22 episodes

Do you need help understanding the great books of philosophy? In his podcasts, Professor Laurence Houlgate reads and discusses the classic works of Plato, Thomas Hobbes, Rene Descartes, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, and David Hume. His short readings are based on his acclaimed Smart Student's Guides to Philosophical Classics series (learn more at www.houlgatebooks.com). The episodes begin with the dialogues of Plato and will continue week by week through each chapter of Understanding Plato. For those who want to read along, a digital or print copy of the book can be purchased at Amazon.com at this address: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I5GAIJI
New episodes will usually be broadcast weekly on Monday evening at 5 p.m. PST.

Understanding Plato Laurence Houlgate

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Do you need help understanding the great books of philosophy? In his podcasts, Professor Laurence Houlgate reads and discusses the classic works of Plato, Thomas Hobbes, Rene Descartes, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, and David Hume. His short readings are based on his acclaimed Smart Student's Guides to Philosophical Classics series (learn more at www.houlgatebooks.com). The episodes begin with the dialogues of Plato and will continue week by week through each chapter of Understanding Plato. For those who want to read along, a digital or print copy of the book can be purchased at Amazon.com at this address: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I5GAIJI
New episodes will usually be broadcast weekly on Monday evening at 5 p.m. PST.

    Republic Book IX EP 22 (Final Episode) Tyranny and the Tyrannical Soul

    Republic Book IX EP 22 (Final Episode) Tyranny and the Tyrannical Soul

    We have come to the end of Plato's Republic and the end of the podcast. In the final episode, Socrates satisfies Glaucon's challenge to show that a just state is always preferable to an unjust state and being a just person is always better than being unjust. He has previously described the just and unjust governments (kingship and aristocracy) and corresponding souls. Socrates now contrasts them to each stage of the degradation of the city-state and soul, concluding with a discussion of Tyranny and the tyrannical soul. The conclusion is that kingship and aristocracy are always preferable to any other type of government or soul, especially tyrannical states and souls.

    • 25 min
    Republic Bk VIII & IX EP 21 Defective Constitutions and Damaged Souls

    Republic Bk VIII & IX EP 21 Defective Constitutions and Damaged Souls

    Plato extends his analogy between the constitution of the city-state and the soul of the individual by presenting a theory about how the constitutions slowly devolve from the ideal (kingship or aristocracy) to the most imperfect (tyranny) and how this is mirrored by the slow degradation of the soul.

    • 20 min
    Republic Book VII EP 20 Allegory of the Cave

    Republic Book VII EP 20 Allegory of the Cave

    Plato's Allegory of the Cave is one of the most famous thought experiments in the history of Western philosophy. An allegory is "a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one" (Oxford). The question asked by Plato scholars and repeated here is "What meaning is most consistent with the moral and political ideas promoted by Socrates in the preceding discussion about the form of the Good?"

    • 15 min
    Republic Bk VI, VII EP 19 Analogy of the Sun

    Republic Bk VI, VII EP 19 Analogy of the Sun

    Socrates tells Glaucon that philosophers should be kings because only they have access to the Form (concept) of the Good. The concept of Justice cannot be understood unless one understands its relationship with the Form of the Good. In order to explain this relationship, Socrates turns to an analogy -- the Sun and the power of the sun to shed light on things and make them visible.

    • 16 min
    Republic Bk.VI EP 18 Only Philosophers Should be Kings

    Republic Bk.VI EP 18 Only Philosophers Should be Kings

    This episode begin with Socrates' astounding claim that "only philosophers should be kings." However, he soon qualifies this with the remark that he does not mean philosopher in name only. He means philosophers who have a specific kind of knowledge that he calls "knowledge of the form Good." The remainder of this episode is a journey through the distinction between forms (concepts) and the particular things that participate in the forms, including forms that participate in other forms. What is the difference between beautiful things (works of art, music, sculpture) and the form Beauty itself? How does the form Beauty participate in the form Good?

    • 18 min
    Republic Book V EP 17 Women, Marriage and Children in the Ruling Class

    Republic Book V EP 17 Women, Marriage and Children in the Ruling Class

    Socrates argues in defense of his recommendation that women can and should be rulers in the ideal state. His argument is that there is nothing relevant about women that would prevent them from ruling. Second, he says that male and female rulers should be prevented from marrying or having a permanent sexual relationship with another member of the ruling class because this would make them partial to the need of their spouse, thereby detracting themselves from their main duty to promote the good of the state. Third, any newborn children of a ruler should be removed and taken to an isolated part of the city where professionals will care for, educate and raise them. No child will ever know their biological parents and no biological parents will ever know their children because (again) this would distract the parents from their main task -- to protect promote the good of all citizens.

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

American Public Media
iHeartPodcasts
PodcastOne
Michael Hobbes & Peter Shamshiri
This American Life
Glennon Doyle & Cadence13