Friday, July 07, 2006

More on "head-to-head" learning

After trying to get a grip on the Iraq war, I thought I'd go further into dialectical debate as a way of understanding an issue.

Actually, that's not true. I just happened to get Plato's Republic: A Biography, and found that Plato's Republic is actually a set of dialogues, a common way to present philosophical arguments.

I was looking forward to a... well, a biography! A story with a beginning, a middle and an end. That's what was promised.

Instead, I'm getting a truncated commentary of the whole thing. That's the trouble with philosophers, they're not journalists. When a reader like me, who's new to the topic, needs a simple covering of the who what when where how why... in laymen's terms ... it's a bit disappointing to get the author arguing with the text almost before the story has started.

Having said that, if I'm in full "over-my-head" learning mode, I can get what's going on and, hopefully, understand the ideas behind Plato's Republic.

Having said all that, I'm three chapters in, so this book may well prove to be a bit better as time goes on.

Here's hoping!


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