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Power, Politics, Philosophy: Defining Power

May 17 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

This discussion is part of a series of 6 facilitated by Daude Teel. Participants are welcome to attend one off discussions, or the entire series, as their interests and schedules allow.

Discussion #1: Defining power

We'll be discussing how we should approach a definition of "power," if there needs to be a set definition, and whether conceptions of power are in fact legitimately in accord with any definition. We'll also be discussing the correlation between power and freedom, and Hannah Arendt's conception of power and violence, and her claim that power is by its very nature non-violent, and it is only when one begins to lose power that one becomes violent. Questions:
- What forms does power come in?
- Is there a distinction in how we perceive spiritual power vs. the practical applications of power?
- Does power corrupt? If so, how much does it take?
- Is power even quantifiable?

Level 1 Reading: [] "Power: Social and Political" Wikipedia page

Level 2 Video: [] "Power and Violence" Hannah Arendt (youtube)

A further reflection ...
Power is the capability or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. It could also be defined as the utilization of tools at one's disposal to bring about a determined outcome. It is driven by our deeper nature's want to create order and structure in our reality. The more capable an individual or group is at utilizing power the more the social reality is ordered to his or her image. Freedom is, theoretically, the end goal of all exercises in power. In order to be "free" the individual or group must structure reality that dos not intrude upon them. Because of such, that which does intrude, that is, irrational consequences, must be suppressed in order to maintain power (or the freedom that has been obtained). In this way there is an urgency amongst individuals to continuously exercise power, thus power becomes a constant. The abuses of power come as a result of a failed attempted ordering and structuring reality, whence there is a loss of power.

Daude's Bio:
Daude Teel is an aspiring political philosopher and existential thinker. He is one of numerous but silent individuals who thirsts for knowledge in all things, though, for the most part, he prefers depth in a couple areas to breadth. He always finds time for any discussion around the humanities. He has an urge to continuously throw around ideas wherever possible, and to stimulate the mind with questions one would never think of asking before. He is very adamant about the idea that a teacher is first a student, and he lives by the quote of Erasmus, "When I have little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.


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