Great Plato Courses

I have spent a lot of money over the years on titles from The Great Courses. I don’t regret it. And since I recently finished a course, I thought I would blog about it and one that is complementary.

First, Masters of Greek Thought: Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle by Robert C. Bartlett. This course covers Socrates as depicted by Aristophanes, Xenophon, and Plato, and finishes up with lectures on Aristotle.

Second, Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues by Michael Sugrue. This course is shorter and more narrowly focused on Plato than the other, only overlapping on some of Plato’s works.

I am not sure if I favor one over the other. Sugrue is a more energetic speaker and goes a little deeper on some of Plato's materials, so I found his a bit more enjoyable. But Bartlett’s is still very interesting and exposes you to a wider range of material. If you have the time, both will do you some good.

If you are interested in either, you have a few options. First, you can buy Sugrue’s course on the Great Courses website. Don’t ever pay full price, as courses go on sale frequently. You can still get Bartlett’s course in video format from the website, but they now sell the audio version only through Audible. Second, you could go with The Great Courses Plus, which is apparently (I have not tried it) a streaming, monthly subscription version of the regular materials. However, given the complication of the Audible deal with Bartlett’s course, I can’t guarantee that it will be available. Third, my friends tell me that many local libraries have copies of some of these materials, so you might be able to find what you want there for free.

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