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Introduction to Philosophy Books

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Free Resource (#323) - June 6th, 2007
Today's Resource of the Day

Philosophy: The Classics Podcast

In this podcast, British author Nigel Warburton reads from his book Philosophy: The Classics (now in it's 3rd edition). The book examines and summarizes 27 classic works of philosophy. Currently on the podcast feed, Warburton reads 5 chapters from his book summarizing Plato's The Republic, Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Boethius' The Consolation of Philosophy, Machiavelli's The Prince, and Descartes' Meditations. His introductions to these works are clear and concise, and his narration is adequate for the material. Subscribe to this work of philosophical generosity.

Philosophy: The Classics Podcast

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Plato's Republic

Plato was a teacher who wrote in the dialogue form as a means of challenging his students to think deeply about fundamental questions. Consider this hypothesis: Plato wrote each book of The Republic to be performed by actors playing characters such as Socrates, Glaucon, Ademantus, Thrasymachus.

When Book One was performed, he then invited his students the best and brightest young people in Athens to respond to each and every argument, issue, and question posed by the characters. Rather than passively listening, they were lured into the process and challenged to evaluate and impove on the ideas presented in the performance.

Based on their responses, Plato then wrote Book Two. The same process was repeated, and Book Three was generated. In this way, all ten books evolved as part of a dynamic and creative dialectic intended to take place in the souls of or every participant including Plato himself. That would mean that the work is not yet finished, because each new participant joins in the ongoing process of interpretation, evaluation, and improvement. In that way, Plato's ideas are inscribed in the medium of the soul, which continues to live.

Listen to a free sample of: Plato's Republic

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