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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

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (27 )
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4.7 (24 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Dog in a Flat Cap desktop, UK 12/03/2015
    Dog in a Flat Cap desktop, UK 12/03/2015 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    16
    13
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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
  •  
    Street Rebels UK 20/01/2017
    Street Rebels UK 20/01/2017 Member Since 2017

    Got the Flava!!!

    ratings
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    6
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    "Great intro the Plato's Socratic style"

    Great lectures! Having read some of the Socratic dialogues, I am so glad I purchased this audio book. It brought a completely new perspective to the dialogues for me before I had made too many of my own incorrect assumptions. A must have for everyone interested in understanding their own inner journey.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connor 02/11/2016
    Connor 02/11/2016 Member Since 2016
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    16
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    "Amazing"

    Without a doubt, the best series on Plato I have ever heard. Quite simple, amazing

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Gauthier London, UK 25/07/2016
    Greg Gauthier London, UK 25/07/2016 Member Since 2016

    I prefer actual reading. But life gets in the way.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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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 21/07/2016
    John 21/07/2016 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    10
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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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  • ADRIAN
    Wake Forest, New Caledonia
    03/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Elizabeth
    Ashburn, VA, United States
    06/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    26/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    San Diego, CA USA
    30/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  • Amazon Customer
    26/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hard to Listen to Speaker"

    The content was overshadowed by the speaker who repeated himself to the point of distraction

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • bayani
    24/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "so good"

    very informative lecture with a lot of history behind what he says the first chapter he speaks a little bit too fast and Mumble but not too hard to still not understand him. highly recommend if you love Plato and Socrates you will not be disappointed as he gives very detailed explanations and breakdowns of all of all of the favorite dialogues

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stefan Balan
    NY, USA
    30/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful to follow until (almost) the very end."
    What made the experience of listening to Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues the most enjoyable?

    Professor Sugrue is a Plato enthusiast and his enthusiasm carries you away. Throughout the lectures he made me feel like listening to/conversing with a friend.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The exploration of specific dialogues.


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

    His tempo and his enthusiasm.


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

    Poetry saves Philosophy.


    Any additional comments?

    Did not care for the last couple of lectures, the ones trying to bring home Plato's philosophy. They seemed uncritical and closed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • reyrey347
    27/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Passionate Lecture on Platonic Dialouges."

    If you like Plato you will love this summary of dialouges with valuable interprative information.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • W. Bernie Yeater
    Waterford, Michigan USA
    24/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great teacher engaging lessons"

    engaging stories during the lessons the teacher brought the people to life with simulated banter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Masked Reviewer
    28/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Overall Guide to Plato's Dialogues"
    Where does Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Better than average.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Socrates is the star of the Dialogues, so naturally (Plato's) Socrates is the point here.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Professor Michael Sugrue?

    Sugrue is pretty good, but not ideal as a lecturer in terms of delivery.


    Any additional comments?

    Great for its purpose. Lays out the key dynamics of the Dialogues so that the listener can understand authorial intent and textual connotations. When the lecturer slows down, the delivery is much better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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