This engaging course of lectures begins by providing a detailed and accurate overview of Plato's philosophy and it's central idea - the idea of a transcendent reality that has popularly become known as the theory of the Forms. Professor Kreeft then takes us on a concise journey through Western Philosophical history to show how that central idea - the theory of forms - has either been built upon or reacted to by philosophers ever since. We explore not only the work of Plato, but also that of several other great voices in the Western Philosophical tradition - Aristotle, Plotinus, and Augustine - each of whom gave the forms a new metaphysical address. Later lectures explore both Christian Platonists and philosophical movements such as Positivism and Nihilism which have been anti-Platonist in their outlook. In the end we are left with a richer appreciation for Plato's work and its enduring legacy.
©2012 Crescite Group (P)2012 Recorded Books
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There are great philosophers and then there are great teachers of philosophy. Kreeft is the latter. He is a great teacher, and this is a prime example of it. He makes a very compelling case for the Platonic Tradition and it's centrality, not just as a given of Western culture, but as THE correct approach to truth. Kreeft, taking up Whitehead's oft-quoted aphorism about all Western philosophy being a footnote to Plato, demonstrates why this is so. He demonstrates how most of the rest of ancient and medieval philosophy has been an attempt to add to and/or incorporate Plato into a larger milieu. He also demonstrates how all modern philosophy, beginning with Occam (pre-Descartes even) until today consists of various attempts to subtract from Plato with disastrous results. I found it so utterly convincing that, once I had finished, I restarted it. To me it was that good.
If you decide you cannot agree with Kreeft's view point, you would still benefit greatly from arguing with his case.
The one downside is that Recorded books has not provided a guidebook and their website does not even have the course listed, which means no final exam. That's sad.
This is a clear, insightful and sometimes even inspiring presentation of the Platonic tradition. I would certainly recommend listening to this lecture series. I listened to these lectures twiice and plan to listen again. However, please be aware that Professor Kreeft is a conservative Roman Catholic. Augustine as well as Socrates and Plato are the heroes here. There is no focus on Plato's Pythagorianism, sacred geometry, or the Platonic solids; not a word about Iamblichus or Proclus or Ficino. Having said that, Professor Kreeft does make a compelling case against the anti-Platonic view (both in ancient times and in modern times), a view stating there is no objective truth and even if there were an objective truth we couldn't know it or communicate it to others. Thank you, Professor Kreeft!
"Great overview of Plato and later philosophers"
The audio version worked for me because I could listen to it in the car while driving.
I thought this was a great book, but then again I have read several of Peter Kreeft's books and they are all great. I can honestly say that no author has had a greater impact on my thinking than Professor Kreeft.
This book gives a great overview of Plato, and it also touches on Socrates and Aristotle. It explains Plato's philosophy and how he was influenced by Socrates, who was his mentor. The book goes on to discuss how other ancient philosophers, including Jesus, had similarities to Plato. Kreeft shows how Christianity is both faithful and reasonable, and how Plato's philosophy fits into it.
He also discusses later philosophers, many of whom have positions that are not consistent with Plato. I think Kreeft lays out a strong case for the truth of much of ancient Greek philosophy, and how it is one of the pillars of Western Civilization.
If you are interested in philosophy or theology, or even current affairs, you will find this to be an interesting and enjoyable book.
"Maybee the best of Peter Kreeft's audio books!"
Maybe the best of Peter Kreeft's audio books I ever listened to. A clear and thorough review of how the fundamental intuitions of Plato were slowly lost and denied by subsequent thinkers, as society became more complex and enamored the domination of nature and technology (practical reductionism).
"listen and learn"
If only others taught as well, just absorb as much as you can. IMHO: Afterwards others seem swallow.
Why isn't there a written version?
Really enjoyed this and would recommend it. Will definitely be listening to his other work, thank you very much Mr. Kreeft.
"It's good. Really good."
I've listened twice and will listen again. It is a great overview of the history of philosophy in the context of Plato and his influence. As Whitehead said, the history of philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato. This audio book gives a great, engaging overview of those footnotes.
It is well organized, well articulated, and accessible, while remaining intellectually faithful to its subject matter. You won't regret giving this one a listen...or two.
"This will change your life!"
This makes you want to step out of the cave of shadow and into the light! Not too difficult to follow either. As usual Kreeft is witty, clear and profound in this course.
"A wonderful listen"
This is a great lecture series if you're looking for a solid foundation in (not necessarily the details of Platonism itself, but rather) why Plato matters, and his influence on later philosophical thought.
For those who don't know, Peter Kreeft is a Christian philosopher and so he has a very positive view of the Platonic tradition, and devotes a significant amount of time to the Christian "baptism" of Platonism and its synthesis with Aristotelianism. I would still recommend that you give him an earnest listen, though, because he is very thoughtful.
"Philosophy Like You Have Never Heard"
This is philosophy at its finest. It's filled full of wonder and excitement. It asks more questions than it answers but it continually pushes you onward to discover the truth about our lives. This book will be some of the best time you'll ever spend and you will go back to it over and over again to find out what you have missed. You are in for a great intellectual journey.
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