My eyes nearly fell out of my head on reading Steve Fuller on Plato's Republic : "Six pages are probably sufficient to capture" the significant features of the book (Letters, April 1). This leads to the pass-notes phenomenon, where youngsters can gain "respectable" results (at least in examination terms) by swotting up the substitutes for their set texts.
Ideas cannot be stated in bald and simple terms. If they are to carry any conviction they need some amplification, and any extension of discourse leads inescapably towards a book.
The problem that Fuller and many like him do not address is the often very poor capacity of the modern student for extended critical reading.