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Publisher's Summary

Philosophy for busy people. Listen to this succinct account of the philosophy of Socrates in just one hour.

Socrates is widely renowned as one of the founders of Western philosophy, despite the fact that his ideas survive largely through the work of his pupil Plato. Socrates’ dialectic – a method of aggressive questioning – was the forerunner of logic; he used it to cut through the pretentions of his adversaries and arrive at the truth. Socrates placed philosophy on the sound basis of reason, believing it to be better to question ourselves rather than the world around us and viewing the world as inaccessible to our senses – only to thought. Charged with impiety and the corruption of youth Socrates was eventually tried and sentenced to death, ending his life by drinking the judicial hemlock.

This audiobook is an expert account of Socrates’ life and philosophical ideas – entertainingly written and is above all easy listening. Also included are selections from Socrates’ work, suggested further reading, and chronologies that place Socrates in the context of the broader scheme of philosophy.

©2012 Paul Strathern (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

“Well-written, clear and informed, they have a breezy wit about them...I find them hard to stop reading.” ( New York Times)
“Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise.” ( Wall Street Journal)
“Each of these little books is witty and dramatic and creates a sense of time, place, and character... I cannot think of a better way to introduce oneself and one's friends to Western civilization.” ( Boston Globe)

What members say

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Profile Image for David Moodie
  • David Moodie
  • 06-06-16

Anachronistic and Over-Simplified

The author showed little understanding of Socrates. There is no mention of Aristophanes and the discussion of the relationship between the literary and historical Socrates was lacking. The book was also filled with anachronistic references to the authors views on science and religion, with a bizarre dismissal of the entire Middle Ages that would have made Burckhardt blush. For a more useful and interesting introduction to Socrates (not to mention free) I'd recommend the History of Philosophy Podcast.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bapir
  • 07-07-15

A must listen

The only thing that I disliked was, it could have been longer! It was an hour but seemed like 10 mins so interesting to follow and comprehend!

I recommend this to the lovers of knowledge at all levels, for students as well as instructors.

The reciter has an exceptional and excellent performance, a very good voice and very well read.

The text of the Audio is also excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Alan
  • Alan
  • 03-14-18

Quick overview of Socrates

The book is short (about 1 hour of listening time), but content is solid and I recommend it to those who want a quick overview of Socrates’ life, his work and philosophy. Well done for people behind his book.

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Profile Image for Dave
  • Dave
  • 01-14-18

more of a biography than about his philosophy

It seems to focus heavily on his life and influence and not enough on his acomplishments and philosophies.

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  • P
  • 01-14-18

Socrates

In terms of a life story it was good, but was very short on philosophy

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  • rita
  • 12-15-16

short and sweeter

great book and throughly enjoyed listening to it I would definitely recommend to listen to

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  • TheAtheist
  • 11-07-16

Somewhat prejudice but overall, a good read

Sonewhat prejudice towards the Greek civilisation. Should have more respect towards what gave birth to the West, which is still, the light in the darkness of a barbaric religious world.

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  • JB
  • 04-10-16

Interesting

Interesting book into the life of one of the most famous philosophers of the past.

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Profile Image for Onery
  • Onery
  • 04-09-16

Loved it!

Despite its slightly short length, the book is a wonderful introduction into the life of the philosopher Socrates. Would have loved to hear more on his philosophies, but I suppose that is for anther book for another day.

The narrator excels in his delivery with a soothing and pleasant tone of voice, coupled with the occasional acting up to match with the various dialogues and anecdotes present in the texts.

Overall, an excellent audiobook that has me tempted to buy up the rest of the series, especially so if they feature the same narrator!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Faiz
  • 06-29-16

Socrates

I found this review of Socrates most unhelpful.

The author was conceited and opinionated.

He seemed to think his editorialising on Socrates was far more important than presenting the thoughts of the man himself.

He made no reference to the other giants of human philosophy, Confucius & Buddha, who were teaching at the same time as Socrates.

He suggested that modern sciences such as psychology and psychiatry are not worthwhile because exact measurement is difficult. He ignores the fact the exactitude is also not possible in the physical sciences - The nature of light and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle are 2 examples which come to mind.

The overall tone of this work by Paul Strathern was a very Western 19th century view of philosophy and science. Disappointing to hear this twaddle in the 21st century.