Monday, April 14, 2014

Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away
by Rebecca Goldstein
Pantheon Books, 2014. 456 pgs. Non-fiction.

This is a fascinating examination of the continuing relevance of philosophy in our lives. The author alternates between discussions of Plato and his writings in the context of his times and interesting hypothetical scenarios wherein Plato is alive today and is on book tour, participating in an panel discussion, a guest on a cable news show and a volunteer in a neurological study. These scenarios nicely illustrate how the questions Plato struggled with continue to tantalize and demonstrate how scientific advances do not render philosophic questions obsolete but rather create new contexts within which these questions continue to be debated. I found the imagined discussions with a contemporary Plato to be a fun and engaging counterpoint to the more scholarly discussions of his ideas that precede them. This would be a good read for anyone interested in exploring classical philosophic ideas but find reading Plato's works directly a daunting task.


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