Counter-Currents Radio Podcast No. 53
What Socrates Knew:
Plato’s Alcibiades I
66:19 / 434 words
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This lecture on the Alcibiades I is a rather superficial overview and is shorter than the others, so it will be released in one part. The very last sentence (around 50:00 minutes) is cut off, but the gist of the missing words is that Socrates’ discussion of knowledge of ignorance aimed at shaming Alcibiades into philosophical reflection. After the lecture proper, I have included long answers to two questions, one dealing with the place of individuality in Socratic self-knowledge and the others on Xenophon’s Education of Cyrus.
* * *
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 15 parts.
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.
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