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“Witty and profound” musings on questions of art and religion from a celebrated novelist known for her philosophical explorations (Library Journal).
For centuries, the works of Plato, featuring his mentor and teacher Socrates, have illuminated philosophical discussions. In Acastos: Two Platonic Dialogues, acclaimed philosopher, poet, and writer Iris Murdoch turns her keen eye to the value of art, knowledge, and faith, with two dramatic conversations featuring Plato and Socrates.
“Art and Eros”: After witnessing a theatrical performance, Socrates and his pupils—Callistos, Acastos, Mantias, Deximenes, and Plato—undertake a quest to uncover the meaning and worth of artistic endeavors.
“Above the Gods”: The celebration of a religious festival leads to a lively discussion of the gods and their place in society, as Socrates, along with several of his followers, talk about the morality of religion, wisdom, and righteousness.
Told through vivid characterizations and lively discourse, Acastos is at once a “profound and satisfying” exploration of the Socratic method and an enjoyable example of theatrical writing from a Man Booker Prize–winning novelist known for her studies with Ludwig Wittgenstein and her philosophy lectures at Oxford University, as well as for such works of fiction as The Sea, The Sea and The Black Prince (Kirkus Reviews).