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Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues Lecture

Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues

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Publisher's Summary

These 16 lectures bring the Socratic quest for truth alive and explore ideas that are as vital today as they were 25 centuries ago - ideas about truth, justice, love, beauty, courage, and wisdom that can change lives and reveal the world in new ways. Here, you'll delve into the inner structure, action, and meaning of 17 of Plato's greatest dialogues, making these lectures an indispensable companion for anyone interested in philosophy in general or Platonic thought in particular.

As you'll learn, the dialogues share some general characteristics - and they all breathe with the feeling, the tension, and even the humor of great theater. Even if you don't have time to reacquaint yourself directly with Platonic texts, you'll benefit enormously from these lectures' insights into the depths of reflection opened by Socrates and Plato - arguably the most important teacher-student pairing in history.

You'll become engrossed in "the romance of the intellect," as Professor Sugrue opens a path for you into the inner structure and action of these selected dialogues, for millennia the objects of devoted study by the noblest minds. These lectures offer no easy answers. What they give instead is much better: an introduction to Platonic "meta-education," the art not of what to think but of how to think. You'll see the stunning subtlety with which Plato weaves together the strengths of philosophy and poetry, dialectic and drama, word and action. And you'll catch a glimpse of the "serious playfulness" that Socrates says the search for the good, the true, and the beautiful can inspire in the human soul.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©1996 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1996 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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  •  
    ADRIAN 02-03-14
    ADRIAN 02-03-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Easily the best audiobook in my collection"
    Where does Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's the very best. My audio library contains many books on philosophy with some historical non-fiction and science fiction sprinkled in. The energy with which Sugrue approaches the subject is without measure. I return to this audio book time and time again. Sugrue penetrates each dialogue and dissects the characters Socrates confronts through Plato's words, and gives a deep and meaningful background on the Sophists and penetrating insight into how the Realm of the Forms runs into trouble. And he has a great time doing it!


    Any additional comments?

    For anyone wanting to learn more about Plato, the Forms, Socrates, the Sophists, or the political situation surrounding each during the early days of the City-States, I highly recommend this audiobook.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Svyatoslav Brodetskiy New York 11-15-13
    Svyatoslav Brodetskiy New York 11-15-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Professor Sugrue Vivifies the Dialogues"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. This series is an honest and critical survey of the timeless and complex themes of the dialogues. Sugrue navigates layers of intentional ambiguity and ultimately incentivizes critical reading and rereading of Plato. This series is a great companion for reading Plato. However, no set of lectures will read Plato for you.


    Any additional comments?

    I had taken two back-to-back courses with Professor Sugrue on the Western Canon. He is one of those intellectual voices which college students soon come to miss.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 10-06-13
    Elizabeth 10-06-13 Member Since 2013

    Who would have thought a long commute to work could yield so much fun?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exceptional interpretation and delivery."
    What did you love best about Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues?

    I found myself truly anticipating each lecture. These interpretations and explanations reflect so much more thought and consideration than I ever would have had time to experience on my own. This series has made me want to investigate the Greeks further. More, I strongly believe that my writing and thinking will be positively influenced by these insights which are new, to me at least.


    What other book might you compare Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues to and why?

    If I had to compare this to another book, it would have to be Dante's Inferno. And only, possibly, because there is this concentric, continuing thought process that goes deeper and deeper into the combination of the psyche and social commentary.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book definitely made me laugh at points. I would say that it made me excited to learn more in the progression of Western Philosophy.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlie San Jose 02-26-14
    Charlie San Jose 02-26-14 Member Since 2014

    Lifelong Student/Seeker.

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    "Informative and Inspiring"

    I found these lectures to be both informative and inspiring. Professor Sugrue clearly has spent a lot of time and effort thinking about these Dialogues and acts as a tour guide through them, highlighting (as he says) not only the architecture of each dialogue, but the layout of all the dialogues and how the relationship between them forms a superstructure (or a campus) where the buildings are and are connected to each other in a way that is also meaningful.

    I learned a lot listening to the lectures, and I will definitely listen to them again. But I would say the main thing I got from this lecture series was the inspiration to go and read the Dialogues for myself. I doubt that I'm going to read all 1600 pages of them,but have already read a few. I've observed that with these lectures as background I pulled much more meaning out of the reading than I otherwise would have.

    I will definitely listen to this again, and would also be on the lookout for other lectures by Professor Sugrue.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luke Walton 06-30-15
    Luke Walton 06-30-15 Member Since 2013

    J

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    "One of the most profound lectures out there"

    A fantastic inquiry into the true nature of Socratic-platonic philosophy. A great primer especially if one has already read some Plato. Couldn't recommend this more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawstud 08-19-16
    Lawstud 08-19-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Holy mother of God"

    Bombs away ! Jump in the Rabbit hole and join us. You will not regret this jump (or maybe you will).

    Such an amazing professor !!!

    Red pill buy this book. Or blue pill- scroll away

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AlexIndia Fort Worth, TX, United States 08-18-16
    AlexIndia Fort Worth, TX, United States 08-18-16 Member Since 2011

    I am a national speaker on the relationship between the ancient western civilization and present day politics. Follow me!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very thorough lecture"

    I enjoyed this lecture however the professor spoke a little bit too fast so much so that sometimes I felt like I had it on fast-forward. Professor definitely knows his stuff however I was a little disappointed that when he got to the Timeus he did not discuss Atlantis. That the professor is right about understanding Plato and Socrates. To truly understand them you must read them. Or at least download them from audible and listen to them as I do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    richard 07-27-16
    richard 07-27-16 Member Since 2016
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    "greeaaaat!"

    After finishing this I feel compelled to read the dialogues. I enjoyed every single lecture and hope to move my way up from the cave of shadows.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cookies 07-24-16
    Cookies 07-24-16 Member Since 2015
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    "DNL"

    Eye opening and enjoyable. I found myself wishing I had gotten around to this at a much earlier age. Like Voltaire, it always sounded a bit too deep. Once read though, you realize it is light hearted, and even humorous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guilherme 02-29-16
    Guilherme 02-29-16 Member Since 2013

    You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. —Wayne Gretzky

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    "Great introduction to the dialogues"

    Very good explanation on the various platonic dialogues. I recommend to everyone interrested in knowing more about Plato but before reading the dialogues per se.
    The conclusion lecture is my favorite of this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Dog in a Flat Cap
    desktop, UK
    3/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Fabulous course"
    Where does Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best - if not THE best - audiobook I've thus far downloaded. Of course, as a lecture series it's not exactly an audio BOOK, but never mind. Prof Sugrue is a fantastic lecturer, really enthusiastic, interesting, fascinating - and best of all, his style imparts a real inducement to learn.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This set of lectures gives an overview and analysis of Plato's Socratic dialogues and completely brings them to life.


    What about Professor Michael Sugrue’s performance did you like?

    I love his enthusiasm, which at times does mean he talks a little too fast - but that's a minor thing. He is also an extremely likeable 'narrator', which is important, since Socrates himself is extremely likeable! And he *gets* Socrates, with humour and deep understanding; there is nothing dry about these lectures. He imparts the essence of Socrates, which is that of benefitting others through wisdom and 'moral' improvement. I definitely feel improved as a result!


    Any additional comments?

    I'll return to these lectures again and again. I will try other audiobooks from this series, and hope to find some more by Professor Sugrue.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Greg Gauthier
    London, UK
    7/25/16
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    "Inspiring, Thorough, Insightful"

    Dr Sugrue is an excellent storyteller, and a deeply Insightful scholar of the Socratic dialogues. I am grateful to have had an opportunity to see more deeply into Plato's thinking, as well as into myself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John
    7/21/16
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    "Engaging and entertaining. "

    Great topic taught by a gifted teacher. I now have a much better understanding of Plato and his over all theme and approach.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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