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Publisher's Summary

This lively and accessible introduction to Plato focuses on the philosophy and argument of his writings, drawing the listener into Plato's way of doing philosophy, and the general themes of his thinking. This is not an audiobook to leave the listener standing in the outer court of introduction and background information, but leads directly into Plato's argument. It looks at Plato as a thinker grappling with philosophical problems in a variety of ways, rather than a philosopher with a fully worked-out system. It includes a brief account of Plato's life and the various interpretations that have been drawn from the sparse remains of information. It stresses the importance of the founding of the Academy and the conception of philosophy as a subject. Julia Annas discusses Plato's style of writing: His use of the dialogue form, his use of what we today call fiction, and his philosophical transformation of myths. She also looks at his discussions of love and philosophy, his attitude to women, and to homosexual love, explores Plato's claim that virtue is sufficient for happiness, and touches on his arguments for the immortality of the soul, and his ideas about the nature of the universe.

In a hurry? Listen to more Very Short Introductions.
©2003 Julia Annas (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Simple introduction to Plato

Philosophy is not the easiest subject to grasp but this book does a good job simplifying and giving a broad understanding of Plato’s works. I would highly suggest this to anyone who is about to take a philosophy course. The narrator is a bit robotic though. She annunciates well but it has no emotion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Getting to know Plato

Would you listen to Plato: A Very Short Introduction again? Why?

Yes. It provided a solid introduction to Plato's works as well as his impact on Western European philosophy.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

I don't know if I would describe anything as truly compelling, but Julia Whelan was an excellent narrator with a clear and pleasant sounding voice.

Have you listened to any of Julia Whelan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Not that I can remember.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Plato...the man and his thoughts.

Any additional comments?

This is a great introductory book. This with Julia Annas' other introductory books makes for a very solid entry into ancient philosophy.

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Just very unclear not well put

I listened to this book multiple times. I seriously could just be dumb. I totally and wholeheartedly agree with that. But I just wanted a good idea of what Plato was about, and even though the subject matter is quite difficult to explain I feel that I should have at least been able to grasp something. But I just couldn't so if you're really smart get but if you are not or are not in the mood to paste things together and listen multiple times do not get

2 of 4 people found this review helpful