Digital Dialogue episode 72 is dedicated to a conversation with William H. F. Altman, author of five books including, most recently, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche: The Philosopher of the Second Reich and an edited volume on Cicero.
It is probably fair to say that we met each other in my book Socratic and Platonic Political Philosophy. Perhaps it is strange to think of a book as a place in which two people can meet one another, but it was in Will’s reading of my book, his reaching out to me to share his generous review of the book, and then his willingness to enter into dialogue with me in the digital space the book opened and seeks to cultivate, that we came to know one another.
I extended an invitation to him to join me for an episode of the Digital Dialogue because of a comment he posted about my reading of Callicles in the Gorgias, a point to which we turn in the last fifteen minutes of our conversation on the podcast.
What I didn’t quite anticipate was that, when I asked for something of his to read in preparation for the discussion, I would find myself pulled into the introduction to a book that resonated deeply with my own approach to Plato. Will shared with me the introduction to his own Plato as Teacher: Crisis of the Republic.
As I read the introduction on my way to the first writing workshop for the Public Philosophy Journal in San Francisco, I was struck by the extent to which our approach to Plato and to the practices of reading Plato are similar.
We recorded the conversation via Google Hangout On Air, but it was not set up for the split screen, so you only see Will’s side of the conversation.
You can, of course, listen to the audio here as well.