Socratic Meditation and Emotional Self-Regulation: Human Dignity in a Technological Age

Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 25 (1-2):137-160 (2013)
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Abstract

This essay proposes that Socrates practiced various spiritual exercises, including meditation, and that this Socratic practice of meditation was habitual, aimed at cultivating emotional self-control and existential preparedness. Contemporary research in neurobiology supports the view that intentional mental actions, including meditation, have a profound impact on brain activity, neuroplasticity, and help engender emotional self-control. This impact on brain activity is confirmed via technological developments, a prime example of how technology benefits humanity. Socrates attains the balanced emotional self-control that Alcibiades describes in the Symposium because of the sustained mental effort he exerts that directly impacts his brain and his emotional and philosophical life. The essay concludes that Socratic meditative practices aimed at manifesting true dignity as human beings within the complexities of a technological world offer a promising model of self-care worthy of embracing today.

Author Profiles

Anne-Marie Schultz
Baylor University
Paul E. Carron
Baylor University

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