Posts From Author: plato

Plato at the Googleplex: Review

Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein Knopf Doubleday / Vintage, 2014; 480pp   “Just accept the one preposterous premise that Plato could turn up in twenty-first-century America, an author on a book tour, and everything else, I hope, makes sense.” That’s the preposterous but brilliant premise of Rebecca Newberger Goldstein‘s latest book, Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away, a witty and stimulating tour of Ancient Greece interspersed with “out of time” Platonic dialogues with a right-wing talk-show host, an agony aunt, the 92nd Street Y, and staff at the Google campus in Mountain View, California. Remember that bit in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure when Socrates, Beethoven, Joan of Arc et al go wild in a shopping mall? It’s sort of like that, only with a much more rigorous approach to textuality. It’s also a fierce defence of the practice of philosophy today, at a time when many scientists and other “philosophy-jeerers” would have you believe that philosophy is just a stop-gap, a method of generating questions that will later be answered by science, and has no inherent value in itself. Goldstein intersperses these witty imaginings with historical context for the thinking that her Plato puts […]
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