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Read The Book Online

  • Yes, you can! Just click the image below for a full-screen page view. You can read the book online. Nice, flash-based interface. Very readable. You can also download this fine Plato text from the Issuu site itself. (That requires that you sign up for Issuu, but it's free and won't take but a minute.) If you download the PDF you will find that it is print-locked but otherwise fully functional.

About the Book

  • Politics and persuasion, reason and religion, science and success, appearance and reality, belief and knowledge, ethics and egoism. Reason and Persuasion provides a new look at old issues through the lens of three classic dialogues by Plato: Euthyphro, Meno and Republic, Book I. These dialogues appear here in fresh translations, by Belle Waring, with general introduction, commentary chapters and illustrations by John Holbo. The text is lively, accessible, and intended for use as an introduction to philosophy, but is substantive enough to be of interest to the more advanced students as well.

    Reason and Persuasion asks the question philosophers and non- philosophers have been asking each other, and themselves, from the start: why should I listen to you?

About the Authors

  • John Holbo is an assistant professor of philosophy at the National University of Singapore. He is married to Belle Waring, the translator, who got at MA in classics at the University of California, Berkeley. John's CV is here. Belle spends much of her time these days refurbishing vintage furniture. (Here are the pictures to prove it.) We blog at John & Belle Have A Blog. Also at Crooked Timber. John also blogs at the Valve. (Are you starting to see a pattern?) John is also publishing his webcomic, Squid & Owl, as a Flickr set. Updates daily.

About This Site

  • John Holbo is your webmaster and host. But I'm married to Belle so I can pass along questions and comments about the translations efficiently. We call it 'spousecasting'.

    I'm planning to maintain this blog as a permanent supplement/appendix to the book. It will contain updates, corrections, free teaching materials, links, that sort of thing. We're hoping to collect informal reviews and commentary on the text by others - by you, maybe. The formal sort are welcome, too, of course. One problem with introductions is that they are, well, too ... introductory in a lot of ways. They ignore stuff, proceed as if things are simple. That's their job. But I'm thinking it might be nice to collect a bunch of 'here's what Holbo leaves out of chapter 4' type pieces. It would be nice for me to be able to point students to that sort of thing.

Reason and Persuasion Illustrations


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John, I hadn't twigged that you had done the illustrations yourself. When did you learn to draw? I think they are very effective!

Thanks! Besides some intermittent doodling over the years, I didn't start drawing until I started teaching at NUS. I thought it would be fun to doodle stuff to use as illustrations for lecture slides. And it just became a habit and then a mild obsession.

Prof. Holbo,

Since you are giving people permission above to use your illustrations in Powerpoint slides, perhaps you should put them under one of the Creative Commons licenses on Flickr.

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