History of PA in SL  


The History of Plato's Academy in Second Life

There is nothing like a little naïveté to accomplish a task that might otherwise go undone.

Soon after Walter Deezul (my first Second Life avatar) joined SL, he thought his real-life interest in philosophy and his regular attendance at a local Socrates Café could easily be replicated in Second Life. However, as soon as he learned how to use the "search" tool in SL, he found that there was indeed a "Socrates Café" already in operation, so he became a regular attendee, disappointed that his idea was already taken. The moderator, Parrot Ferrer, was most kind to encourage Walter to start a similar group at a time that would be more convenient to those in the eastern part of the US. Parrot allowed Walter to get his feet wet by moderating a session of his Socrates Café.

At the close of a Socrates Café meeting, another attendee, Pamala Clift, asked if anyone present would be interested in moderating a session of her group, the "Roadside Philosophers". Walter jumped at the chance and thus began a long-term collegial relationship that continues to this day. Pamala, like Parrot, encouraged Walter to start his own philosophical discussion group, and offered invaluable advice as he began to do so.

Shortly after deciding on the name for the new group, Plato's Academy, a new avatar, Plato Greybeard, was  created.  Land and a structure were purchased.  About this time, the most fortuitous and significant of all contacts that have made Plato's Academy what it is came about in the person/avatar of Violette McMinnar. Violette is not only interested in philosophy, but is an excellent and accomplished builder. She took the basic shell of a structure and made dozens of additions to make it attractive and utilitarian. She and Plato together chose upcoming discussion topics (and debate same between themselves). She keeps the announcement board and scrolls up to date, co-writes and edits discussion note cards, search notices and notices to members. She keeps the moderator, Plato Graybeard, focused and on track during the sessions.

Plato Graybeard was naïve in two respects before beginning Plato's Academy in SL. He had no idea of the large number and high quality of philosophical groups already in existence in SL, and would have been intimidated by their existence to the point where he would never started one of his own. Not only that, but Plato G. had no earthly idea of the complexities of building a philosophical discussion group both from the structure itself and the intricacies of running and maintaining such a group. Had he known, and had it not been for the tremendous assistance of those met along the way, Plato's Academy in SL would not exist.

But it does. The first session was held on June 8, 2009 and the topic was "What, if any, human traits cannot be explained by evolution?" and biweekly meetings continue at 8 AM SLT every other Sunday. Click the link "Future Discussion" on the right for the next meeting date and topic.