John made a good point about it being the choice of the editor, who puts
a lot of time into TEI-editing of the Socratic dialogue (or any other
written philosophical dialogue/debate). That's fine. But even though the
author's choice to incorporate dramatic flourishes may be down on paper,
the author's intention is one of those "unknowables." Did the author
intend to write a philosophical inquiry that explores debatable issues
or a dramatic dialogue that records past discussions between speakers
who disagreed? I think Plato was doing the former, but sometimes he
wrote as though he was doing the latter.
From: Martin Mueller [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2009 12:28 PM
To: Patrik, Linda
Cc: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Is a Socratic dialogue a drama?
These are good points, but they may lead away from consistent
encoding. If an author goes to the trouble of assigning parts of his
arguments to various and named speakers in some dialogue or
conversation, it may well be the case that the distribution of
arguments does not match the distribution of speakers. On the other
hand, can you really do better than tag what Speaker X says as X and
what speaker Y says as Y.
It is also the case that a dramatic dialogue is not a drama. On the
other hand, it very often borrows and repurposes dramatic conventions.
So it may be safest, dumbest, and most faithful to follow in your
encoding the author's choice to represent a text as if it were in some
way some form of drama.
On Jul 2, 2009, at 11:07 AM, Patrik, Linda wrote:
> Please forgive the tardiness in replying. A distinction can be made
> between a philosophical dialogue and a drama. In a philosophical
> dialogue, the arguments are most important; in a drama, the speakers'
> voiced thoughts as reflective of his/her character are important. Even
> though Plato originally considered the career of playwright, he
> abandoned this art for philosophy. He wrote philosophical dialogues in
> which famous and less well-known thinkers of his day exchanged
> and counterarguments. But the arguments were key, not the named
> "speakers" themselves.
> I've taught philosophy courses on Plato for decades and have tried my
> hand at encoding Buddhist philosophical arguments/counterarguments
> on the philosophical school's position which is being presented. I
> that it may be harder to come up with TEI codes for the arguments and
> counterarguments, but it would be superficial to mark philosophical
> arguments in a way that links them to a "speaker" rather than to a
> philosophical school or position. The Tibetan canon, for example, has
> hundreds of texts that include sections of philosophical argument and
> counterargument as though there are unnamed "speakers" from each
> philosophical school engaged in debate. But it just wouldn't work to
> encode these texts as "drama."
> As Aristotle said, drama is an art about action. Written philosophical
> debate isn't action; it's inquiry.
> Enjoy the summer,
> Linda Patrik
> Dept. of Philosophy, Union College
> -----Original Message-----
> From: TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) public discussion list
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Lou Burnard
> Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 12:04 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Is a Socratic dialogue a drama?
> Martin Holmes wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> We're encoding a text which is a philosophical dialogue. It's not
>> intended to be a "proper" drama, with believable characters, and not
>> intended to be performed in any way. Should we be using the drama
>> module's <sp>, <speaker> etc. to do this, or should we be encoding it
>> some other way?
> You should be using <sp>, <speaker> etc if the text presents itself
> as a
> dramatic dialogue, irrespective of your belief in the characters or