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Publisher's Summary

This course is an introduction to the philosophical thought of the two most important philosophical figures of ancient Greece. By working through parts of their central texts and thoughts, we will gain an understanding of Plato and Aristotle's relevance in the past and today as well.

After each section of this guide, you will find some questions and suggestions for further thought. There is no right or wrong answer to most of these questions; they're designed merely to offer suggestions for how you might think further about the reading and about what was discussed in the lecture. In each case, you will, of course, find the questions more or less accessible depending on whether or not you were able to read the dialogue as well as listen to the lecture. You may find it interesting not to stop with these particular questions, but to use them as models to think further on your own or with others about the issues and questions raised by these lectures.

©2004 Aryeh Kosman; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC

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  • Overall

THE MODERN SCHOLAR:PLATO AND ARISTOTLE

I haven't finished this yet, as I keep backing up to listen to parts again...it's WONDERFUL, and I wish that Audible had more of "The Modern Scholar" series to choose. If you want an easy and enjoyable way to improve yourself, you can't beat this. It's like being in a classroom with the most excellent professor you can imagine. TERRIFIC! And this Professor is FUNNY!!!! He's a riot, but you learn from the humorous parts as much as from the serious.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

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Forms a good solid foundation for further study.

This is an excellent survey of the works of Plato and Aristotle. While it did go into some of the specific works in depth, what I find more useful is that, to my mind, the author was giving me a foundation to explore the works in more depth by myself. To give one example out of many possible, through this series I first started to understand the theory of forms as a template for concepts rather than the vague assertions that I had gotten in other discussions of Plato's work. Now I can proceed into more detailed thinking about all of his works.

This is by no means an easy set of lectures to get through, not because the presentation is poor, but because the concepts are both important and subtle.

I listen to the lectures while walking daily, so I could not follow the notes (supplied in PDF format) but they are worth reviewing. Because I was distracted from listening while walking, I listened to some of the lectures several times to help fix the points in my mind.

I intend to listen to the works by Plato and Aristotle again, then listen to this series again. I am studying the foundations of Western Civilization for my own pleasure, not for any other goal. This is one of the few recorded lecture series I have purchased that I judge worth a detailed second listening as opposed to going on to a different subject.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Puzzled by the Negative Reviews!!

Any additional comments?

I read some of the negative reviews of this series of lectures and almost chose not to purchase. I am so thankful that I did not follow their lead!! These lectures are outstanding. I often listened to a section a second time because there is a great deal to ponder. The lectures created a desire to read both Aristotle and Plato. I have discussed many of the ideas presented with other people because they help me think more clearly about my life and they generate a sense of wonder. What more could someone ask from a set of lectures focused on the philosophy of two of the world's greatest thinkers. Aryeh Kosman did a great job and I wish that there were more lecture series available from him.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Beersheba Springs, TN, United States
  • 03-07-11

I feel robbed!

IN ten years of using the internet this is my first negative criticism. Simply because I find no joy in listening to people complain and that is not me. However, after paying $50 for this book, having made this size of an investment, I just want to share how I feel about it. This book is painful to listen to. No, it is not the voice of the author, which is just fine. I kept wishing he would get to the point; instead I kept listening and listening, to what comes across as this man trying to show everyone else how smart he is, instead of just getting to the point of what Plato actually had to say. When Chapter 2 begins, the author actually struck a deep interest in me to want to hear Plato's story, but by the end of the chapter VERY LITTLE about what Plato actually taught in the story is shared. Instead I had to listen to the painful ramblings of this brilliant professor. I kept saying to myself, PLEASE GET TO THE POINT! So I decided to Google Plato and start reading the story for myself, since this book left me feeling that so much was lacking. If I wanted to buy a book on the author I would have bought one. I thought I was buying a book about Plato. Either you will love this book or you will hate it. If you just love to hear extremely intelligent professors ramble on and on then you will love this book, because boy does he deliver. However, If you are like me, and are simply hoping to become acquainted with what Plato actually taught you will be disappointed.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Avoids religious undertones...

Excellent primer on each philosopher. Although Plato gets more airtime than Aristotle, Prof. Kosman is careful not to delve into the inescapable theistic conclusions to each philosopher's metaphysics.

Overall, the course is very fair, covering a huge array of topics passionately (his love for the topic is evident) and articulate (very complex and abstract topics are made understandable).

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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For those who have not read the book summary

THIS ISN'T A BIOGRAPHY. This book goes over the lectures and writings of Aristotle and Plato. For those of you who have never taken a philosophy 101 this book will be difficult to understand. First you lack the foundation of critical thinking drilled into 101 students that teaches you how to remove yourself from judging the argument. This means you never take sides unless you are asked or put yourself in the position of for or against. In a philosophy course you will be asked to argue both sides of an argument, often times using another philosopher's counter argument or argument as template or in original form. The other thing you will lack is and understanding of what philosophy is. What this means is other studies like science and history pose questions and try to find answers, philosophy is just about asking questions. Now don't blame the individual, it is hard finding and intro to philosophy that is't full of philosophical jargon. But taker your time go over the classics and some formal logic and you should be fine.

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Brilliant!

I have listened to this course three times. It gets better and richer with each pass as I understand it more fully, and it is among the best courses I have ever heard--in person or on a recording. I will probably let it sit for another year and then do it again.

  • Overall

Get to the point...

...I had a hard time listening to the same idea being tossed around and juxtaposed in multiple circles. The "author" has done his homework and I applaud his fervor for knowledge. His feeble attempt at regurgitating info in an interesting way left me wanting to return my purchase of this audiobook.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • yael
  • new york, NY, United States
  • 03-10-11

to hard to listen too

very boring and hard to keep up with i wish i got other book were it get right to the point

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Very difficult to stay interested in.

I have a decent interest and have listened to almost a dozen philosophy books, but this one seemed exceptionally difficult to follow completely.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Preety
  • 11-20-12

love it but very heavy goin

really enjoyed these lectures especially love, death, virtue, temperance and I have found myself re-listening to this alot more than i ever thought i would do!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful