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Agora Publications, Inc.

The historical Socrates sought to bring philosophy down from the heavens to thrive in the streets of the agora — the market-place. Agora Publications offers dramatic performances of the dialogues of Plato and David Hume to help recapture this valuable Socratic tradition. We begin by revising the texts to make them more accessible to contemporary readers and listeners while leaving them unabridged and striving to be faithful to their original meaning. In this way we create the marketplace of ideas and continue the rich philosophical tradition in which careful and precise thinking blend with literary and poetic creation. Our unique contribution lies in enlisting professional actors and directors to perform these works as part of what we call the “Theater of the Mind.” Characters such as Socrates, Gorgias, Alcibiades, Diotima, Cleanthes, Demea, and Philo come alive and join in the perennial conversation about the most important questions. What should we teach young people about religion? What is the nature and role of love? How can the best human community be created? What are justice, goodness, truth, and beauty? Is the human soul immortal, or does it die along with the body? In our series “The World of the Mind,” we offer oral performances of other masterpieces, including ethical works by Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill’s reflections on liberty, and the Dao De Jing by Lao Zi.

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1.
by Aristotle
Available on:
Audio Download ($7.50)

Aristotle claimed “poetry is more philosophical and more significant than history.” In this postmodern era it is worthwhile to consider Aristotle’s way of connecting beauty, truth, and goodness.

2.
by Lao Zi
Available on:
Audio Download ($10.00) | Audio CD

Socrates' account of his own quest in Plato's Apology resembles that of Lao Zi. Ancient philosophy in China and in Greece, places self-knowledge as the center of human existence as East meets West.

3.
Available on:
Podcast

To understand and promote democracy we must clarify and embrace its ethical foundations

4.
Available on:
Podcast

These podcasts seek to reopen Plato’s Academy and rekindle the dialogue Plato initiated to lead his students into examining the most important topics. The first series considers human nature beginning with questions Socrates posed in the Agora.

5.
by David Hume
Available on:
Audio Download ($12.00) | Audio CD

David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion had not yet been published when he died in 1776. Even though the manuscript was mostly written during the 1750s, it did not appear until 1779. The subject itself was too delicate and controversial. What should we teach young people about religion?

6.
by Immanuel Kant
Available on:
Audio Download ($12.00)

Three works that present Kant’s ethical world view are included: What is Enlightenment? (1784), Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals Morals (1785), and Toward Lasting Peace (1795).

7.
by John Stuart Mill
Available on:
Audio Download ($12.00) | Audio CD

Mill's thinking about freedom in civic and social life examines fundamental principles shared among conservative, liberal, and radical politicians.

8.
by Plato
Available on:
Audio Download ($15.00) | Audio CD

These four dialogues present the trial, the imprisonment, and the execution of Socrates who his friend Phaedo said was “the wisest, best, and most righteous person I have ever known.”

9.
by Plato
Available on:
Audio Download ($14.00) | Audio CD

Gorgias of Leontini, who teaches rhetoric, is in Athens, to instruct potential leaders in politics and business. A group has gathered at Callicles' house where Socrates questions him in his usual way.

10.
by Plato
Available on:
Audio Download ($7.50)

Socrates questions the great orator Hippias about what makes a speech beautiful. Hippias answers with examples of beautiful things, but Socrates insists on a definition of beauty itself.

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