The Socratic Dialogues By Plato

  • Narrated by: David Rintoul
  • Length: 4 hrs and 32 mins
  • Release date: 07-06-23

The Socratic Dialogues By Plato AudioBook summary

The influence of Plato, his Dialogues and his ‘Academy’, cast a long shadow. Around 35 Dialogues, almost all featuring Socrates as the principal figure, are generally ascribed to Plato and form one of the most important threads in Western philosophy. These four Dialogues may fall into the ‘Attributed Texts’ category, but they are of sufficient interest to warrant study in our time and when set against the principal canon.

The recording opens with Alcibiades I. Socrates’ interlocuter is well known as a charismatic young figure of the time, and appears in the Symposium and Protagoras. The subject under discussion is justice and injustice. Socrates questions the over-confident Alcibiades about his understanding of these issues, which is crucial for someone about to play an active role in public life. It is the longest Dialogue of the four.

Hippias is another young man. A Sophist, brimming with the confidence of youth to the extent of being vain and boastful. He appears in two Dialogues on this recording, the Lesser Hippias and the Greater Hippias. The Lesser Hippias is a witty and lively conversation in which Hippias is keen to display his abilities only to be shaken by patient questioning by the astute Socrates. The Greater Hippias, a discussion about beauty, contains some interesting elements, while also showing how the form became diluted in the hands of lesser followers of Plato.

The final Dialogue, Menexenus is a special case. It was an important form in Athenian society and this is a rare surviving example. It has been included here in a new recording so it can be listened to in the context of ‘Attributed Dialogues’, rather than a fully accepted work by Plato. The background to each Dialogue is set by Benjamin Jowett. David Rintoul continues his persuasive characterisation of the masterful Socrates.


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