Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away

Goldstein, Rebecca

My comments 2016-01-24


Well written, interesting and engaging. This book makes the case that that philosophy has not and cannot be killed off by science, which position I wholeheartedly agree with. The book is an analysis and interpretation of Plato's and Socrates' philosophies. The main problem I have with the account is that it is strongly and explicitly apolitical. Although the author does describe the political background, she does not draw any conclusions from the strong connection between Plato's ethics and politics, which connection I think is obvious. I am influenced in my thinking by Karl Popper's treatment of this question in his "The Open Society and Its Enemies", which is not discussed at all in the current book. One of the important points Popper makes is that one should discuss a philosopher's ideas in light of the problems that he/she was facing, and that this makes it much easier to interpret the arguments used. In contrast, Goldstein argues that the issue of how the positions were arrived at is secondary to the issue of whether they are valid or not, a statement that I think misses the point.