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The Symposium : Penguin Classics - Plato

The Symposium

Penguin Classics

By: Plato

Paperback Published: April 2003
ISBN: 9780140449273
Number Of Pages: 144
For Ages: 18+ years old

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In the course of a lively drinking party, a group of Athenian intellectuals exchange views on eros, or desire. From their conversation emerges a series of subtle reflections on gender roles, sex in society and the sublimation of basic human instincts. The discussion culminates in a radical challenge to conventional views by Plato's mentor, Socrates, who advocates transcendence through spiritual love. The Symposium is a deft interweaving of different viewpoints and ideas about the nature of love – as a response to beauty, a cosmic force, a motive for social action and as a means of ethical education.

Christopher Gill's translation retains all the drama and humour of the Greek, bringing the historical figures to life. His introduction discusses aspects of classical Athenian life shown in The Symposium and provides thoughtful examinations of the individual speeches.

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

Prefacep. vii
Introductionp. x
The Symposiump. 1
Notesp. 65
Select Bibliographyp. 85
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780140449273
ISBN-10: 0140449272
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 144
Published: April 2003
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8  x 0.8
Weight (kg): 0.11
Edition Number: 1

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