1st Edition

Reading Plato's Dialogues to Enhance Learning and Inquiry Exploring Socrates' Use of Protreptic for Student Engagement

By Mason Marshall Copyright 2021
    234 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This scholarly volume proposes protreptic as a radically new way of reading Plato’s dialogues leading to enhanced student engagement in learning and inquiry.

    Through analysis of Platonic dialogues including Crito, Euthyphro, Meno, and Republic, the text highlights Socrates’ ways of fostering and encouraging self-examination and conscionable reflection. By focusing his work on Socrates’ use of protreptic, Marshall proposes a practical approach to reading Plato, illustrating how his writings can be used to enhance intrinsic motivation amongst students, and help them develop the thinking skills required for democratic and civic engagement.

    This engaging volume will be of interest to doctoral students, researchers, and scholars concerned with Plato’s dialogues, the philosophy of education, and ancient philosophy more broadly, as well as post-graduate students interested in moral and values education research.



    Chapter 1: A Top-Down Approach: Refining Protreptic through Platonic Thought Experiments

    Chapter 2: A Bottom-Up Approach: Reimagining Protreptic by Examining Socrates

    Chapter 3: Would the Two Approaches Be Legitimate?

    Chapter 4: Would the Two Approaches Be Valuable Enough?

    Chapter 5: The Two Approaches in Action



    Mason Marshall is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Pepperdine University, US.

    "This volume is an imaginative and adventurous study of protreptic strategies and what makes them fit for particular circumstances" 

    The Classical Review

    "Scholarly, rigorously argued, richly informed and erudite, yet also inventive, even quirky, this book ought to interest anyone who likes to teach with Plato.  If they do not adopt all of the author’s prescriptions and purposes, they will still take up some of the strategies and special cases and liven up their classes with them.  I intend to do at least that, thanks to Marshall’s influence and with his guidance."

    —Nickolas Pappas, APA Studies in Teaching Philosophy

    "If I were allowed only a single piece of secondary literature to give to undergraduate or graduate students for a seminar on Plato, Chapter 3 of Marshall’s book would be without hesitation the one I would pick—not Vlastos, not Irwin, not Annas, not Burnyeat, not Reeve, but Marshall."

    —Mark Jonas, Studies in Philosophy and Education

    "Mason Marshall’s book Reading Plato’s Dialogues to Enhance Learning and Inquiry: Exploring Socrates’ Use of Protreptic for Student Engagement . . . is—I think—one of the most interesting and most important books that have been published in recent years."

    —Jakub Z. Lichański, International Journal of English and Cultural Studies

    "Mason Marshall’s bold book is proof that even in the saturated and millennia-old field of Plato studies, one can still come up with new and worthwhile ways to examine Plato’s dialogues. Marshall sets out to do nothing less than push the limits of what we call Plato scholarship, and in my estimation, he does not fail."

    —Benjamin Keoseyan, Philosophia

    "At this moment in the history of western culture, surrounded as we are by conspiracy theories and a deep skepticism of public institutions and their representatives, [Marshall’s] call to a philosophical way of life in pursuit of truth takes on profound importance.  That Marshall then adds that truth should be sought through reasoned debate between people reminds us how, at present, this is not a belief that is universally shared."

    —Nigel Tubbs, Religion and Education

    "The book is an excellent guide to using Plato’s dialogues for contemporary reflections on protreptic education."

    —Kristian Sheeley, Ancient Philosophy

    "This is a valuable and thought-provoking book."

    —Robert S. Colter, Teaching Philosophy