The Examining Life

Episode 1: Plato's Apology

Welcome to The Examining Life, a podcast of the Arts of Liberty Project. Hosted by Drs. Jeffrey Lehman and Andrew Seeley, the podcast covers both works from the Western tradition and contemporary events of interest. Lively, personal, and timely, "The Examining Life" contributes to the renewal of liberal education.

“Why?” This simple yet eminently profound word has been the starting point of some of the greatest dialogues in human history. No matter one’s age, there is something so fundamentally human in examining ourselves and the world around us that Socrates famously argues, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Join Drs. Jeffrey Lehman and Andrew Seeley this week as they delve into this question and more, here at "The Examining Life" podcast. Resources mentioned during the podcast are included below!

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Apology 37e: "Perhaps someone might say, “Socrates, can you not go away from us and live quietly, without talking?” Now this is the hardest thing to make some of you believe. For if I say that such conduct would be disobedience to the god and that therefore I cannot keep quiet, you will think I am jesting and will not believe me; and if again I say that to talk every day about virtue and the other things about which you hear me talking and examining myself and others is the greatest good to man, and that the unexamined life is not worth living, you will believe me still less. This is as I say, gentlemen, but it is not easy to convince you."

Apology 41b: "And the greatest pleasure would be to pass my time in examining and investigating the people there, as I do those here, to find out who among them is wise and who thinks he is when he is not. What price would any of you pay, judges, to examine him who led the great army against Troy, or Odysseus, or Sisyphus, or countless others, both men and women, whom I might mention? To converse and associate with them and examine them would be immeasurable happiness."

Podcast Resources

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Apology Full Text

Access the full text of Plato's Apology here, or a Greek and English version here.

Arts of Liberty Study Guide

The Arts of Liberty provides study guides on great works of the Western Tradition, including the Apology.

Cana Academy

You can find Cana Academy's study guides here, and their guide to leading a seminar on Plato's Apology here.

Circe Institute

As Dr. Seeley mentioned, the Circe Institute hosts many events throughout the year.