The Republic poses questions that endure: What is justice? What form of community fosters the best possible life for human beings? What is the nature and destiny of the soul? What form of education provides the best leaders for a good republic? What are the various forms of poetry and the other arts, and which ones should be fostered and which ones should be discouraged? How does knowing differ from believing?
Writer John Howard Griffin (1920-1980) decided to perform an experiment in order to learn from the inside out how one race could withstand the second class citizenship imposed on it by another race. Through medication, he dyed his skin dark and left his family and home in Texas to find out.
"This book brings back memories..."
Socrates is in prison, sentenced to die when the sun sets. In this final conversation, he asks what will become of him once he drinks the poison prescribed for his execution. Socrates and his friends examine several arguments designed to prove that the soul is immortal. This quest leads him to the broader topic of the nature of mind and its connection not only to human existence but also to the cosmos itself. What could be a better way to pass the time between now and the sunset?
Socrates is on trial for his life. He is charged with impiety and corrupting young people. He presents his own defense, explaining why he has devoted his life to challenging the most powerful and important people in the Greek world. The reason is that rich and famous politicians, priests, poets, and a host of others pretend to know what is good, true, holy, and beautiful, but when Socrates questions them, they are shown to be foolish rather than wise.
Phaedrus lures Socrates outside the walls of Athens, where he seldom goes, by promising to share a new work by his friend and mentor, Lysias, a famous writer of speeches. This dialogue provides a powerful example of the dialectical writing that Plato uses to manifest ideas that are essential to human existence and to living a good life. Phaedrus shows how oral and written forms of language relate to each other and to philosophy.
Whitehead presented these three lectures at Princeton University in 1929. Although 85 years have passed, his central thesis and his analysis remain remarkably current. The scientific materialism that Whitehead opposed with such vigor continues to dominate in academic circles, and even now those who question that worldview are often accused of being antiscientific. This is especially true in discussions of the nature of the human mind and its relation to the body (particularly the brain).
Captured by slave traders when only 15, At-mun never forgot his roots as a prince. Nor did he ever lose his princely dignity and the courage to hold his head high. Sold at auction in America and haunted by the memory of his young sister left behind in Africa, At-mun, now Amos, began his long march to freedom. He dreamed of being free and of buying the freedom of his closest friends.
Gorgias of Leontini, a famous teacher of rhetoric, has come to Athens to recruit students, promising to teach them how to become leaders in politics and business. A group has gathered at Callicles' house to hear Gorgias demonstrate the power of his art. This dialogue blends comic and serious discussion of the best life, providing a penetrating examination of ethics.
"Great voice actors"
Mill's thinking about freedom in civic and social life examines fundamental principles shared among conservative, liberal, and radical politicians. The life of true philosophy stands outside the political battles that are rampant in society and seeks the political wisdom that is necessary for a good life in any age. Mill's philosophical presentation and analysis of those principles stand alongside the reflections of Plato, Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Aristotle's Poetics is best known for its definitions and analyses of tragedy and comedy, but it also applies to truth and beauty as they are manifested in the other arts. In our age, when the natural and social sciences have dominated the quest for truth, it is helpful to consider why Aristotle claimed poetry is more philosophical and more significant than history. Like so many other works by Aristotle, the Poetics has dominated the way we have thought about all forms of dramatic performance in Europe and America ever since.
The Athenian court has found Socrates guilty and sentenced him to death. While he is waiting to be executed, his friend, Crito, comes to the prison to persuade him to escape and go into exile. Socrates responds by examining the essence of law and community, probing the various kinds of law and making distinctions that go far beyond the particular issue of whether or not Socrates should escape.
A dialogue between Socrates and Meno probes the subject of ethics. Can goodness be taught? If it can, then we should be able to find teachers capable of instructing others about what is good and bad, right and wrong, or just and unjust.
Berkeley uses the Socratic mode of inquiry in Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous to question fundamental beliefs about knowledge and reality. These dialogues are between Hylas (whose name is derived from the ancient Greek word for matter) and Philonous, whose name means "lover of mind". The new physical sciences developed in the 17th century supported the materialism proposed by Thomas Hobbes and several other philosophers.
In this, his first book, Nietzsche developed a way of thinking about the arts that unites the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus as the central symbol of human existence. Although tragedy serves as the focus of this work, music, visual art, dance, and the other arts can also be viewed using Nietzsche's analysis and integration of the Apollonian and the Dionysian. The Birth of Tragedy stands alongside Aristotle's Poetics as an essential work for all who seek to understand poetry and its relationship to human life.
The legendary American outdoor writer’s finest collection. For decades, Gene Hill’s articles and books have captured the spirit of the outdoors in a way that inspires and entertains millions of readers. A Hunter’s Fireside Book captures the essence of the life of a sportsman and explores the full spectrum of the hunter’s experience: sunrises in the duck blind, an unforgettable hunter’s moon, the camaraderie of men who know the pleasures of being wet and cold and a little bit lost.
"Not much about hunting"
Hippias of Elis travels throughout the Greek world practicing and teaching the art of making beautiful speeches. On a rare visit to Athens, he meets Socrates, who questions him about the nature of his art. Socrates is especially curious about how Hippias would define beauty. They agree that beauty makes all beautiful things beautiful, but when Socrates presses him to say precisely what he means, Hippias is unable to deliver such a definition.
The dramatic nature of Plato's dialogues is delightfully evident in Symposium. The marriage between character and thought bursts forth as the guests gather at Agathon's house to celebrate the success of his first tragedy. With wit and insight, they all present their ideas about love - from Erixymachus' scientific naturalism to Aristophanes' comic fantasy. The unexpected arrival of Alcibiades breaks the spell cast by Diotima's ethereal climb up the staircase of love to beauty itself.
In Euthyphro, Socrates is on his way to the court, where he must defend himself against serious charges brought by religious and political authorities. On the way he meets Euthyphro, an expert on religious matters who has come to prosecute his own father. Socrates questions Euthyphro's claim that religion serves as the basis for ethics. Euthyphro is not able to provide satisfactory answers to Socrates' questions, but their dialogue leaves us with the challenge of making a reasonable connection between ethics and religion.
Rene Descartes is often described as the first modern philosopher, but much of the content of his Meditations on First Philosophy can be found in the medieval period that had already existed for more than a thousand years. Does God exist? If so, what is his nature? Is the human soul immortal? How does it differ from the body? What role do sense experience and pure reason play in knowing?
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, and Hume's dialectical examination of religious knowledge was especially provocative. What should we teach young people about religion? The characters Demea, Cleanthes, and Philo passionately present and defend three sharply different answers to that question.
"Great little audio book"