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July 22, 2008

Staff Picks: Plato and the Question of Beauty

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 3:57 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

I was browsing new book titles today and one just popped to my attention right away! It's called Plato and the Question of Beauty by Drew A. Hyland. The reason why I feel compelled to talk about this book goes back to my college days and my freshman year, second semester. I don't know if anyone has taken a right class at the wrong time like I did....the course was Communication in Civilization and I found out 3 weeks into it that even though it was a freshman course (# 171), juniors and seniors usually take it. (It was used, I like to think, to weed out those not ready for college). Most students had notes and past tests from alumni and I found out too late in the class to drop it. So, I muddled through.
Boy, was I glad I did! In the communication field, even though it can get a bit liberal as to what is taught, can feature very valuable information. The class I took brought Plato to my impressionable, freshman mind and I will never forget what I read. We only touched on the Symposium, the Republic and Pheadrus, and his lessons about life and skills in rhetoric are useful to us in 2008 just as they were to Plato those many years ago.
Hyland's book talks about those works as well as Plato's Hippias Major and is definitely right in step for today's business environment where people and companies move too fast, communicate too fast and tend to ignore details and the beauty around them. I'm not saying everyone that reads Plato will have this epiphany, but it may open minds to thinking of things in a different way. Plato may even help you when dealing in communication between co-workers, colleagues, etc.
If you do pick up a copy, enjoy it - and let me know what you think!

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.