History of Philosophy podcast series
Peter Adamson, Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at King's College London, takes listeners through the history of philosophy, "without any gaps." Beginning with the earliest ancient thinkers, the series will look at the ideas and lives of the major philosophers (eventually covering in detail such giants as Plato, Aristotle, Avicenna, Aquinas, Descartes, and Kant) as well as the lesser-known figures of the tradition.
For more information, please visit the Department of Philosophy web pages.
In this collection
Peter talks to Fiona Leigh of University College London about Plato's Sophist, which revises the theory of Forms to explain how falsehood is possible.
Plato sets out criticisms against his own theory of Forms in the "Parmenides". In this episode Peter looks at the criticisms, including the Third Man Argument, and asks what Plato wants us to conclude from them.
The most famous work of Plato is the "Republic" and its most famous passage is the allegory of the cave. In this episode Peter looks at the allegory, along with the Form of the Good and divided line.
In his masterpiece the Republic, Plato describes the ideal city and draws a parallel between this city and the just soul, with the three classes of the city mirroring the three parts of the soul. Peter discusses this parallel and the historical context that may have influenced Plato's political thought.
In the Phaedo, Plato depicts the death of Socrates, and argues for two of his most distinctive doctrines: the immortality of the soul and the theory of Forms.
What is Plato's understanding of knowledge, and how does he think that knowledge relates to virtue? Peter tackles these questions with his King's colleague MM McCabe in this interview.
Peter examines Plato's "Theaetetus", discussing the relativist doctrine of Protagoras, the flux doctrine of Heraclitus, and the two famous images of the wax tablet and aviary.
Peter tackles one of Plato's most frequently read dialogues, the "Meno," and the theory that what seems to be learning is in fact recollection.
Peter discusses examines one of Plato's great dialogues on ethics, the Gorgias, in which Socrates compares rhetoric to pastry-making and squares off against the immoralist Callicles.
Peter discusses virtue, self knowledge and some bad arguments in two lesser-known dialogues of Plato: the Charmides and the Euthydemus.