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.

08 May 2017

Lesson 14 - Encountering the irrational

Half this lesson was devoted to translating Latin sentences (no warm-ups, straight in at the deep end).
Using vocab lists and tables to help with our sentence translations...

Each sentence started out with a verb, then added one or two nouns. The class had to 'squeeze' as much information as possible (who? what? when?) out of the verb, then decide whether the nouns were subject or object, singular or plural.

After that, time to philosophise... We've been thinking over the last few weeks about the best ways to govern a country (topical!), and it's safe to say that we all accept Plato's point that democracy's a less-than-perfect system: people don't always think straight when choosing their leaders.

But can we do anything to help this situation? We listened to Ken Taylor, who thinks we can:
Now, there are some complicated ideas in here (it's a TED talk, after all!), but the main thing that Ken Taylor is saying is that:

  • yes, humans make mistakes

  • modern science (psychology) helps us to understand these mistakes ('cognitive biases')

  • if we understand them, we are less likely to let them affect our thinking

  • we all need to become better philosophers (or psychologists, which boils down to the same thing for him - it's all about gaining and using wisdom).

 Next week, we'll have a fun look at some of the unexpected and biased ways your brain makes decisions.