Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Plato Project

mentioned I am working at working my way through "the classics". And it is slow going, let me tell you.

The Republic by Plato has been my pet project for, oh, a year. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that.

But, I think I'm doing it well! Or rather, to keep with my theme, doing it excellently. It has been a lonely adventure because I haven't found anyone who was up for forging ahead on this project with me. Can you imagine?

I'm just starting Book 9, so it's finally all starting to come together for me. Can you believe that I am actually curious to find out how Plato is going to resolve the logistics of establishing of this theoretical 'just' city? I tell ya, 15 years ago this would have been the slowest and cruelest form of torture I would have been able to fathom.

Resources I've used in "Kelly Learns Plato 101":

Obviously the text.

The translation I used was the one in the Great Books of the Western World collection. Oh be still my heart, that collection is a book list in itself. I very possibly love book lists more than the books themselves. Combine that with a collector personality....and you have yourself a lifelong project.

Actually, I'm not crazy about this translation. I have peeked into Allan Bloom's and I think I might be inclined to go with if I were picking a stand-alone volume. But of course that one doesn't look as good on the shelf with dozens of other volumes standing right next to it.

And I recognized I needed a helper, so I turned to Good 'Ole:

At one point in my life I would have been embarrassed to admit that. 

It's actually helped me a lot. But not as much as:

These courses are true gems! And you know I want to study through them all. They have a ton of courses. Tip: never ever ever pay full price. You can get them very steeply discounted. They rotate what is on sale, and you can also usually find a large collection of them at the library.

But, as excellent as these resources have been, they have not taken the place of a reading companion who will sit down and hash out the questions that inevitably arise with a careful study of a work of this magnitude. Perhaps if I pick a book a little more....universally enjoyable.... for the next project I can convince someone to plunge in with me!


  1. Oh, I just love the Teaching Company courses. I'm using The Art of Reading right now (on loan from the library). Love, love them!

    1. I've had my eye on that one, Tonia! That would be a great go-along with the Well Educated Mind project. Someday I'll make it around to that one....