“Peter Adamson, professor of late ancient and Arabic philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.”*

How to effectively counter “Authority is Constructed and Contextual”? Before I answer the question, let me encourage you to give your ear to the great Peter Adamson, who has performed an inestimable service to us all by providing us with free, highly engaging and very accessible introductions to the history of philosophy (without any gaps!)

This is one of my all-time favorite podcasts. Adamson, a reliable guide, has mastered the art.

Think that there is no way you can’t understand philosophy or that it is ultimately of no practical importance? Think that there is no real cross-cultural overlap on life’s biggest questions? Peter Adamson will make you think again!

The show, the History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps is currently examining Buddhist and Hindu philosophy, but, going along with the concern expressed in this post’s title, I recommend getting started with the podcasts below.

I don’t want to discourage anyone from going right to the primary sources to see what Plato’s Socrates says about the nature of knowledge, and of course with this, truth.

That said, if you can’t do that, why not check out a 20 minute podcast?

We Don’t Need No Education: Plato’s Meno (episode 21)

Peter tackles one of Plato’s most frequently read dialogues, the “Meno,” and the theory that what seems to be learning is in fact recollection.

I Know, Because the Caged Bird Sings: Plato’s Theaetetus (episode 22)

Peter examines Plato’s “Theaetetus”, discussing the relativist doctrine of Protagoras, the flux doctrine of Heraclitus, and the two famous images of the wax tablet and aviary.

MM McCabe on Knowledge in Plato (episode 23)

What is Plato’s understanding of knowledge, and how does he think that knowledge relates to virtue? Peter tackles these questions with his King’s colleague MM McCabe in this interview.

Famous Last Words: Plato’s Phaedo (episode 24)

In the Phaedo, Plato depicts the death of Socrates, and argues for two of his most distinctive doctrines: the immortality of the soul and the theory of Forms.

So, does Plato help us in countering “Authority is Constructed and Contextual”? What do you think?

Our great help in time of need?

…and stay tuned for what I think.


* Adamson photo and bio from Western Illinois University website.