E4ap philosophy: Philosopher Dialogue (teacher sample) Page

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E4AP Philosophy: Philosopher Dialogue (teacher sample) Page

Snoop Dogg and Thales of Miletus walk towards each other from opposite sides of stage. Snoop Dogg looking depressed, in average gangsta clothing, Thales, happy, in a toga. They are not paying attention and they bump into each other. Snoop Dogg reaches into pocket dangerously but sees Thales before pulling anything out.
Snoop Dogg: Hey, watch where you’re going!
Thales: I’m sorry, friend, I was lost in philosophical thought. I was not watching.
SD: It’s alright. I wasn’t really paying attention either. No harm. (Starts to walk again)
T: (Holding out hand, cheerful) Thales is the name, philosophy’s my game.
SD: (Shaking hand but still depressed) Snoop. Snoop Dogg.
T: You know, you look a little depressed. Is there something bothering you?
SD: Well, it’s not exactly bothering me, but I’ve been puzzling something for a few days and it’s starting to get to me.
T: Puzzling? What’s puzzling you? Maybe I can help. I’m good at puzzles.
SD: Yeah. Maybe you can. Did I hear you say you are a philosopher?
T: In fact you did. I’m the original professional philosopher. Before me there were only myths, silly stories about the way things are and how they got to be that way. I changed all that.
SD: Hmm. I don’t know about that. Personally, I make my living off creating myths and legends. But maybe you can help.
T: Try me. I do have to warn you though, I charge for my services. Thinking is how we philosophers make a living.
SD: Well, we’ll see about the bill after you help me. Here’s the problem. My man Tupac, the one who’s supposed to be dead…
T: Yes, I know him…

SD: Well, he’s not really dead. But that’s a story for another day. The point is, he wrote me this letter last week with all these heavy questions in it. He definitely got me wondering but I don’t know how to go about answering.

T: What kind of questions?
SD: Oh, man. He-vy questions! Like this one here (takes out wrinkled letter from pocket, reads): “What is the basic substance out of which everything is made?”
T: Your friend Tupac sounds like quite the philosopher. That question he asked you is the one that started all of philosophy. I’m proud to say I thought of it first myself. What answer did you come up with?
SD: Come up with? I don’t even know where to start. What does the man mean in the first place that everything is made out of one thing? Looks to me like my pants are made out of denim, my jewelry is made out of gold (shows gold chains and so on) – and my… well, we can’t talk about that right now. Is he trying to dis my gold, like it’s counterfeit or something? Because I don’t take kindly to that.
T: Not at all, Snoop—should I call you Snoop or Mr. Dogg?
SD: Snoop Dogg will do.
T: Fine, Snoop Dogg. My first observation is that you are already halfway to being a philosopher yourself once you start wondering about the world. Asking the questions is more important than finding the answers. My second observation is that your friend is asking you to look a little deeper than the surface of things.
SD: Huh? I don’t quite catch your meaning.
T: You said that you thought your jewels were made of gold, which is different from what your pants are made of, right?
SD: They’d better be after what I paid for them.
T: Well, Snoop Dogg, where did the gold come from to make your jewels?
SD: I never thought of that. I guess it came from the earth.
T: So gold was not always gold, right?
SD: I guess if you put it that way, I agree.

T: If we look at everything in existence we see the same thing. Everything came from something else, and that something else came from something else. But nothing could have come from nothing, could it?

SD: I see. There had to be something in the beginning! Like, the cotton that made my jeans came from plants, and they came from the earth too. Just like the gold! I get it, it’s all earth. That’s what Tupac was saying, wasn’t it?
T: You’ve got it! But I’m not sure I like your theory so much. After all, I am famous for asserting that everything is made out of water. Not earth.
SD: Hmm. Water, eh? That does complicate things. I don’t think water could have come from earth. But then, I don’t know about earth coming from water either. Maybe the world is made of more than one thing? What about air? And Heat, huh? You know, fire? That’s four things right there. I think I’ll call them elements…
T: Now you’re getting ahead of yourself, Mr. Snoop Dogg. I still assert that everything is made of water.
SD: You do, eh? Well can you prove it?
T: Let me see… it’s been so long since I figured it all out… how did it go now…. ( looks up and gets lost in thought again. Slowly walks off stage, thinking deeply.)

SD: Hey Thales! Thales! Hello-o? (Takes out his wallet) What about your money? Thales? (SD looks at audience) What do you know, the man didn’t even wait for his cash. Makes sense, I guess. It’s all just more water to him. Well, I have to get back to thinking myself. (Takes out crumpled letter from Tupac again and starts walking off stage) “Question number 2: Who are you?” Who am I?! Man, what kind of question is that? Everybody knows who I am! I’m Snoop Dogg! On the other hand… (lost in thought, walks off stage)

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