What We Are Reading Today: Plato’s Fable 

Updated 18 September 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Plato’s Fable 

  • Plato’s Fable is not simply a work of textual exegesis. It is an attempt to move debates within political theory beyond their current location

AUTHOR:  Joshua Mitchell

This book is an exploration of Plato’s Republic that bypasses arcane scholarly debates. Plato’s Fable provides refreshing insight into what, in Plato’s view, is the central problem of life: The mortal propensity to adopt defective ways of answering the question of how to live well.

How, in light of these tendencies, can humankind be saved? Joshua Mitchell discusses the question in unprecedented depth by examining one of the great books of Western civilization.

He draws us beyond the ancients/moderns debate, and beyond the notion that Plato’s Republic is best understood as shedding light on the promise of discursive democracy. Instead, Mitchell argues, the question that ought to preoccupy us today is neither “reason” nor “discourse,” but rather “imitation.” To what extent is man first and foremost an “imitative” being? This, Mitchell asserts, is the subtext of the great political and foreign policy debates of our times.

Plato’s Fable is not simply a work of textual exegesis. It is an attempt to move debates within political theory beyond their current location. Mitchell recovers insights about the depth of the problem of mortal imitation from Plato’s magnificent work, and seeks to explicate the meaning of Plato’s central claim — that “only philosophy can save us.”

Joshua Mitchell is professor of Government at Georgetown University, where he teaches the history of political thought.


Aladdin’s Naomi Scott walks the (magic) carpet in Los Angeles

Scott walked the orange carpet at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. AFP
Updated 24 March 2019
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Aladdin’s Naomi Scott walks the (magic) carpet in Los Angeles

DUBAI: British-Indian “Aladdin” actress Naomi Scott strutted down the orange carpet at the Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday night, while Lebanese teenage singing sensation Lynn Al-Hayek was voted the “Favorite Arab Music Artist” by her fans.

This year’s kid-friendly show was hosted by US-Palestinian producer and social media star DJ Khaled and saw the stars of the upcoming live-action version of Disney’s “Aladdin” — Will Smith, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott — hit the orange carpet before they floated down onto the stage on a platform made to look like Aladdin’s magic carpet.  

Before taking to the stage, Scott walked the carpet in a soda-orange, feathered coat with a silvery, metallic sweatshirt underneath. She finished off the fun look with black drainpipe trousers and shiny boots.

The annual award show is famous for dousing celebrity attendees with green slime, much to the delight of the children in the audience. This year, Hollywood’s Chris Pratt, Josh Peck and Adam Sandler were soaked from head to toe and the show culminated with DJ Khaled blanketing both himself and the crowd in green goo.

There was no shortage of star power at the event, with the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Janelle Monáe, Bebe Rexha and YouTube sensation Lilly Singh spotted in the audience.

Two Arab stars even made it into the list of winners — teenage singer Lynn Al-Hayek, who won The Voice Kids in 2016, and internet blogger Noor Stars took home awards for Favorite Arab Music Artist and Favorite Arab Internet Star respectively.

Hip-hop trio Migos performed their hits “Walk It Talk It” and “Stir Fry,” along with rising single “Pure Water,” accompanied by DJ Durel before adrenaline-packed teenage YouTube star JoJo Siwa forced DJ Khaled to don one of her signature hair bows after he lost a dance battle.