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Philosophy

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  1. 6.8 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    This collection of the most epic, hilarious, and strange Bill Murray stories from the past four decades spotlights the star’s extraordinary ability to infuse the everyday with surprise, absurdity, and wonder.

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    The Tao of Bill Murray

    6.8 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 6.9 hrs • 9/7/2016 • Unabridged

    MEDITATIONS is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy. Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote his Meditations as a means of guidance and self-improvement almost 2000 years ago. Aurelius never meant for the text to be published as it was only meant as tool for himself.

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    Meditations

    6.9 hrs • 9/7/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 2.4 hrs • 9/7/2016 • Unabridged

    The dramatic nature of Plato’s dialogues is delightfully evident in Symposium. The marriage between character and thought bursts forth as the guests gather at Agathon’s house to celebrate the success of his first tragedy. With wit and insight, they all present their ideas about love - from Erixymachus’ scientific naturalism to Aristophanes’ comic fantasy. The unexpected arrival of Alcibiades breaks the spell cast by Diotima’s ethereal climb up the staircase of love to beauty itself. Ecstasy and intoxication clash as Plato concludes with one of his most skillful displays of dialectic.

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    Plato's Symposium

    Read by Ray Childs
    2.4 hrs • 9/7/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 1.0 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    Socrates is on trial for his life. He is charged with impiety and corrupting young people. He presents his own defense, explaining why he has devoted his life to challenging the most powerful and important people in the Greek world. The reason is that rich and famous politicians, priests, poets, and a host of others pretend to know what is good, true, holy, and beautiful, but when Socrates questions them, they are shown to be foolish rather than wise. © Agora Publications

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    Plato's Apology

    Read by Ray Childs
    1.0 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 0.8 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    A dialogue between Socrates and Meno probes the subject of ethics. Can goodness be taught? If it can, then we should be able to find teachers capable of instructing others about what is good and bad, right and wrong, or just and unjust. Socrates and Meno are unable to identify teachers of ethics, and we are left wondering how such knowledge could be acquired. To answer that puzzle, Socrates questions one of Meno's servants in an attempt to show that we know fundamental ideas by recollecting them. © Agora Publications

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    Plato's Meno

    Read by Ray Childs
    0.8 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 0.6 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    Socrates questions Ion, an actor who just won a major prize, about his ability to interpret the epic poetry of Homer. How does an actor, a poet, or any other artist create? Is it by knowing? Is it by inspiration? As the dialogue proceeds, the nature of human creativity emerges as a mysterious process and an unsolved puzzle. © Agora Publications

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    Plato's Ion

    Read by Ray Childs
    0.6 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 3.0 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    Gorgias of Leontini, a famous teacher of rhetoric, has come to Athens to recruit students, promising to teach them how to become leaders in politics and business. A group has gathered at Callicles' house to hear Gorgias demonstrate the power of his art. This dialogue blends comic and serious discussion of the best life, providing a penetrating examination of ethics. Is it better to suffer evil or to do evil? Is it better to do something wrong and avoid being caught or to be caught and punished? Is pleasure the same as goodness? As the characters in the dialogue pursue these questions, the foundations of ethics and the nature of the good life come to light. © Agora Publications

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    Plato's Gorgias

    Read by Ray Childs
    3.0 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 2.7 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    Socrates is in prison, sentenced to die when the sun sets. In this final conversation, he asks what will become of him once he drinks the poison prescribed for his execution. Socrates and his friends examine several arguments designed to prove that the soul is immortal. This quest leads him to the broader topic of the nature of mind and its connection not only to human existence but also to the cosmos itself. What could be a better way to pass the time between now and the sunset? © Agora Publications

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    Plato's Phaedo

    Read by Ray Childs
    2.7 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  9. 11.9 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    The Republic poses questions that endure: What is justice? What form of community fosters the best possible life for human beings? What is the nature and destiny of the soul? What form of education provides the best leaders for a good republic? What are the various forms of poetry and the other arts, and which ones should be fostered and which ones should be discouraged? How does knowing differ from believing? Several characters in the dialogue present a variety of tempting answers to those questions. Cephalus, Polemarchus, Thrasymachus, and Glaucon all offer definitions of justice. Socrates, Glaucon, and Adeimantus explore five different forms of republic and evaluate the merits of each from the standpoint of goodness. Two contrasting models of education are proposed and examined. Three different forms of poetry are identified and analyzed. The difference between knowing and believing is discussed in relation to the objects of each kind of thinking. © Agora Publications

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    Plato's Republic

    By Plato
    Read by Ray Childs
    11.9 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  10. 0.6 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    In Euthyphro, Socrates is on his way to the court, where he must defend himself against serious charges brought by religious and political authorities. On the way he meets Euthyphro, an expert on religious matters who has come to prosecute his own father. Socrates questions Euthyphro’s claim that religion serves as the basis for ethics. Euthyphro is not able to provide satisfactory answers to Socrates’ questions, but their dialogue leaves us with the challenge of making a reasonable connection between ethics and religion.

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    Plato's Euthyphro

    Read by Ray Childs
    0.6 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  11. 0.5 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    The Athenian court has found Socrates guilty and sentenced him to death. While he is waiting to be executed, his friend, Crito, comes to the prison to persuade him to escape and go into exile. Socrates responds by examining the essence of law and community, probing the various kinds of law and making distinctions that go far beyond the particular issue of whether or not Socrates should escape.

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    Plato's Crito

    Read by Ray Childs
    0.5 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  12. 3.5 hrs • 9/5/2016 • Unabridged

    Rene Descartes is often described as the first modern philosopher, but much of the content of his Meditations on First Philosophy can be found in the medieval period that had already existed for more than a thousand years. Does God exist? If so, what is his nature? Is the human soul immortal? How does it differ from the body? What role do sense experience and pure reason play in knowing? Descartes stands out from his predecessors because of the method he developed to treat these and other fundamental questions. Drawing on his study of mathematics, he searches for a way to establish absolutely certain conclusions based on indubitable premises. His importance in modern philosophy lies in the challenge he offers to every subsequent thinker in philosophy and science. © Agora Publications

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    Descartes' Meditations

    3.5 hrs • 9/5/16 • Unabridged
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  13. 4.3 hrs • 9/5/2016 • Unabridged

    David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion had not yet been published when he died in 1776. Even though the manuscript was mostly written during the 1750s, it did not appear until 1779. The subject itself was too delicate and controversial, and Hume's dialectical examination of religious knowledge was especially provocative. What should we teach young people about religion? The characters Demea, Cleanthes, and Philo passionately present and defend three sharply different answers to that question. Demea opens the dialogue with a position derived from René Descartes and Father Malebranche - God's nature is a mystery, but God's existence can be proved logically. Cleanthes attacks that view, both because it leads to mysticism and because it attempts the impossible task of trying to establish existence on the basis of pure reason, without appeal to sense experience. As an alternative, he offers a proof both God's existence and God's nature based on the same kind of scientific reasoning established by Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton. Taking a skeptical approach, Philo presents a series of arguments that question any attempt to use reason as a basis for religious faith. He suggests that human beings might be better off without religion. The dialogue ends without agreement among the characters, justifying Hume's choice of dialogue as the literary style for this topic. © Agora Publications

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    Hume's Dialogues

    4.3 hrs • 9/5/16 • Unabridged
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  14. 5.1 hrs • 9/5/2016 • Unabridged

    These works articulate the most fundamental principles of Kant’s ethical and political worldview. What Is Enlightenment? (1784) and Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785) were written in the period between the American Revolution and the French Revolution. Taken together, they challenge all free people to think about the requirements for self-determination both in our individual lives and in our public and private institutions. Kant’s Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals is dedicated to the proposition that all people can know what we need to know to be honest, good, wise, and virtuous. The purpose of Kant’s moral philosophy is to help us become aware of the principles that are already contained within us. Innocence and dependence must be replaced with wisdom and goodwill if we are to avoid being vulnerable and misguided. According to Kant, freedom of thought leads naturally to freedom of action. When that happens, governments begin to treat human beings not as machines but as persons with dignity. Immanuel Kant begins Toward Lasting Peace by contrasting the realism of practical politicians with the high-minded theories of philosophers who dream their sweet dreams. His opening line provides a grim reminder that the only alternative to finding a way to avoid the war of each against all is the lasting peace of the graveyard. The advent of total war and the development of nuclear weapons in the 20th century give Kant’s reflections an urgency he could not have anticipated. Kant published this work in 1795, during the aftermath of the American Revolution and the French Revolution. The high hopes of the European Enlightenment had been dampened by the Reign of Terror in which tens of thousands of people died, and the perpetual cycle of war and temporary armistice seemed to be inescapable. Kant’s essay is best known as an early articulation of the idea of a league of nations that could bring an end to all hostilities. Today, the United Nations continues to pursue that dream, but lasting peace still seems to be wishful thinking. © Agora Publications

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    Kant's Foundations of Ethics

    5.1 hrs • 9/5/16 • Unabridged
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  15. 3.7 hrs • 9/5/2016 • Unabridged

    Art is the creative manifestation of essences. In order to understand the relation between art and reality, we need a philosophical guide. The best way to comprehend how the creative act of imagining enables the mind to seek reality is to employ the kind of dialectical thinking that Plato used in his dialogues. Beginning with the shadows on the wall of the cave in which each person dwells, that process gradually enables us to grasp the essences that are manifested in individual works of art. Without a philosophical guide, we are likely to encounter only a blur of images in the visual arts, a cacophony of sounds in music, a whirl of activity in the theater, and chaos in the building of cities. It is too much to expect a set of final answers to any serious question about what is true, good, or beautiful. If we abandon the quest for reality, we settle for too little. Plato’s dialectical approach offers a path between Scylla and Charybdis.

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    Reality and the Arts

    3.7 hrs • 9/5/16 • Unabridged
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  16. 3.2 hrs • 9/5/2016 • Unabridged

    In this, his first book, Nietzsche developed a way of thinking about the arts that unites the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus as the central symbol of human existence. Although tragedy serves as the focus of this work, music, visual art, dance, and the other arts can also be viewed using Nietzsche’s analysis and integration of the Apollonian and the Dionysian. The Birth of Tragedy stands alongside Aristotle’s Poetics as an essential work for all who seek to understand poetry and its relationship to human life. © Agora Publications

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    Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy

    3.2 hrs • 9/5/16 • Unabridged
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