Sunday, September 30, 2007

Socrates -- In Our Time is back

BBC's Radio Four program In Our Time has returned after a long summer break and opened the new season with a discussion about Socrates. We learn that Cicero said about him that he brought philosophy from the heavens to the earth.

Socrates is pictured to us as the first critical thinker. The first to fight esoteric, mythic, grand scale philosophy and bring it to the practical questions of the good life. Which, according to him, must equal the virtuous life. What strikes me is how we see in Socrates already the critical, the rational and the inquisitive mind that will mark Western thinking and science. I am also struck by the individualism. Knowledge is a personal thing, not dependent upon tradition or institution, which points forward to protestants such as Calvin.

What fun that In Our Time is back. What good initiative the BBC releases it as a podcast. One of the most worthwhile podcasts. But the eager listener must be alert. One week after publication, with the new edition coming out, the previous is removed from the feeds. It can be heard through the archive, but not downloaded. As all shows must be regarded as valuable at face value, my advice is to download and keep for the right moment for listening. Not to wait and turn dependent on time on line.
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