The Tripartite Blog

As of the writing of this blog post, there are some 70 draft (no pun intended) posts waiting to be finished. The methodology of the blog is to blame for this backlog. That, and the fact that I don’t read or write enough. Like the tripartite soul described by Plato in The Republic, this blog has three distinct and, occasionally, conflicting parts:

First is that which Plato calls the appetitive part, the desire for physical pleasure. In this blog, the appetitive part is the beer reviews. It is much easier and much more immediately satisfying to drink a beer than to read and digest any great literature or to write something even remotely thoughtful. The 70 unfinished drafts are almost all beer reviews, some of which are a couple of years old by now.

Second is that which Plato calls the thumos, the spirited part. Here, the thumos is in the body of the blog posts themselves. Mostly, I write because I am fired-up about something. For good or for ill, my writing is often driven by a passion rather than by reason.

Third is that which Plato calls the rational part, ideally the guiding principle of the soul. The readings make up this part of the blog. The established works of great minds that have come before me serve to guide my inquiries into the world around me. Choosing the readings and trying to really get something valuable out of them is, (or rather, ought to be,) the primary purpose of the blog.

Those blog posts are best in which these three parts are well ordered and complimentary. But it takes discipline and hard work to achieve such a balance. And usually I’d rather just sit around and drink.

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Beer of the week: Genesee Beer – This is the third of three beers from Genesee that I have reviewed. Genesee beers cost about 50 cents a piece when purchased in a case of 30. For that price, Genny Cream is pretty good. Genesee Ice, however, is gross. Original Genesee Beer is the (un)happy medium. This is totally standard, boring, mass-produced adjunct lager. There is about no flavor or color or smell. It wouldn’t be difficult to drink a lot of these, but it wouldn’t be much fun either.

Reading of the week: The Republic by Plato – In this excerpt from Book IV, Socrates and Plato’s brother Gloucon determine that there must be more than one part to the soul since people sometimes want and do not want something at the same time. Because of the principle of non-contradiction, a unified soul could not be in conflict with itself.

Question of the week: Do you perceive in yourself discrete parts? Does the part of you that likes to drink come into conflict with your reason?

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