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The Portable Plato

Author Plato
Edited by Scott Buchanan
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Paperback
$22.00 US
5.1"W x 7.7"H x 1.5"D   | 19 oz | 28 per carton
On sale Mar 01, 1977 | 704 Pages | 9780140150407
Writing in the fourth century B.C., in an Athens that had suffered a humiliating defeat in the Peloponnesian War, Plato formulated questions that have haunted the moral, religious, and political imagination of the West for more than 2,000 years: what is virtue? How should we love? What constitutes a good society? Is there a soul that outlasts the body and a truth that transcends appearance? What do we know and how do we know it? Plato's inquiries were all the more resonant because he couched them in the form of dramatic and often highly comic dialogues, whose principal personage was the ironic, teasing, and relentlessly searching philosopher Socrates.

In this splendid collection, Scott Buchanan brings together the most important of Plato's dialogues, including Protagoras, The Symposium, with its barbed conjectures about the relation between love and madness, Phaedo and The Republic, his monumental work of political philosophy. Buchanan's learned and engaging introduction allows us to see Plato both as a commentator on his society and as a shaper of the societies that followed, who bequeathed to us a hunger for the ideal as well as a redeeming habit of humane skepticism.

Plato, with Socrates and Aristotle, is the founder of the Western intellectual tradition. Like his mentor Socrates, he was essentially a practical philosopher who found the abstract theory and visionary schemes of many contemporary thinkers misguided and sterile. He was born about 429 BCE in Athens, the son of a prominent family that had long been involved in the city's politics. Extremely little survives of the history of Plato's youth, but he was raised in the shadow of the great Peloponnesian War, and its influence must have caused him to reject the political career open to him and to become a follower of the brilliantly unorthodox Socrates, the self-proclaimed "gadfly" of Athens. Socrates' death in 399 BCE turned Plato forever from politics, and in the next decade he wrote his first dialogues, among them Apology and Euthyphro. At age 40, Plato visited Italy and Syracuse, and upon his return he founded the Academy-Europe's first university—in a sacred park on the outskirts of Athens. The Academy survived for a millennium, finally closed by the emperor Justinian in 529. Plato hoped his school would train its pupils to carry out a life of service and to investigate questions of science and mathematics. Plato's old age was probably devoted to teaching and writing, he died in Athens in 348 BCE. View titles by Plato
Editor's Introduction
A Note on the Theatrical Machinery of the Dialogues
Chronology
Bibliography
Protagoras
Symposium
Phaedo
The Republic
:
Book I
Book II
Book III
Book IV
Book V
Book VI
Book VII
Book VIII
Book IX
Book X

About

Writing in the fourth century B.C., in an Athens that had suffered a humiliating defeat in the Peloponnesian War, Plato formulated questions that have haunted the moral, religious, and political imagination of the West for more than 2,000 years: what is virtue? How should we love? What constitutes a good society? Is there a soul that outlasts the body and a truth that transcends appearance? What do we know and how do we know it? Plato's inquiries were all the more resonant because he couched them in the form of dramatic and often highly comic dialogues, whose principal personage was the ironic, teasing, and relentlessly searching philosopher Socrates.

In this splendid collection, Scott Buchanan brings together the most important of Plato's dialogues, including Protagoras, The Symposium, with its barbed conjectures about the relation between love and madness, Phaedo and The Republic, his monumental work of political philosophy. Buchanan's learned and engaging introduction allows us to see Plato both as a commentator on his society and as a shaper of the societies that followed, who bequeathed to us a hunger for the ideal as well as a redeeming habit of humane skepticism.

Author

Plato, with Socrates and Aristotle, is the founder of the Western intellectual tradition. Like his mentor Socrates, he was essentially a practical philosopher who found the abstract theory and visionary schemes of many contemporary thinkers misguided and sterile. He was born about 429 BCE in Athens, the son of a prominent family that had long been involved in the city's politics. Extremely little survives of the history of Plato's youth, but he was raised in the shadow of the great Peloponnesian War, and its influence must have caused him to reject the political career open to him and to become a follower of the brilliantly unorthodox Socrates, the self-proclaimed "gadfly" of Athens. Socrates' death in 399 BCE turned Plato forever from politics, and in the next decade he wrote his first dialogues, among them Apology and Euthyphro. At age 40, Plato visited Italy and Syracuse, and upon his return he founded the Academy-Europe's first university—in a sacred park on the outskirts of Athens. The Academy survived for a millennium, finally closed by the emperor Justinian in 529. Plato hoped his school would train its pupils to carry out a life of service and to investigate questions of science and mathematics. Plato's old age was probably devoted to teaching and writing, he died in Athens in 348 BCE. View titles by Plato

Table of Contents

Editor's Introduction
A Note on the Theatrical Machinery of the Dialogues
Chronology
Bibliography
Protagoras
Symposium
Phaedo
The Republic
:
Book I
Book II
Book III
Book IV
Book V
Book VI
Book VII
Book VIII
Book IX
Book X