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Ancient Greece Declassified

The podcast that transports you to the ancient world and back, with some good conversation along the way. It's not just about ancient Greece. It's about a huge chunk of human history that the Greek texts give us access to: from Egypt and Babylon, to ancient Persia, to Carthage and Rome, we'll sail the wine-dark sea of history with some expert guides at the helm. Topics include archaeology, literature, and philosophy. New episode every month.
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Now displaying: 2021
Oct 18, 2021

The most controversial part of Plato's Republic is its fifth book, wherein Socrates argues for the political equality of men and women, the abolition of the nuclear family, a strange eugenics program, and the idea that philosophers kings and philosopher queens should be put in charge of political affairs. 

With us to discuss book 5 is Mary Townsend, assistant professor of philosophy at Saint John’s University in Queens and author of the book The Woman Question in Plato’s Republic.

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Sep 24, 2021

In book 4 of the Republic, Plato sets forth perhaps the most famous psychological theory from Greco-Roman antiquity: the tripartite model of the human soul. But how good of a model is it? How does it hold up from the perspective of modern psychology?

With us to discuss these questions and more is Jonathan Lear, professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago and a practicing psychoanalyst who serves on the faculty of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. His article "Inside and Outside the Republic" remains one of the most important pieces of scholarship on the psychological theory offered in book 4. 

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Sep 7, 2021

What do Plato's Republic, Sigmund Freud, and the Harry Potter saga have in common? Find out in this episode, which offers an exploration of book 4 of Plato's Republic and its many parallels in modern literature and psychology. 

Jun 18, 2021

Was Alexander the Great really that *great* on his own? Or did he owe much of his success to the work of his father Philip II of Macedonia? Joining us to discuss the matter is Adrian Goldsworthy, military historian and author of the new book Philip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors.

A video version of this episode is available on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/zZwyvimmX3k

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May 15, 2021

In the second half of book 3 of the Republic, Plato lays out the controversial theory of mimesis, which states that all art, man-made objects, and cultural products in our environment have profound effects on the health of our souls. 

With us to help us unpack, analyze, and evaluate Plato’s arguments is, once again, Angie Hobbs, professor of the public understanding of philosophy at the University of Sheffield, England. 

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Apr 30, 2021

Following Socrates' claim that the ideal republic should be ruled by a class of "guardians," the question naturally arises: Who or what will keep these guardians in check? How do you prevent the government from becoming an unaccountable and oppressive regime?

Our exploration of Plato's Republic continues, this time with Angie Hobbs, professor of the public understanding of philosophy at the University of Sheffield in England. She has written several books including Plato and the Hero, which touches on a lot of the topics we will be discussing today. Her latest book is a short guide to Plato’s Republic in the Ladybird Expert Series. Stay tuned at the end of this episode for a chance to win a copy of the book.

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Support us on Patreon: patreon.com/greecepodcast

Or make a one-time donation: paypal.me/greecepodcast

Apr 30, 2021

Following Socrates' claim that the ideal republic should be ruled by a class of "guardians," the question naturally arises: Who or what will keep these guardians in check? How do you prevent the government from becoming an unaccountable and oppressive regime?

Our exploration of Plato's Republic continues, this time with Angie Hobbs, professor of the public understanding of philosophy at the University of Sheffield in England. She has written several books including Plato and the Hero, which touches on a lot of the topics we will be discussing today. Her latest book is a short guide to Plato’s Republic in the Ladybird Expert Series. Stay tuned at the end of this episode for a chance to win a copy of the book.

***
Support us on Patreon: patreon.com/greecepodcast

Or make a one-time donation: paypal.me/greecepodcast

Apr 15, 2021

This episode is a crosscast in collaboration with the Classical Wisdom Speaks podcast. Anya Leonard, host of that pod and founder of classicalwisdom.com, interviews me about my new book The Invention of Duty: Stoicism as Deontology. 

Apr 4, 2021

Our exploration of Plato's Republic continues with this discussion of book 2 with philosopher Rachel Barney. Is the fear of God necessary for morality? How can you educate people so that they value and practice justice?

Rachel Barney is professor of classics and ancient philosophy at the University of Toronto. She specializes in the work Plato and has spent many years analyzing and unraveling some of the key issues in the Republic.

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Scholarly works mentioned during the conversation:

Rachel Barney. “Ring-Composition in Plato: the Case of Republic X,” in M. McPherran (ed.), Cambridge Critical Guide to Plato’s Republic. Cambridge University Press, 2010, 32-51. (pdf)

Jonathan Lear. "Inside and Outside The Republic," in Phronesis, 1992. vol. XXXVII/2 (pdf)

Mar 19, 2021

The third installment in our ongoing series on Plato's Republic. Use the following timestamps for easier navigation:

2:40 Introduction to book 2

11:35 Glaucon's speech in favor of injustice

20:00 Adeimantus' speech on the weakness of pro-justice arguments

26:30 Socrates reply; the city-soul analogy

38:20 The education of the Guardians

44:40 Analysis and conclusion

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The intro to this episode was provided by Dominic Perry, host of the History of Egypt podcast.

Feb 21, 2021

The second installment in our 11-part series on Plato's Republic. Use the following timestamps for easier navigation:

0:22 Introduction: virtues vs values

7:10 The beginning of the Republic

13:50 Cephalus’ “definition” of justice

15:10 Polemarchus tries to define justice

29:30 Thrasymachus challenges Socrates

34:20 Thrasymachus tries to define justice

42:25 Thrasymachus praises injustice

54:45 Epilogue I: Is this good philosophy?

1:08:10 Epilogue II: Is this good literature?

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