something, Anon, geez.  

(a half-birthday present for @volturisecretary  in response to this post)

Get ready for a wonky, Socratic discourse on dragon-making that I swear is not my real headcanon. Ahem.  Mostly.

So ever since I posted the reply to your reeds question the other day, I’ve been bothered by one of the lines I wrote: “…venom (or venom-y things) acts differently on inorganic matter than on human or animal tissue.”  I literally was lying awake last night because of this: WHY? Why do the humans turn into sparkly vampires and the animal just die? Why does venom treat humans so differently from animals? 

Answer: It doesn’t.

The only observable difference between the human and animal responses to vampire venom is death itself.  If that death did not occur (as it apparently does in many attempts at human transformation, too), would the transformation actually take place, considering the genetic and gross structural similarities between human and animal tissue? Assuming that it theoretically could, the question is: why doesn’t this happen?  Why does the animal die and thus the transformation halted?

I propose that the venom’s processes themselves do not kill the animal directly; its death is a secondary result of the pain and resultant panic. If a deer gets bitten and feels the venom start to work (plus being freaked out by the vampire’s presence and behavior in general), it literally just has a heart attack and dies. Animals do this. (I refer to the expertise of Emmett Cullen, who You Know has tried wrestling deer before.  It didn’t work; the deer just fell over and died.)  Sometimes, humans do this too.  But in a successful case, the human defense against this fear cascade is higher order brain function, i.e. sentient self-awareness, i.e. “It is my destiny to be with this adonis-like sparkly vampire forever and therefore It Will Be Okay. Kill me but don’t really kill me.”

Therefore!  If, theoretically, an animal could be found that is both intelligent and brave and generally awesome enough to withstand the torment of transformation… could it happen?  Let us discover this mystery together.

Thesis: Dragons do not exist; therefore Caius cannot have a dragon.

Premise One: Was Aro intrigued-to-near-insanity at the end of Breaking Dawn by the startling existence of actual shape-shifters and vampire/human hybrids?  He was.

Premise Two: Would this make Aro scurry back home to his subterranean library and reexamine his dusty Legends of Extraordinary Creatures scrolls with a fresh eye? It would.

Premise Three: Is the Twilight universe ruled by the Fates and their handiwork, Le Destiny? It is.

Premise Four: Is Aro a spoiled immortal brat whom the Fates have given everything he ever wanted, only for it to come back and bite him à la Midas later on? He is.

Premise Five: Therefore, will Aro discover proof that dragons are indeed real, probably concealed in some ancient poem that he is now magically able to translate? He will.

Premise Six: Will he find a genuine dragon after a decade of searching?  He will.

Premise Seven: Are dragons awesome? They are.

Premise Eight: Would said dragon, therefore, theoretically be able to survive the transformation? It would.

Premise Nine: Can Aro help himself in these situations? Come on this is Aro we’re talking about.

Conclusion: Caius is getting a vampire dragon for his birthday in 2017.

How to Survive 1L Year

I was super nervous going in to my first year of law school not so much for the classes because I’ve always been interested in studying law but because I knew it was a whole different learning environment. I know there are books out there to guide the new law students along but I thought what better person to hear it from than someone who just finished her 1L year. So here goes!!

1. DO start outlining ASAP

Your outlines are everything you cling to. Taking 4-5 classes can be a heavy course load and at times they will seem to intersect and it’s super important to keep your classes straight. Find an outlining style that works best for you whether it’s charts, lists, etc. and keep them updated every weekend.

Trust me. It will be your saving grace come finals week.

2. DON’T show up late to class. In fact, I would suggest arriving at least 15 minutes early to get yourself situated.

My first week of class I had a Contracts professor who was a bit older who not only hated people who came in late but those that came in late AND slammed the door. That person basically had a target on their back the rest of the semester and that’s not a situation you want to put yourself in.

3. DO find a study group and meet at least once a week.

It’s so important to have a study group you work well with. So far my best friends in law school have been the girls I chose to study with. With that being said, DON’T be afraid to speak up if you feel like someone in the group isn’t pulling their weight. It’s important that everyone is on the same page and giving their all to the group.

4. DO take advantage of professor’s office hours.

I’m very fortunate to go to a school where all the professors have an open door policy and are always willing to meet with their students. Sometimes things may not click the way the professor is explaining it in class and that’s okay, just go to them for clarification after.

It also helps to make an appointment with them after midterms to go over what you may be having trouble with whether it be multiple choice or what they are looking for on their essays.

5. DO adjust your writing style the way the professor wants.

I had a variety of writing styles that each professor wanted and it’s so important to write their way because that is what they are looking for when grading. You have to be willing to bend to their styles in order to get the points you need.

Whether it be issue spotting, IRAC, CREAC, kitchen-sinking, etc. give the professor what they want to see.

6. DO get involved.

1L year is going to be mentally and emotionally draining but it’s so important to take the time to start networking. But DON’T run yourself ragged. Pick a few things you may be interested and join them. Once you feel more comfortable add on more.

7. DO make time for yourself before friends and family.

Friends & family are unfortunately put to the side because their just isn’t enough time in the day to see everyone. But, you need to make time for yourself. For me, my me time has been working out, daily devotionals, and catching up on shows every now and again.

You need to stay healthy. I was fortunate enough to not really get sick during the school year because I changed my diet and exercise which lead to me losing 17 pounds in my last semester of school (take that Freshman 15)!

8. DON’T be unprepared for class.

Most law school professors use the Socratic method where they cold call on students and you are expected to be prepared to answer their question. I know for a fact that if you are called on and you are not prepared that sticks with the professor which is not the reputation you are trying to have.

9. DO sleep.

I know that sounds crazy but it needs to be said. I can’t do all nighters. I’ve never been able to. Are you going to get a full 8 hours every night? Absolutely not! But you have to sleep.

Trust me, your mental health & sanity will thank you.

10. DO remember why you are here.

You just signed up for 3 years of torture right? Wrong. You are in law school because the law is what you’re passionate about. You want to be that person who makes a difference in whatever field you decide to practice in. This above all will get you through the papers, the exams, and the countless hours of studying.

Brief Thoughts on the Philosophy of Religion

Philosophy of religion is, in fact, not philosophy. It’s apologetics, a defense of a given faith. It is the inversion of the Socratic method. It is not an enterprise concerned with truth, for its practitioners claim to have already located the truth. It is an enterprise concerned with verification–even despite evidence to the contrary. Actual philosophy doesn’t proceed in this manner. Philosophers of mind (who aren’t convinced of some religious view of the mind) don’t set out to verify their predilections. Philosophers of science don’t either. Ethicists don’t either.

A philosopher of religion is usually a believer from the outset and all of their arguments and conclusions will make that obvious to anyone. It’s high time to demarcate philosophy and theology and jettison the so-called philosophy of religion from the enterprise of philosophy. Pretending to ask questions isn’t the same as actually doubting and questioning. The pretense of skepticism isn’t actually skepticism. One can question even the existence of god for a brief moment as Descartes did, but it’s all for nought if one’s conclusion is that he most certainly exists.

I’m an atheist; the nonexistence of god is a settled matter because I actually doubted Christianity and then other religions–and arrived at the conclusion that the concepts of god presented in purportedly revelatory texts do not exist. I am as skeptical of time; sure, we experience time, but my question is whether it is a fundamental reality in the universe. I am not looking to falsify or verify time. I am seeking the truth of the matter and it matters not to me whether it’s fundamental in our universe or not. That’s how philosophers proceed! Apologists would learn a thing or two if they weren’t so intent on persisting in their beliefs.


“Also, any good ideas I had came from Plato, I admit it and I can never take it back, signed Socrates P. Philosopher” by Plato is also a great read and a cornerstone of modern philosophy.

But, yeah, Socrates really did distrust writing stuff down because he thought he would make people dependent. Well, suck it, Socrates! We have cellphones and Google now and no one can remember anything!