Dr. Michael Platt studied at Harvard, Oxford, and Yale. Here in the States, at Dartmouth and the University of Dallas, and abroad, at Heidelberg, he has taught philosophy, theology, political science, American government, biomedical ethics, literature, and Rembrandt. In these fields, especially on Plato, Shakespeare, and Nietzsche, he has written and published as well. At Dartmouth, his Liberal Arts Honors proposal is characterized as the “college’s last chance” (Charles Sykes, The Hollow Men); at the University of Dallas, he directed the Literature portion of the Philosophic Institute, and in Germany at Heidelberg (1982-83 with Hans-Georg Gadamer) and at Greifswald (2006-08) he taught Germans Shakespeare and Nietzsche. He has also taught Honors at North Texas, at Houston, and at Baylor; Rembrandt at Schreiner; and Family and Regime at The International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria (nihil obstat, Christoph Cardinal Schoenborn). Of his classes, John Randall, Esq. wrote, “We all felt that we were a part of something extraordinary. No experience has matched those classes in scope or lasting effect upon myself as a student of the world.” In the United States, Canada, and Europe, he has lectured fairly widely (Harvard, Catholic, Hillsdale, St. Johns, Liberty Baptist, München, and two hundred others.) His work has been supported by St. Johns College (Santa Fe), the National Endowment of Humanities, and the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung (Germany). His writings on Shakespeare, Nietzsche, and on teaching and learning are somewhat widely available. His “Myth of the Teenager” is the most popular piece ever published in Mary Pride’s Practical Home Schooling. He and his wife and children, other than the five in or through college, winter in Fredericksburg, Texas.
Of his studies, he writes: “Roughly speaking, the inquiries I carry forward in teaching, conversing, and writing address three matters: the rivalry of philosophy and poetry, the relation of reason and revelation, and the quarrel of the ancients and the moderns. Among my many superior companions are Montaigne, Homer, Rembrandt, Tolstoy, Pascal, Thomas, Tocqueville, and Lincoln, but also the likes of Haydn, Halifax, Manzoni, Keller, and Cather. Most helpful have been and are: Nietzsche, Plato, the Bible, and Shakespeare, Shakespeare for the longest time.”
Of his time now teaching at George Wythe University, he says “On my first teaching sojourn here, it was the students who insisted I lecture all morning and the first Christmas card was from them. The Harvard, the Oxford, and the Yale I enjoyed as a student no longer exist—read Ross Douthat’s Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class—but that good atmosphere exists here. Teaching the good and great books that make up this curriculum, to these good students, in that atmosphere, is my happiness. George Wythe is one of only three colleges I know of better than it was ten years ago.”