Plato’s works are presented as dialogues; that is, they recount conversations between Socrates and other people in his community. The Bhagavad Gita is presented in poetic verse and tells the story of a conversation between Prince Arjuna and Krishna, a god who offers Arjuna advice at a moment of distress. Both of these types of presentation are unique when compared with “traditional” forms of philosophical presentation, which usually give a general statement of facts and belief without use of a dramatic or poetic structure or characters who exchange thoughts and ideas with one another. In a four to five page essay, compare the styles of presentation of Plato and the Bhagavad Gita. What are the similarities? What are the differences? What do you think is beneficial about each of these presentations of philosophical teachings, compared with “traditional” modes of philosophical writing? Which style do you think is most helpful for learning philosophical concepts and why?
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