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
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.
This set of lectures gives an overview and analysis of Plato's Socratic dialogues and completely brings them to life.
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!
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.
Got the Flava!!!
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.
I prefer actual reading. But life gets in the way.
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.
"Easily the best audiobook in my collection"
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!
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.
"Professor Sugrue Vivifies the Dialogues"
Yes. This series is an honest and critical survey of the timeless and complex themes of the dialogues. Sugrue navigates layers of intentional ambiguity and ultimately incentivizes critical reading and rereading of Plato. This series is a great companion for reading Plato. However, no set of lectures will read Plato for you.
I had taken two back-to-back courses with Professor Sugrue on the Western Canon. He is one of those intellectual voices which college students soon come to miss.
"Exceptional interpretation and delivery."
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.
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"Beautiful to follow until (almost) the very end."
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.
The exploration of specific dialogues.
His tempo and his enthusiasm.
Poetry saves Philosophy.
Did not care for the last couple of lectures, the ones trying to bring home Plato's philosophy. They seemed uncritical and closed.
"Passionate Lecture on Platonic Dialouges."
If you like Plato you will love this summary of dialouges with valuable interprative information.
"subpar performance of good material"
The lecturer speaks unusually fast in these lectures, and occasionally pauses to noisily take a sip of water and swallow it. I've listened to dozens of other great courses audiobooks and this is the first time I've noticed this. It is quite distracting. The producers should have been able to do a better job of discouraging this or editing it out.
"Great teacher engaging lessons"
engaging stories during the lessons the teacher brought the people to life with simulated banter.
"Good Overall Guide to Plato's Dialogues"
Better than average.
Socrates is the star of the Dialogues, so naturally (Plato's) Socrates is the point here.
Sugrue is pretty good, but not ideal as a lecturer in terms of delivery.
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.
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