Plato in 90 Minutes

Overview

In an age when philosophers had scarcely glimpsed the horizons of the mind, a boy named Aristocles decided to forgo his ambitions as a wrestler. Adopting the nickname Plato, he embarked instead on a life in philosophy. In 387 B.C. he founded the Academy, the world's first university, and taught his students that all we see is no reality but merely a reproduction of the true source. And in his famous Republic he described the politics of "the highest form of state." In Plato in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a ...
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Overview

In an age when philosophers had scarcely glimpsed the horizons of the mind, a boy named Aristocles decided to forgo his ambitions as a wrestler. Adopting the nickname Plato, he embarked instead on a life in philosophy. In 387 B.C. he founded the Academy, the world's first university, and taught his students that all we see is no reality but merely a reproduction of the true source. And in his famous Republic he described the politics of "the highest form of state." In Plato in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Plato's life and ideas, and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from Plato's work; a brief list of suggested reading for those who wish to push further; and chronologies that place Plato within his own age and in the broader scheme of philosophy.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Strathern, a graduate of Dublin's Trinity College, has lectured in philosophy and mathematics and written history, travel literature, and fiction. His attempt to provide the reader with accessible guidance to the ideas of a half dozen great names in the canon of Western philosophy fails on all counts except readability. The time given in the title for each presentation is about three times that even the least-informed reader might require, for these books are nothing but outlines. Half of each volume highlights the more peculiar details of the individual philosopher's personal life, with passing remarks about one or two substantive ideas from his work. The remaining pages include surprisingly brief quotations from the works an epigraphic style suitable to presenting a sample of Nietzsche's writing but hardly appropriate to Kant's, chronologies including one five-page "Philosophical Dates" that is repeated in each tiny volume, and a suggestion of four or five books for further reading. The intended audience for this series is unclear as there is too little substance to provide either the sort of introduction offered by such competing works as the Writers and Readers's illustrated series "For Beginners" e.g., Robert Cavalier's Plato for Beginners, 1990 or critical understanding of difficult concepts as Frederick Copleston and William Jones have achieved in their histories of Western thought e.g., Copleston's A History of Philosophy, 1985. Strathern's publisher promises more than a dozen future volumes in this series but, given the severe limitations of the first six under review here, it is not possible to recommend that we look forward to them.Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley P.L., Cal.
New York Times
A godsend in this era of the short attention span.
— Daryl Royster Alexander
Wall Street Journal
Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise.
— Jim Holt
The Boston Globe
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.
— Katherine A. Powers
The New York Times
A godsend in this era of the short attention span.
— Daryl Royster Alexander
The Wall Street Journal
Witty, illuminating, and blessedly concise.
— Jim Holt
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786192793
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2003
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged

Meet the Author

Paul Strathern is author of the popular and critically acclaimed Philosophers in 90 Minutes series. Highlights from the series include Nietzsche in 90 Minutes, Aristotle in 90 Minutes, and Plato in 90 Minutes. Mr. Strathern has lectured in philosophy and mathematics and now lives and writes in London. A former Somerset Maugham prize winner, he is also the author of books on history and travel as well as five novels. His articles have appeared in a great many newspapers, including the Observer (London) and the Irish Times. His own degree in philosophy came from Trinity College, Dublin.

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