The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode 25: Plato

This week’s music is the 1982 Daniel Amos classic “The Double,” one of the few songs I know about Platonism. It’s crazy out of print (and just crazy), so it plays in its entirety at the end of the episode. Enjoy.

General Introduction
An apology for blog silence
– An explanation for repetition

Platonic Idealism
– David explains the Theory of Forms
– Where the math comes in
– Plato’s bizarre theory of learning and knowing
– Children remembering heaven

Democracy
– Will Michial rant about populism?
– Plato’s terrifying ideal society
– Four types of lesser societies
– Why American society is an oligarchy
– How literal is The Republic?
– The poet at the gates

Augustine and a New Kind of Platonism
– Thank God for Plato
– Why it’s a waste of time to talk to atomists
– Augustine’s dissatisfaction
– How antimaterialist is Augustine?
– Autobiography and theology
– C.S. Lewis and the sins of ideas

The Search for the Historical Socrates
– The progression from real to original
– Who is The Stranger?
– Aristophanes and The Clouds
– Is Socrates a sophist or just a jerk?

C.S. Lewis as Neo-Platonist
– “It’s all in Plato, it’s all in Plato.”
– The Narnia beyond Narnia
– The blades of diamond grass
– Platonism in the apologetics
– Independent Platonist traditions
– Did Plato read the Pentateuch?: In which we go off-topic

CL Cool P
– Why do conservatives love a radical like Plato so much?
– The shift of ages, the worship of the ancient, the distrust of the masses
– The rebellion against analytic philosophy
– Absolute truth
– How conservative was Allan Bloom, anyway?
– A long digression about what conservative and liberal really mean, anyhow
– Our modern-day Sophists and why David Grubbs is a total fascist

How Christians Should Read Plato
– A stepping stone
– Be careful
– Gilmour tries to find a place in the middle
– The importance of revelation


BIBLIOGRAPHY

I’ll refrain from giving an individual citation for all of the Plato dialogues we talked about today and just include  the edition of the collected works that I use.

Abbott, Edwin A. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. Seattle: CreateSpace, 2008.

Aristophanes. The Clouds. Lysistrata and Other Plays. Trans. and Ed. Alan H. Sommerstein. New York: Penguin, 2002. 65-130.

Augustine. City of God. Trans. Henry Bettenson. New York: Penguin, 2003.

—. Confessions. Trans. R.S. Pine-Coffin. New York: Penguin, 1961.

Bloom, Allan. The Closing of the American Mind. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988.

Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. New York: Harper Collins, 1932.

Lewis, C.S. The Great Divorce. New York: Harper One, 2009.

—. The Last Battle. New York: Harper Collins, 2000.

—. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. New York: Harper Collins, 2009.

—. Mere Christianity. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 2001.

Lowry, Lois. The Giver. New York: Delacorte, 2006.

Plato. Complete Works. Ed. John M. Cooper and D.S. Hutchinson. New York: Hackett, 1997.

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