'Consider just this, and give your minds to this alone: whether or not what I say is just'
Plato's account of Socrates' trial and death (399 BCE) is one of the most significant moments in western literature and philosophy. In these four works Plato illustrates Socrates' fundamental belief in the necessity for us to 'examine ourselves and others', portraying the man himself living and dying by his philosophy. In Euthyphro, Socrates debates the nature of 'piety'; in Apology, he defends himself in court against the charge of impiety; in Crito, now in prison and awaiting execution, he considers whether escape can be justified; finally, in Phaedo, he reflects on the ethics of suicide, describes his intellectual history, and mounts a series of arguments for supposing that we continue to exist as intelligent beings after death. Then, after a magnificent description of the earth and its regions, he drinks the hemlock and dies.
Christopher Rowe's introduction to his powerful new translations aims to provide a brief sketch of the context and themes of these four Platonic dialogues, while insisting that they have less to do with historical fact than with an exposition and defence of Plato's Socratic philosophy. The volume also includes a chronology, suggestions for further reading, and a short introduction to each individual dialogue.
Translated with an introduction and notes by CHRISTOPHER ROWE
About The Author
Plato c. 427 – 347 BC is said to have played a fundamental role in shaping the intellectual tradition of the West. Taught by Socrates and teacher of Aristotle, Plato was part of a lineage of the key thinkers of the Western world.
Although born of a family prominent in Athenian politics, Plato sought to find solutions to the problems of society through philosophical thought as opposed to political. His focus was on ethics, metaphysics and the understanding of reality. He also concentrated on studies of how to achieve the ideal society and of human emotion and love. Plato travelled to Italy and Egypt and studied with students of Pythagorus before founding the Academy in Athens. The Academy was the first permanent institution dedicated to philosophical research and teaching and was to be the prototype for all future Western universities.
Plato published 20 dialogues in his lifetime and his masterpiece was The Republic, written around 375 BC.
'If any books change the world, Republic has a good claim to first place' Simon Blackburn, Guardian
Series: Penguin Classics
For Ages: 18+ years old
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 13th January 2011
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.7 x 13.3
Weight (kg): 0.2
Edition Number: 1