Plato authored the world's first philosophical system. He offered unified answers to questions ranging from metaphysics to politics, mathematics to sex. Studying his thought sheds light on the history and nature of philosophy. This course is an examination of Plato's system with an emphasis on its centerpiece: the theory of Forms. The theory of Forms is Plato's solution to the problem of concepts (or "universals"). The course covers how he developed this theory, and how it shaped his epistemology, ethics, and politics. In covering this material Mr. Salmieri clarifies the relationship between theories of concepts and the rest of philosophy. He offers a new perspective on the value of Ayn Rand's theory of concepts.
"I would like to recommend Greg Salmieri's superb new course Platonism, which is available from The Ayn Rand Bookstore. The focus of the course is the philosophy of Plato, especially as found in such central dialogues as the Meno, the Phaedo and the Republic. Greg offers an excellent presentation not only of the fundamental beliefs of Plato's philosophy (and especially his metaphysics, epistemology and ethics), but also of the 'arguments' Plato offers in defense of those beliefs. I found that even when Greg was going over very familiar (to me) ground—e.g., the discussion of the Forms in the central books of the Repbulic—he had something interesting and original to say."
"I enthusiastically second Robert Mayhew's recommendation of this course."
This course was recorded at the 2004 Objectivist Summer Conference in Wintergreen, VA.
(MP3 download; 5 hrs., 55 min., with Q & A, 242 MB)