How do we decide what is good and bad? What is virtue? What constitutes a meaningful life? These are some of the intractable, still-relevant questions that the ancient Greek philosopher Plato grappled with 2,500 years ago. Unfortunately, Plato's dialogues, featuring his famous mentor Socrates, often prove difficult to understand for many contemporary readers. Students today miss the ancient cultural and historical references, and they have trouble following Plato's arguments as presented in dialogue format. This book remedies these problems by recasting five of Plato's dialogues into accessible and entertaining short stories in modern settings. The Euthyphro becomes a tale about a televangelist bent on disowning his son at a denominational boarding school in rural Virginia; the Crito - retitled "What do you have to do for your country?" - is focused on the question of whether a US citizen who considers a current war to be unjust should avoid a military draft by moving to Canada. In all of the stories (the Meno, the Statesman, and Phaedo are also included), the central character is Socrates, just as in the original dialogues, but here the maverick philosopher appears in twenty-first-century guise. The author, who has taught philosophy for many years, captures the tone, wit, and philosophical essence of Plato's dialogues in a modern English interpretation that is often amusing and fun to read. For instructors looking for an engaging way to interest undergraduates in Plato and for students who find the original works a bit daunting, this book offers an enlightening and enjoyable read.
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|Title of Religion eBook: Plato for Everyone|
|Release Date: 02-19-2013|
|Publisher: Prometheus Books|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Plato for Everyone|
|Devices||Samsung Tablet, Apple Ipad & Iphone, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo eReader, Aluratek Libre, Iliad, Nokia, Blackberry, Hanlin|
|Note||ePub, short for electronic publication is one of our favorites and should be yours for a couple of reasons. ePub offers reflowable text giving you flexibility to manipulate how the content is presented. Moreover, lots of cool features are now being developed for the reader like advanced video and audio. ePub is now an industry standard, so all of the "non-propreitary" hardware manufacturers are now supporting it.|
Plato for Everyone
Chapter OneIS IT GOOD TO DIE FOR ONE'S COUNTRY?
(After the Crito)
The war just dragged on. It was a dumb war. It was also a particularly senseless war. Our democratically elected government chose to start this war. The war was not forced on us. We were not attacked first. Our leaders and their strategic advisers miscalculated, thinking that if they took sides in a local conflict, the side they backed would win. But the calculation of our leaders was wrong. The goals of both sides in that conflict were equally reprehensible; they just wanted to bully, intimidate, rob, and ultimately kill each other. It was a war we could not have won and should not have been involved in in the first place. Meanwhile, the war continued. Conscripted young men were forced to fight in that war whether or not they supported it. Those who refused went into exile or were jailed in military prisons.
By the time Socrates became eligible for conscription, the political question was how to end the war without losing face. The politicians did not want to admit they had been wrong to start the war. They were looking for some face-saving achievement they could use to claim that the war's goals had been realized. They were also afraid that a quick withdrawal would cost our country prestige and its power of deterrence against other potential enemies. To get us out of the war they should not have started in the first place, they felt they had to get us even deeper in that political and military mire.
Socrates, along with the rest of us, opposed the war from its inception. We demonstrated against it. We authored and signed petitions for peace. We c...