The problem with storytelling is that it appeals to the desirous part of the soul and not the rational — that’s why Socrates has such a problem with it. So, my question is: Would it be just to ban Sophocles and his plays in the city of Athens, when they clearly show a deep understanding of the human condition?
— Stephen Esposito, associate professor of classical studies and instructor in the Core Humanities, giving an example of the way individual liberty and civic interests can come into conflict, during the panel debate on democracy which took place during the last lecture of CC101 for this fall semester. Prof. Michael Corgan (International Relations), Prof. David Roochnik (Philosophy), and Prof. Jay Samons (Classics) also took part in this interdisciplinary discussion.
The complex strengths and shortcomings of democracy are a particular specialty of Prof. Samons, whose book What’s Wrong With Democracy? From Athenian Practice to American Worship considers how the practice of democracy in the ancient world can offer lessons for our modern era.