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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.
©1996 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1996 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Charlie on 02-26-14

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.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Elizabeth on 10-06-13

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.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Street Rebels on 01-20-17

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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Dog in a Flat Cap on 03-12-15

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.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Tim Dubber on 03-05-17

An enthusiastic and excellent primer

If you want a series which will encourage you to explore the great works of one of western worlds greatest minds, look no further.

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