Plato's Republic

Plato's Republic is a monumental work in Western Philosophy.  It
is a difficult book to read and I have been very pleased with the
development of teaching material for this book.

Lecture on Plato's Republic

The Teaching Company has a course on Plato's Republic,
developed and presented by Dr. David Roochnik of Boston
University.  It is an excellent course and I highly recommend it. It
is available on audio CD or DVD.

Having an engineering background, I could see a concrete
example of Plato's
Divided Line that supplements the explanation
provided by Dr. Roochnik.  
The example is based on television.

Plato's Republic on CD

Plato's Republic is a dialog.  The best way to study it is to hear it.
I recommend the
complete Republic on CD, from Agora
Publications.  Buy the book from Agora as well and you can follow
along with the dialog.

Plato: a Life Changing Experience

Augustine of Hippo, in his Confessions, said Cicero and Plato
helped prepare him for Christianity.  Great people from the past
have had their lives enriched by studying Cicero and Plato.  But it
is not only in the past that lives are changed by Plato or Cicero.

The September 21, 2008 issue of the
New York Times Magazine
ran an article,
The Thinker by Jonathan Mahler, profiling Dr. Kelly
Jolly of Auburn University.  The article says Jolly was a
precocious student in high school, so one of his teachers gave
him Plato's Dialogs to read.  From the article:

“Until then, I’d been clever enough to do whatever I wanted to do,
to read with one eye,” he told me. “Then all of a sudden I ran into
philosophy, and it was like running into a brick wall.”

Kelly Jolly found a Plato challenging, but he stayed with it and it
changed his life.  He became a professor of philosophy.  Reading
Plato is a challenge, but it is worthwhile, enriching, and potentially
life changing.

Plato, Cicero, and Our Roots

The Great Learning says,

Things have their root and their branches. ...It cannot be, when
the root is neglected, that what should spring from it will be well
."  (Legge)

Another translation puts it, "
It is impossible that the root be
unhealthy and the branches healthy
."  (Gardner)

The ancient Greeks and Romans are the roots of Western
civilization.  America cannot be a healthy republic if we lose touch
with our roots, which I believe we have done.

It is no coincidence that American power, reputation, and
prosperity has collapsed during the last eight years.  America is
crippled because it has lost touch with its roots.  We need to
nurture our roots by studying and applying the best lessons of
our heritage.  Plato and Cicero are a good starting point.

Plato's Republic and Adult Continuing Education

Adults who enjoy continuing eduacation can make use
independently of the commercially available materials from The
Teaching Company and Agora Publications.  But those adults
who would enjoy a group study of
The Republic can consider the
suggested syllabus at this link.

I invite everyone to read Plato and Cicero.

Robert Canright
Timeless Way Foundation

Copyright © 2008-2013 Robert Canright