The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #95: Plato's Aesthetics

General Introduction
– Dry, bleeding Kansas
– Hardcore listener feedback

Ancient Greek Art
– Our access to it
– Black and red, figure and background
– The Parthenon
– Classical tragedy and comedy
– Other poetry
– Music
– What did the statues look like?

The Republic and Art
– The educational argument
– Plato’s ultimate concerns
– Whom is Plato talking about?
– The metaphysical argument
– Who emulates Homer?
– The theory of forms

Elsewhere in Plato
– Everywhere else in Plato
– Divine madness
– Plato and music
– Phaedrus’s citations

Representational Art
– What would Plato say to abstract art?
– Plato’s invitation
– Golden ratios and principles

Poets’ Love for Plato
– Plato vs. Platonism
– Plato and the experience of writing
– Writing as whitewater rafting
– Plato as allegorist
– Dialogue and monologues

Echoes of Plato
– Marxism’s and Feminism’s Debt to Plato
– Reincorporating form
– Computer-generated art
– The Christian argument against paganism
– Poet as prophet
– Modernist Platonism

8 thoughts on “The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #95: Plato's Aesthetics

  1. FYI on Greek pottery
    Geometric
    period ca. 1200-700 B.C.E.  
    Archaic
    period ca. 700-480 B.C.E = Black figures on Red background
    Classical
    period 480-323 B.C.E. = Red figures on Black background

      1. ngilmour MichaelDBobo No worries. I just thought some listeners might be curious. 
        Have you ever considered a show on The Kingdom of God? I don’t recall that being one of the topics.

  2. Echoing your comment on the Book of Common Prayer, the Anglican church I attend uses the Book of Alternative Services, but I’ve noticed a tendency for them also to skip all the “mean” stuff.  So we’ll do our Psalm reading and it will be all about how I (the psalmist) call out to God in times of trouble, then we skip right over the part about God squashing His enemies, then pick up the reading with praise for God who helps me.

    1. Charles H How sad.  As a Brueggemanniac, I treasure the parts of the Bible that portray the divine-warrior image, largely because it’s under the protection of the divine warrior that Christian pacifism makes most sense.  (After all, be-nonviolent-so-people-treat-you-nice doesn’t work out too well for Jesus, as best as I can tell.)

  3. I should feel guilty commenting on Plato, since I don’t read Greek, so strictly speaking can’t read a word he wrote.  I do feel that the translations of the early dialogues I’ve read suggest something less one-sided then was implied. Certainly, some other people writing in what they imagine to be that form seem to produce something that smacks much more of “monologue” and of “yes men”.  It seems to me that what Plato’s Socrates generally does is to get someone to make an initial statement (a definition, say).  He then gets the interlocutor to agree to a secondary statement that would seem to be entailed by that.  He then proceeds to show a contradiction between the two statements.  However questionable as a proceeding — for example, maybe the contradiction would no longer apply if one were to slightly modify the secondary statement — that’s an active and logical dialectical process.
    Here’s one you missed: The _Compleat Angler_ is written in dialogue form.
    I don’t know of any contemporary philosophers who have written serious works in that form.  However, Roger Scruton has written some satirical dialogues with Socrates’ supposedly shrewish wife Xanthippe as a disputant.  Here she’s no shrew, but rather a humane and witty woman capable of putting a callow Plato in his place.  Scruton is, I think, one of the more interesting and articulate contemporary philosophers in the English-speaking world, though controversial on account of his conservative (Burkean) political views.  Whatever one thinks of those, I have to say his _Xanthippic Dialogues_ are written with considerable verve and wit, and as a send-up of academic writing (as well as Plato) very funny — even the “index” (by H. P. de Selby — how’s that for a fake “Oxbridge” name?) is stuffed with in-jokes:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Xanthippic-Dialogues-Philosophical-Roger-Scruton/dp/1856194027/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *