In the second half of book 3 of the Republic, Plato lays out the controversial theory of mimesis, which states that all art, man-made objects, and cultural products in our environment have profound effects on the health of our souls.
Following Socrates' claim that the ideal republic should be ruled by a class of 'guardians,' the question arises: Who or what will keep these guardians in check?
Our exploration of Plato's Republic continues with this discussion of book 2 with philosopher Rachel Barney. Is the fear of God necessary for morality? How can you educate people so that they value and practice justice?
If you gave people the power to do anything they wanted and never face any consequences for their actions, would they inevitably turn into monsters? Or are there reasons why we should be motivated to behave morally and justly even when all external constraints on our behavior are lifted?
Our series on Plato’s Republic continues with this deep dive into book 1. What makes it good philosophy? What makes it fine literature? And what does book 1 accomplish in the context of the entire Republic?
A foundational text in both ethics and political thought, the Republic was born out of Plato's traumatic experiences as a young man witnessing factional violence and civil war.
What institutions do oligarchic regimes use to maintain power? How do they fend off the threat of democratic revolution? What happened to the many oligarchies of the ancient Mediterranean?
What defines an oligarchy? Is the United States one? How do ancient oligarchies compare with modern authoritarian regimes?
Philosophy first emerged in ancient Greece 2600 years ago. What drove a group of thinkers at that time to suddenly cast off old beliefs and embark on radically new avenues of inquiry and investigation?
'Platonic love' is one of the most fascinating (and misunderstood) concepts to have come down to us from the ancient Greeks. Classicist Zina Giannopoulou joins us to set the record straight about the origins of the concept and what Plato's radical theory of love was all about.
Philosopher MM McCabe joins us to discuss the art of the philosophical dialogue, both as a literary form and as a practice between people in real-time conversation. What makes Plato's dialogues, for example, worth reading?
No other story from ancient Greece has fueled so many controversies and as the story of Atlantis. All of the written “evidence” from ancient times is contained in the work of a single author–the philosopher Plato. Bestselling author Mark Adams joins us to discuss the theories about Plato's tale.
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein joins us for a discussion about Plato, Socrates, and the legacy of Greek philosophy in the modern world.
Historian Josiah Ober of Stanford University joins us for a discussion on ancient Athens, how the Athenian system compared to our own democracy, and what lessons, if any, we can take away from the Athenian experience.
Sappho is one of the first song-writers we know of in history, partly because she was one of the first singers to write down her songs, in around 600BC.