First Day of College
Honey, are you excited? Only ten minutes to reach Athena College. I’m so proud of you that you can enter this school of the best magicians in the world. I know you will be the grateful water magician for our family.
But, mom, it was just one month that my magic awoke and the reason why I entered is that I accidentally killed an E-level beast in front of a professor from that college.
Yes, that means she chose you because you are talented. Be confident, my girl. (Suddenly she says)
Oh, look! The gate is so beautiful.
[OMG! It’s more beautiful than the image in the mirror. The architecture is so…]
(Author’s note: I will write the thoughts like this [ahkdskl] )
(At the gate of the school)
Bye, girl! You can do it, my little magician (…sobs…sobs).
[Ahh, she always does like this.]
Bye, mom. I will call you during my free time. Don’t forget to charge the mirror.
(After that, Shin sees a facilitator who’s gathering new students and telling them to follow her. While going to the dorm, Shin’s hands are shaking a little because of excitement. This is her first time living far from the home.)
(At the dorm)
GIRL WITH BEAUTIFUL RED WAVY HAIR
Hi! Nice to meet you. I am your roommate. My name is Marie. I am a D-level fire magician.
Oh! Hello. A pleasure to meet you. I am May Shin Thant. You can call me Shin. I am E-level. Which interesting classes do you choose for this semester?
I choose Fanon’s Transformation of Identities and Confucius’s Disciplines for Magicians. They are very famous professors. What about you? Any interesting classes?
I chose Plato’s Definition of Knowledge and Zhuangzi’s Freedom of Life.
Oh, Dear! You chose the courses of the professors who are contradictory to each other all the time. One tries to find what’s knowledge and another says to live a peaceful life without finding knowledge.
Really? I didn’t know that. I just chose it because it said there are only three papers for those classes. And also, it said Zhaungzi can transform himself into a butterfly. I thought that was cool. So, I chose. Zeus! What have I done?
Ah, my poor friend. You cannot change now. I also heard although there are only three papers, the professors are very restricted about giving marks and plagiarism with the help of SpellGPT. Good luck!
Yeah.., I hope so. [Shin, you’ve done this far. You can do it. There’s no class that students can easily pass. Let’s study with an ambition to be D-level next year.]
(On the Hall Way)
Ah! I guess I lose my way. What is the way to Plato’s class?
Are you losing your way, kid?
Yes, I am, sir. Do you know where’s the way to Plato’s class?
Oh, really, poor kid! Then, feel the way of nature.
[What a strange man!] Ah, thank you for your suggestion, but I am late for the class. I have to find the class first.
Do you know the right way?
I am losing the way to class now because I don’t know the right way!
So, does that mean you know the wrong way?
[Arrgh, I want to cry. What is he talking about?] I’m not sure about both ways, right and wrong.
So, there are no right or wrong ways. They are just in your mind. I hope you got a lesson from today’s conversation, kid. Let me teleport you to Plato’s class.
(With a Surprised voice)
Who are you?
(At Plato’s class)
Welcome everyone, are you excited to explore what knowledge is? Before we go to learn about the knowledge, let me introduce myself on this beautiful lovely Monday morning. I am an A-level magician who also won the best philosopher award five times. I also published a book named Allegory of the Cave. My research is on how to defend the S-level beast with the knowledge of knowledge. There are 6 levels of dark beasts which are S, A, B, C, D, and E. It’s the same with the power order of the magicians in which S is the highest and E is the lowest. S-level beast eats the wisdom and knowledge of a person. That person will lose all mana (supernatural power) and become a fool or at worst he or she will die. There’s an assumption that our ancestors said it is because we don’t really know about the meaning of knowledge. So, let’s begin the class. Since you learned my book named Plato’sTheaetetus in high school, who can tell me what is the first definition of knowledge? (After a moment of silence) No one. Seriously? Do I have to call out on you? Ok, the one with glasses who’s sitting in the back.
[What the hell! Did he call me? Should I take off my glasses? Arr, unlucky day.] (After struggling for a moment in the mind) Is knowledge skill and craft?
PLATO (With a smile)
Yes, you’re right, Kid. So, the reason why it was rejected is that it is just example of knowledge. You seem to have read my book. So, what are the other definitions that Theaetetus gave?
[Again! How would I know? I kinda feel like I’m familiar with this situation. Did I get Deja Vu? Let’s say all definitions I know.]
The second definition is that knowledge is perception. We come to have knowledge through perceptual organs like eyes and ears. Third, knowledge is true judgment or true belief. Lastly, knowledge is true judgment with an account.
Excellent! Yes, those are the definitions that Theaetetus give. Do you know how Socrates rejected them?
For the second definition, Socrates rejected it by mentioning a saying that man is the measure of all things as the famous magician Protogoras said. However, knowledge has to relate to reality. Humans can misperceive things based on memory. For example, what is hot for us is cold for others. Moreover, we can know things like being and not-being, even and odd numbers without sensing or perceiving. So, there’s something to do with knowledge apart from perception.
Very true. You will pass my quizzes easily I guess. Say for the other two ones too.
For the third definition that knowledge is true judgment, let’s say I am saying there’s another Plato in another universe. Suppose I am right and I can give a
lot of arguments. However, I don’t really know whether another Plato really exists or not. Therefore, I truly judge, but I don’t possess the knowledge. I am just accidentally right.
Pleasure! You’re on the right track.
About the definition that knowledge is true judgment with an account, we cannot give an account of such as the fundamental parts of a thing. But, it doesn’t mean we don’t have knowledge. I also have two questions in my mind about the different parts of a thing. Since everything is composed of many fundamental parts, I wonder if a soul has different parts. Is the soul and mind the same?
Good questions! Yes, the soul has different parts and they are not the same. (At that time, a giant butterfly landed on the blackboard.)
ZHUANGZI (With a sneering voice)
Oh, Zeus. A midwife is trying to teach the students that he can’t even get the answer. I think someone also needs to remind him that he is taking more than an hour and a half.
It is the third time you disturb my class, Zhuangzi. By the way, why do you think I can’t get the answer? It is just not at the right time.
You are doing unnecessary things when you can just live with nature’s flow in a peaceful and comfortable life. This is how a magician can maintain his mana and go to the next level. Your class is absolutely useless to students.
(Students chattering: They are getting into a fight. OMG! That’s so exciting to see. The fight between the best magicians of the centuries!)
How can you tell like that!? (Plato looks at Shin) Hey, buddy. Do you think my class is useless?
You are scaring a new student. (Zhuangzi looks at Shin and tells her.) Listen, child. You can let go of these complicated definitions of knowledge. Focus on nature and play Tai Chi in your free time. The master will teach you how to live a happy magician life.
Zeus! Here we go again. Hey, Zhuangzi. Nobody wants to do your boring exercise. Let her learn what’s the real core philosophy of Athena college.
(Suddenly, Shin screams out.)
Ahh! Thank you, professor Plato and professor Zhuangzi. I like to learn from both of you. But, I want to remind you that it is now time for recess and please let me fill my empty belly. Then, you can continue arguing.
(Suddenly, May Shin Thant falls from bed and wakes up.)
(While holding her waist) Ah! My back! My back!
In the dialogue, I mentioned the four definitions of knowledge which are given by Theaetetus. The first definition of knowledge is that knowledge is a skill or craft (Plato, 2015). However, it is rejected since it is simply a list of knowledge (Professor OH at Vassar, 2020). The second definition proposed by Theaetetus is that knowledge is perception through sense organs such as ears and eyes (Plato, 2015). In other words, man is the measure of all things as the ancient greek philosopher Protagoras whom I changed to a magician in the dialogue said (Plato, 2015). Knowledge is something that has to be true and real, so the second definition of knowledge is perception is rejected since we can misperceive things and have false opinions (Robinson, 1950). Moreover, the third definition is that knowledge is a true judgment or true belief which is again incorrect due to the fact that people can be persuaded and fortunately right although they do not have the knowledge (Plato, 2015). I gave an example of this in the dialogue saying about another Plato from another universe. I got this example inspired from the court example mentioned in the class by Professor Emily O’Dell in which the judge is persuaded by the witness although he or she did not really see the scene of the case (Plato, 2015).
For the last definition, knowledge is said to be needed reasoning or explanation (Plato, 2015). Thus, knowledge is true judgment with an account but was argued by Socrates because being not able to give something an account of basic or fundamental things does not mean we do not have knowledge (Plato, 2015). After that, I also ask two questions about the soul
and mind that I had in my mind for a long time. Although I do not know how Plato will answer, I imagined his answers.
Zhuangzi’s philosophy is completely different from Plato’s. He believes that living a life with a natural flow is the best way to live a life without finding what knowledge is (The Complete Works of Zhuangzi, 2013). The first conversation with Zhuangzi while I am losing my way to the class is about how there are no standards of right and wrong (George Thompson, 2019). Additionally, I mentioned Tai Chi in the text in order to reflect Zhuangzi’s works.
Plato Vs Zhuangzi
I am also wondering what will happen when these two famous philosophers meet each other. I think they will argue. Therefore, I make them two contradictory professors of a college. However, they are not like serious enemies in my dialogue. They are more like best friends who usually argue with each other. Additionally, Zhuangzi calls Plato a midwife which is a term Plato uses to refer to the teacher.
Explanation of Dream World
My dream is a magic world in which magicians are trying to defend dark beasts. In addition, Athena means the goddess of wisdom in Greek (“Definition of Athena,” n.d.).
Definition of Athena. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Athena#:~:text=%C9%99%2D%CB%88th %C4%93%2Dn%C4%93,goddess%20of%20wisdom%20compare%20minerva George Thompson. (2019, December 27). Zhuangzi Explained: legendary parables for joyful living [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piCfNls5gqE P. (2015). Plato: Theaetetus and Sophist (C. Rowe, Ed.). Cambridge University Press. Professor OH at Vassar. (2020, September 7). What is Knowledge?: Plato’s Theaetetus [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iePg6G3Jg4o
Robinson, R. (1950). Forms and Error in Plato’s Theaetetus. The Philosophical Review, 59(1), 3–30. https://doi.org/10.2307/2181445
The Complete Works of Zhuangzi. (2013). Columbia University Press.