Essential Dialogues of Plato, by Plato, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:New introductions commissioned from tEssential Dialogues of Plato, by Plato, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholarsBiographies of the authorsChronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural eventsFootnotes and endnotesSelective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the workComments by other famous authorsStudy questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectationsBibliographies for further readingIndices & Glossaries, when appropriateAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.Plato is one of those world-famed individuals, his philosophy one of those world-renowned creations, whose influence, as regards the culture and development of the mind, has from its commencement down to the present time been all-important.— G. W. F. HegelWestern philosophy starts with Socrates and his student Plato. By way of the dialectic that evolved between master and student, Plato invented the philosophical method of inquiry and analysis, and became the first to use a logical framework to ask—and try to answer—the eternal questions about ethics, politics, art, and life that still haunt humanity: What is virtue? What is justice? What is the ideal form of government? What is the individual’s relationship to the state? Do artists have a responsibility to society, or only to their own creative impulse? Plato explores these issues through a series of dialogues, records of supposed conversations between Socrates and other Greek aristocrats. Although Socrates is nominally the main speaker in all of them, only the earlier dialogues document his thoughts, while the latter ones present Plato’s own ideas.What is often ignored in commentaries on Plato’s work is its unique literary form. The dialogues are neither dramas, nor stories, yet they are skillfully fashioned by means of characters, narrative events, dramatic moments, and perhaps most surprising, a great deal of humor. Along with such exemplars of Plato’s thought as Symposium, Apology, and Phaedrus, this volume includes the first three books of Plato’s Laws.Pedro De Blas holds degrees in Law and Classics. He has worked as counsel for several international organizations, including the United Nations and the World Bank, and he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Classics at Columbia University. He has taught classical languages and literature at Columbia, the CUNY Latin and Greek Institute, and New York University’s Gallatin School....
|Title||:||Essential Dialogues of Plato|
|Number of Pages||:||624 Pages|
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Essential Dialogues of Plato Reviews
It's been over a decade since I've read a collection of Plato's dialogues. I've read individual dialogues since then, but haven't read a collection for a while. I remember when I first read some of these dialogues; at the time I was really quite astounded at how many parallels there were between some of Plato's concepts and concepts one finds in the New Testament. I am still rather amazed at it. I am not, of course, saying that the New Testament is a conscious recapitulation of Platonic notions, what I am saying is that Plato, and probably Socrates and other Greek poets and philosophers, prepared the way for Christianity in some ways. I doubt Christianity would have spread as it did without the gentile populations having been exposed to some of these ideas. One should also note that Paul quotes Hellenistic writers at least 3 or 4 times in the New Testament. For my Christian readers who find this point offensive, I do suggest you read the dialogues of Plato carefully and read the New Testament carefully. If one is honest, one has to admit the parallels. The church fathers knew of the parallels as well. Many of them even claimed that Plato took his philosophy from the Old Testament; while this may be possible to a degree (Numenius certainly thought so), I would say many of Plato's ideas most likely owe their provenance to Zoroastrianism and various mystery schools (e.g. Orphism, Pythagoreanism, Egyptian Hermeticism, etc); and some others can probably be just attributed to Socrates and Plato's personal inspiration. At this point though it is really hard to know where Plato took his inspiration. After reading Plato originally, I felt as though I had some acquaintance with him already, which is an odd feeling; but I think that it can be possibly explained to a degree. After the Bible, I don't think any body of written works has influenced Western civilization more than Plato's. One has to bear in mind that even Aristotle was originally a student of Plato's; so not even Aristotle with his acknowledged influence can be credited to the same degree as Plato. I don't want to come off as overly obsequious when it comes to Plato. I fully admit that I am more than a bit of a Platonist philosophically, but it doesn't mean I subscribe to all aspects of Platonism. Plato (or Plato's Socrates rather) often engages in unsound dialectic; conflating notions and terminology needlessly, while at the same time, engaging in trifling and pointless arguments, leaving necessary and relevant points unexplored. The Shorter Hippias is notable in that regard for some of the above problems. Euthyphro is another dialogue that engages in trifling arguments that come off as needlessly sarcastic quibbling more than relevant dialectic. Unlike the editor though, I actually enjoy Plato's imaginative etymologies and do believe there is more to his thinking there than just fanciful speculation. I can't help feeling some degree of kinship with these dialogues. Many of them display sentiments I identify with as a Christian. There's the obvious interesting parallel between Socrates manner of state sanctioned execution and Jesus' state sanctioned execution. Both Jesus and Socrates made it a point to counter the prevailing ideas of the day and debate with those who were accredited with wisdom. They also both taught strongly ethical and moral codes. Plato probably based much of his ethics on what Socrates taught, so that is an interesting element of the dialogues. Of course, neither Jesus, nor Socrates, gained materially from their teaching, which is still altogether rare even today. One must admit that Plato's notion of eros is often somewhat ambiguous. The love that he presents between philosophical teacher and student is where we get the term Platonic love. It's hard not to see some amount of homoeroticism in the Symposium and in other places, but it does seem more likely that Plato really wanted to get across a strong feeling of bond between an older master and a younger disciple. The New Testament never uses the term eros. It uses two other Greek terms phileo and agape. Without question, there is displayed a deep love between Lord and disciple in the New Testament. Plato's eros foreshadows this kind of love in a way, but the New Testament idea of love is profoundly spiritual, which is not the Platonic version. It is interesting, however, that the Christian mystics also saw in eros a kind of window through which one can see phileo and agape. Platonist language has often influenced Christian mysticism.I want to avoid making this review too long, so in closing I'll just say it's always a great experience to revisit Plato. I plan on reading the rest of the dialogues not included here. This was a great collection but hardly "essential" though. Any collection of Plato's dialogues that leave out the Timaeus and the Republic could hardly be said to be the essential dialogues, but this has a lot of the great dialogues for a great price.
How do I criticize a monumental figure like Plato? I'm not a student of philosophy, this was my first foray into it, but I did find this book surprisingly readable. interesting dialogues (true to its title) on love, friendship, the nature of the state (the first half of the book is more interesting than the second, maybe my energy for it waned, but I also think it was because of the topics). Got swept in by the intellectual testing and prodding of the famed Socratic method at work.
I feel like a bit of a heel offering such a low rating to a book collecting some of the best known work of a major figure in the history of philosophy (minus Republic) but if I'm being honest, this is just a very hard book to enjoy or really learn much from.Maybe it's the translation. Maybe it's the few and far between footnotes. But what it really feels like is an extended display of asshole-ish behavior on the part of Socrates towards the people he is supposedly having meaningful philosophical discussions with.A friend of mine told me a story a while back. He ran into someone he knew at a local restaurant. This third person is a former public figure and well-known blowhard. He's a bit of a public intellectual. He proceeded to casually ask my friend if he knew what was happening in the Middle East; my friend responded by saying yes, he was aware of recent developments. And the third person proceeded to say: well, explain it to me. Though somewhat caught off-guard, my friend went ahead and described recent events. After which, this third person said, no, not really, and proceeded to give a slightly different interpretation of recent Middle East history.This is pretty much what Socrates is up to for the entirety of this book. Do you know about X? Oh yeah? Why don't you tell me about it? [After explanation.] No, I don't think you're right.There are no doubt instances where the Socratic dialogue can be useful, but maybe it would me most useful in the hands of someone other than Socrates.Moreover, the famous method more often than not finds these discussions being caught up in details that lack relevance toward any larger point. Or they are just hopelessly based on assumptions that were common in ancient Greece but not part of the reality we live in now. Understanding the basics of Socratic/Platonic thought may be necessary for understanding the history of philosophic discourse, but delving too deeply into the less well-known dialogues was not a fruitful endeavor for me.
I read Apology, Crito, Protagoras, Symposium and Phaedo.Plato writes of Socrates' many dialogues and the use of questions and answers that are known as the socratic method. Some of these dialogues are tough reading. While reading Protagoras, I wanted to jump up and start diagraming on a whiteboard the arguments, as they were very difficult to follow.Very moving narrative of Socrates death at the end of Phaedo.Next up....Plato's Republic# 12A of 133 on Clifton Fadiman's New Lifetime Reading Plan.
Some parts are hard to follow without additional information and I had to consult my grandfather regularly. Very good and thought provoking!
I didn't read the entire book, just Symposium.
Essential reading for any serious student of philosophy, however not the best translation of Plato's writing.
Interesting and some very valid arguments, but also some logical shortcuts that I didn't agree with.