Dialogues of Plato

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, 1951 - Philosophy - 386 pages
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"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates's ancient words are still true, and the ideas sounded in Plato's "Dialogues" still form the foundation of a thinking person's education. This superb collection contains excellent contemporary translations selected for their clarity and accessibility to today's reader, as well as an incisive introduction by Erich Segal, which reveals Plato's life and clarifies the philosophical issues examined in each dialogue. The first four dialogues recount the trial execution of Socrates--the extraordinary tragedy that changed Plato's life and so altered the course of Western though. Other dialogues create a rich tableau of intellectual life in Athens in the fourth century B.C., and examine the nature of virtue and love, knowledge and truth, society and the individual. Resounding with the humor and astounding brilliance of Socrates, the immortal iconoclast, these great works remain powerful, probing, and essential.
  

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It has been argued long and hard that Plato's Apology is the true account of the trial of Socrates. As a witness to the trial he transcribes Socrates's speech in his own defense as he faces his ... Read full review

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About the author (1951)

Plato was born c. 427 B.C. in Athens, Greece, to an aristocratic family very much involved in political government. Pericles, famous ruler of Athens during its golden age, was Plato's stepfather. Plato was well educated and studied under Socrates, with whom he developed a close friendship. When Socrates was publically executed in 399 B.C., Plato finally distanced himself from a career in Athenian politics, instead becoming one of the greatest philosophers of Western civilization. Plato extended Socrates's inquiries to his students, one of the most famous being Aristotle. Plato's The Republic is an enduring work, discussing justice, the importance of education, and the qualities needed for rulers to succeed. Plato felt governors must be philosophers so they may govern wisely and effectively. Plato founded the Academy, an educational institution dedicated to pursuing philosophic truth. The Academy lasted well into the 6th century A.D., and is the model for all western universities. Its formation is along the lines Plato laid out in The Republic. Many of Plato's essays and writings survive to this day. Plato died in 347 B.C. at the age of 80.

Plato (424/423 BC - 348/347 BC), was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.

Justin Kaplan was born in Manhattan, New York on September 5, 1925. He received a bachelor's degree in English from Harvard University, followed by graduate work in the field there, but he left before earning a doctorate to work as a freelance writer and book editor. His first book, Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain, won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1967 and a National Book Award. His other works include Lincoln Steffens: A Biography, When the Astors Owned New York: Blue Bloods and Grand Hotels in a Gilded Age, and Walt Whitman: A Life, which won a National Book Award. He also wrote books with his wife Anne Bernays including The Language of Names and Back Then: Two Lives in 1950s New York. He was the editor of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. He died from complications of Parkinson's disease on March 2, 2014 at the age of 88.

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