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In August of 1999, I started an eight-week lecture course called “What Socrates Knew: Plato on Art, Wisdom, and Happiness.”
The main texts were Plato’s Gorgias and Alcibiades I, but I also used excerpts from the Euthydemus, Apology, Theages, and Symposium. I have recordings of all eight lectures, with excellent sound quality so far. I will serialize this course at Counter-Currents in 16 parts.
In this particular segment, there was extensive discussion of Plato’s critique of the poets and modern popular music, but the voices of the questioners are mostly inaudible, thus they were removed, giving the presentation a somewhat choppy quality. The questions can be inferred from my answers.
The lectures were as follows:
- August 24: Introduction: Thirty Socratic Theses (Euthydemus , excerpt)
- August 31 : Socratic Ignorance, Eros, and the Daimonion (Apology, Theages, and Symposium, excerpts)
- September 7: Alcibiades I
- September 14: Gorgias, Introduction and Conversation with Gorgias (beginning-461b, pages 25-43)
- September 21: Gorgias, Conversation with Polus (461 b-481 b, pages 43-70)
- September 28: Gorgias, Callicles, I (481b-494b, pages 70-87)
- October 5: Gorgias, Callicles, II (494b-510a, pages 87-108)
- October 12: Gorgias, Callicles, III (510a-end, pages 108-129)
The readings for the class are:
- Plato, Gorgias , trans. James H. Nichols
- Plato, Alcibiades I, in The Roots of Political Philosophy: Ten Forgotten Socratic Dialogues , ed. Thomas L. Pangle
- The excerpt from Plato’s Euthydemus is from: Plato, Euthydemus , trans. Rosamond Kent Sprague. An online version of a different translation is here .
- The excerpts from Plato’s Apology are from: Plato and Aristophanes, Four Texts on Socrates: Plato’s “Euthyphro,” “Apology of Socrates,” “Crito,” and Aristophanes’ “Clouds” , ed. and trans. Thomas West and Grace Starry West
- The excerpts from Plato’s Theages are from: Plato, Theages, in The Roots of Political Philosophy: Ten Forgotten Socratic Dialogues , ed. Thomas L. Pangle
- The excerpts from Plato’s Symposium are from The Symposium and the Phaedrus: Plato’s Erotic Dialogues , trans. William S. Cobb
If anyone is interested in producing a transcript of this lecture, we will gladly publish it. Ideally, we would like one person to do a draft transcription and then place it online to allow other listeners to offer corrections. Please contact Greg Johnson at mailto://[email protected]  before starting work, so we can prevent wasteful duplication of efforts.