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The Cave and the Light - Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization-logo

The Cave and the Light - Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization

Arthur Herman

Plato came from a wealthy, connected Athenian family and lived a comfortable upper-class lifestyle until he met an odd little man named Socrates, who showed him a new world of ideas and ideals. Socrates taught Plato that a man must use reason to attain wisdom, and that the life of a lover of wisdom, a philosopher, was the pinnacle of achievement. Plato dedicated himself to living that ideal and went on to create a school, his famed Academy, to teach others the path to enlightenment through contemplation. However, the same Academy that spread Plato' s teachings also fostered his greatest rival. Born to a family of Greek physicians, Aristotle had learned early on the value of observation and hands-on experience. Rather than rely on pure contemplation, he insisted that the truest path to knowledge is through empirical discovery and exploration of the world around us. Aristotle, Plato' s most brilliant pupil, thus settled on a philosophy very different from his instructor' s and launched a rivalry with profound effects on Western culture. The two men disagreed on the fundamental purpose of the philosophy. For Plato, the image of the cave summed up man' s destined path, emerging from the darkness of material existence to the light of a higher and more spiritual truth. Aristotle thought otherwise. Instead of rising above mundane reality, he insisted, the philosopher' s job is to explain how the real world works, and how we can find our place in it. Aristotle set up a school in Athens to rival Plato' s Academy: the Lyceum. The competition that ensued between the two schools, and between Plato and Aristotle, set the world on an intellectual adventure that lasted through the Middle Ages and Renaissance and that still continues today. From Martin Luther (who named Aristotle the third great enemy of true religion, after the devil and the Pope) to Karl Marx (whose utopian views rival Plato' s), heroes and villains of history have been inspired and incensed by these two master philosophers-- but never outside their influen

Plato came from a wealthy, connected Athenian family and lived a comfortable upper-class lifestyle until he met an odd little man named Socrates, who showed him a new world of ideas and ideals. Socrates taught Plato that a man must use reason to attain wisdom, and that the life of a lover of wisdom, a philosopher, was the pinnacle of achievement. Plato dedicated himself to living that ideal and went on to create a school, his famed Academy, to teach others the path to enlightenment through contemplation. However, the same Academy that spread Plato' s teachings also fostered his greatest rival. Born to a family of Greek physicians, Aristotle had learned early on the value of observation and hands-on experience. Rather than rely on pure contemplation, he insisted that the truest path to knowledge is through empirical discovery and exploration of the world around us. Aristotle, Plato' s most brilliant pupil, thus settled on a philosophy very different from his instructor' s and launched a rivalry with profound effects on Western culture. The two men disagreed on the fundamental purpose of the philosophy. For Plato, the image of the cave summed up man' s destined path, emerging from the darkness of material existence to the light of a higher and more spiritual truth. Aristotle thought otherwise. Instead of rising above mundane reality, he insisted, the philosopher' s job is to explain how the real world works, and how we can find our place in it. Aristotle set up a school in Athens to rival Plato' s Academy: the Lyceum. The competition that ensued between the two schools, and between Plato and Aristotle, set the world on an intellectual adventure that lasted through the Middle Ages and Renaissance and that still continues today. From Martin Luther (who named Aristotle the third great enemy of true religion, after the devil and the Pope) to Karl Marx (whose utopian views rival Plato' s), heroes and villains of history have been inspired and incensed by these two master philosophers-- but never outside their influen
More Information

Genres:

History

Description:

Plato came from a wealthy, connected Athenian family and lived a comfortable upper-class lifestyle until he met an odd little man named Socrates, who showed him a new world of ideas and ideals. Socrates taught Plato that a man must use reason to attain wisdom, and that the life of a lover of wisdom, a philosopher, was the pinnacle of achievement. Plato dedicated himself to living that ideal and went on to create a school, his famed Academy, to teach others the path to enlightenment through contemplation. However, the same Academy that spread Plato' s teachings also fostered his greatest rival. Born to a family of Greek physicians, Aristotle had learned early on the value of observation and hands-on experience. Rather than rely on pure contemplation, he insisted that the truest path to knowledge is through empirical discovery and exploration of the world around us. Aristotle, Plato' s most brilliant pupil, thus settled on a philosophy very different from his instructor' s and launched a rivalry with profound effects on Western culture. The two men disagreed on the fundamental purpose of the philosophy. For Plato, the image of the cave summed up man' s destined path, emerging from the darkness of material existence to the light of a higher and more spiritual truth. Aristotle thought otherwise. Instead of rising above mundane reality, he insisted, the philosopher' s job is to explain how the real world works, and how we can find our place in it. Aristotle set up a school in Athens to rival Plato' s Academy: the Lyceum. The competition that ensued between the two schools, and between Plato and Aristotle, set the world on an intellectual adventure that lasted through the Middle Ages and Renaissance and that still continues today. From Martin Luther (who named Aristotle the third great enemy of true religion, after the devil and the Pope) to Karl Marx (whose utopian views rival Plato' s), heroes and villains of history have been inspired and incensed by these two master philosophers-- but never outside their influen

Language:

English

Narrators:

Paul Hecht

Length:

25h 37m


Chapters

Introduction
Introduction

18:42


Chapter 1
Chapter 1

24:04


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

42:22


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

32:57


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

49:25


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

52:21


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

31:01


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

44:25


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

48:57


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

50:32


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

53:05


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

54:49


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

48:06


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

47:41


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

50:32


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

50:33


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

55:10


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

54:50


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

54:25


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

51:31


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

54:28


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

01:03:33


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

57:56


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

56:28


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

01:02:44


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

58:17


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

01:00:29


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

53:05


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

57:11


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

01:06:41


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

29:06


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

02:19