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A Great Book Can Change Your Life

Philosophy and Literature For Your Life

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education

Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Dante Version

The Divine Comedy, Dante wakes up lost in a dark woods. He has to take a terrifying and arduous journey - first through Inferno, then up Mount Purgatory and finally through the dizzying spheres of Paradise before he can finally... Continue Reading →

Plato, Hegel and Drawings on a Wall

In the Republic, a dialogue about justice, Socrates and a group of young men put poetry or artwork on trial. One of the primary pieces of evidence against art is that it is deceptive. For instance, one can paint a... Continue Reading →

Plato’s Symposium: Love as Reconciliation

Diotima, in Plato's Symposium, says that love is our way of participating in immortality, for those in love give birth in beauty. Explaining herself to Socrates, Diotima says, "And in that way everything mortal is preserved, not, like the divine,... Continue Reading →

The Poetry of Love: Plato’s Symposium Part II

At the end of the Symposium, Alcibiades bursts in and drunkenly declares his love for Socrates. To him, Socrates is both the beautiful and the good. Alcibiades, however, doesn't understand the poetry of love. He seeks the good for his... Continue Reading →

Piety, Justice and Love: Plato’s Euthyphro

A servant gets drunk and angry and kills a slave. Your father, wanting to bring the man to justice, sends someone to a prophet to ask about the proper course of action. In the meantime, he ties the servant up... Continue Reading →

Plato’s Timeaus: Where the Heavens Meet the Earth

At the beginning of the Timeaus, Socrates indicates that what we are about to witness is a work of a political philosophy. Having presented an image of the most just city the day before, he now asks the men gathered... Continue Reading →

Un-Lock-ing Genesis: Labour, Freedom and John Locke

Essentially concerned with the creating the philosophic foundation for consensual governments, Locke's Second Treatise is haunted by echos of the Book of Genesis. This is not surprising given that Locke's primary opponents are those who argue that all government should... Continue Reading →

Plato and Penelope: The Politics of Weaving

Homer's Iliad, which tells the story of the Trojan war, reveals in clarity the devastation of a world at war. Having come to Troy to avenge the abduction or seduction of the Menelaus's wife, Helen, and to reassert the principles... Continue Reading →

(Not) Just Another Word: Freedom and John Locke

Locke's Second Treatise on Government is famously cited as providing the philosophic foundations of the liberal democratic world. Arguing against the right of of absolute monarchs, Locke says that if we imagine how we might have existed in an original... Continue Reading →

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