About the Philosopher Plato: Interview with Robin Waterfield

Video

Kelly Macquire
by and
published on 30 May 2023

The first ever biography of the founder of Western philosophy

Considered by many to be the most important philosopher ever, Plato was born into a well-to-do family in wartime Athens at the end of the fifth century BCE. In his teens, he honed his intellect by attending lectures from the many thinkers who passed through Athens and toyed with the idea of writing poetry. He finally decided to go into politics, but became disillusioned, especially after the Athenians condemned his teacher, Socrates, to death. Instead, Plato turned to writing and teaching. He began teaching in his twenties and later founded the Academy, the world's first higher-educational research and teaching establishment. Eventually, he returned to practical politics and spent a considerable amount of time and energy trying to create a constitution for Syracuse in Sicily that would reflect and perpetuate some of his political ideals. The attempts failed, and Plato's disappointment can be traced in some of his later political works.

In his lifetime and after, Plato was considered almost divine. Though a measure of his importance, this led to the invention of many tall tales about him-both by those who adored him and his detractors. In this first ever full-length portrait of Plato, Robin Waterfield steers a judicious course among these stories, debunking some while accepting the kernels of truth in others. He explains why Plato chose to write dialogues rather than treatises and gives an overview of the subject matter of all of Plato's books. Clearly and engagingly written throughout, Plato of Athens is the perfect introduction to the man and his work.

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Plato of Athens
A Life in Philosophy
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— CHAPTERS —
0:00 Introduction
0:54 What is your book about?
3:25 Where did you get the information about Plato?
9:00 What are interesting things ancient authors wrote about Plato?
10:29 What were some surprises you discovered while researching?
16:58 What should people know about Plato/your book?
18:44 Outro

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— ATTRIBUTIONS —
The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:
https://www.ancientlyre.com
https://open.spotify.com/artist/7Dx2vFEg8DmOJ5YCRm4A5v?si=emacIH9CRieFNGXRUyJ9
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ1X6F7lGMEadnNETSzTv8A

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#plato #history #historybooks

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2023, May 30). About the Philosopher Plato: Interview with Robin Waterfield. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2954/about-the-philosopher-plato-interview-with-robin-w/

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "About the Philosopher Plato: Interview with Robin Waterfield." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified May 30, 2023. https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2954/about-the-philosopher-plato-interview-with-robin-w/.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "About the Philosopher Plato: Interview with Robin Waterfield." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 30 May 2023. Web. 13 Apr 2024.

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