Report on Five Socratic Dialogues

by Plato

Thanks all for thoughtful discussion and was very pleased to see the great engagement with Plato’s Socratic Dialogues. I think all expressed pleasure at having read the dialogues – in varying measures. All seemed to have engaged in different ways: attempting to fill gap in allusions from other reading or to take learning from the process and methodology of the discursive method demonstrated.
I think one of the more telling remarks of the evening was in a broader reflection on our other reading sections in contrast to this one – noting that it is enlightening how much we read that doesn’t require much in the way of deep intellectual engagement. The dialogues clearly required quite determined focus and consideration.
There was some questioning of whether this is really a dialogue and as opposed to more of a monologue (is Socrates really challenged that often by the other actors in the drama?) and a constant realisation that this is much of Plato’s own contriving for didactic effect as much as a truthful recollection of what may or may not have actually happened.
Our marks for the read challenged how we judge a work (for the second time this year) and on questioning these are subjective and particular. However, for this one, we have a decent spread – but all feeling to have appreciated the read. Our collective assessment was 6.5.

The read for June is ‘A Little Life’ – a little bit longer read (I happened to see a physical manifestation of it at H&F on the walk home yesterday). The author is Hanya Yanagihara and seems to be available for Kindle at a rather reasonable price.

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