Why did a philosopher whose life was dedicated to reading, writing, and teaching decide so late in his life to engage himself in the world?

In 1977, in Prague, city at the heart of Europe, the philosopher Jan Patočka became the unlikely spokesperson for Charta 77 — a proclamation signed by a number of dissidents and issued to the communist authorities that pointed out the flagrant disregard of the norms of freedom and legality in Czechoslovakian society.

What is the significance of this engagement? Who was Jan Patočka?

The Socrates of Prague explores these questions by addressing several students and friends who in the 1960s and 70s witnessed Patočka’s intellectual and political efforts, and shared with him the intense desire for a social and political renewal after the dramatic end of the Prague Spring.