What Can We Learn From Ancient Philosophers?

Bryan Van Norden – Vassar College

After years of war and a pandemic, government seems near collapse in the leading democracy in the West. Sound familiar? This is Athens in the time of Socrates.  Socrates’ relentless questioning of authority annoyed so many people in Athens that they sentenced him to death. But Socrates also inspired Plato to become a philosopher. Plato’s most famous student was Aristotle, but Aristotle disagreed with Plato about almost everything.  In this class, Professor Van Norden explains what this trio can teach us about living well and solving the problems of a democracy in crisis.