Plato’s Symposium

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Plato’s Symposium, one of the Greek philosopher’s most celebrated works. Written in the 4th century BC, it is a dialogue set at a dinner party attended by a number of prominent ancient Athenians, including the philosopher Socrates and the playwright Aristophanes. Each of the guests speaks of Eros, or erotic love. This fictional discussion of the nature of love, how and why it arises and what it means to be in love, has had a significant influence on later thinkers, and is the origin of the modern notion of Platonic love.

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  • Angie Hobbs 24 episodes
    Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield
  • Richard Hunter No other episodes
    Regius Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge
  • Frisbee Sheffield 3 episodes
    Director of Studies in Philosophy at Christ's College, University of Cambridge

Reading list

  • Plato's Symposium
    Richard Hunter (Oxford University Press, 2004) Google Books →
  • Cambridge Companion to Plato
    Richard Kraut (ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 1992) Google Books →
  • Plato's Symposium: Issues in Interpretation and Reception
    J. Lesher, D. Nails and F. Sheffield (eds.) (Center for Hellenic Studies, Trustees for Harvard University, 2006) Google Books →
  • The Symposium
    Plato (trans. Christopher Gill) (Penguin, 2003) Google Books →
  • The Symposium
    Plato (ed. M. Howatson and F. Sheffield) (Cambridge University Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • Symposium
    Plato (trans. A. Nehamas and P. Woodruff) (Hackett, 1989) Google Books →
  • Symposium
    Plato (trans. Robin Waterfield) (Oxford World's Classics, 2008) Google Books →
  • The Continuum Companion to Plato
    Gerald Press (ed.) (Bloomsbury, 2012) Google Books →
  • Plato's Symposium: The Ethics of Desire
    Frisbee Sheffield (Oxford University Press, 2009) Google Books →
  • Facets of Plato's Philosophy
    W. H. Werkmeister (ed) (Van Gorcum, 1976) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 180 (Ancient, Medieval & Eastern Philosophy)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. Plato's Symposium, one of the masterpieces of Western philosophy, is a dramatic dialogue set at a dinner party in ancient Athens.