Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Who does Socrates meet next?

I had the opportunity to chat with Peter Kreeft at the recent Society for Classical Learning conference. Kreeft is one of the most clear and cogent thinkers I have ever come across. A philosophy professor at Boston College, Kreeft has written a series of dialogues in which Socrates is somehow allowed out of his historical dimension (and, apparently, given some time between life and death) to discuss great ideas with various great thinkers.

So far, the series includes Socrates Meets Marx, Socrates Meets Machiavelli, Socrates Meets Sartre, and, my favorite, Socrates Meets Jesus (in which our hero meets Jesus, but only in the figurative sense through various modern people with whom he talks).

So when I saw Kreeft, I pulled him aside and asked, "So who does Socrates meet next?" "Oh," he told me, "Socrates has just met Descartes--I think that book is out now. Then he meets Hume, and then Kant, and then me meets Kierkegaard, at which point he is converted."


These books are not only full of great thinking, but of great wit--all in Kreeft's disarmingly simple style. I highly recommend them.

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