Socrates is in prison, sentenced to die when the sun sets. In this final conversation, he asks what will become of him once he drinks the poison prescribed for his execution. Socrates and his friends examine several arguments designed to prove that the soul is immortal. This quest leads him to the broader topic of the nature of mind and its connection not only to human existence but also to the cosmos itself. What could be a better way to pass the time between now and the sunset?
Plato lived in Athens, Greece. He wrote approximately two-dozen dialogues that explore core topics that are essential to all human beings. Although the historical Socrates was a strong influence on Plato, the character by that name that appears in many of his dialogues is a product of Plato’s fertile imagination. All of Plato’s dialogues are written in a poetic form that his student Aristotle called “Socratic dialogue.” In the twentieth century, the British philosopher and logician Alfred North Whitehead characterized the entire European philosophical tradition as “a series of footnotes to Plato.” Philosophy for Plato was not a set of doctrines but a goal — not the possession of wisdom but the love of wisdom. Agora Publications offers these performances based on the assumption that Plato wrote these works to be performed by actors in order to stimulate additional dialogue among those who listen to them.