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Symposium and Phaedrus

ISBN-10: 0375411747
ISBN-13: 9780375411748
Edition: 2001
List price: $20.00 Buy it from $8.55
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Description: It has been said that, after the Bible, Plato's dialogues are the most influential books in Western culture. And of the dialogues, the Symposium is the most delightful and accessible, requiring no special knowledge of ancient Greek philosophy or  More...

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Book details

List price: $20.00
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 3/6/2001
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 240
Size: 8.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.012

It has been said that, after the Bible, Plato's dialogues are the most influential books in Western culture. And of the dialogues, the Symposium is the most delightful and accessible, requiring no special knowledge of ancient Greek philosophy or customs. Dramatizing a party in fifth-century B.C. Athens, the deceptively unassuming Symposium introduces--in the guise of convivial after-dinner conversation--profound ideas about the nature of love. In Phaedrus, here published together with the Symposium, Plato discusses the place of eloquence in expounding truth. In both dialogues, Socrates plays the leading role, by turns teasing, arguing, analyzing, joking, inspiring, and cajoling his followers into understanding ideas that have remained central to Western thought through the centuries.

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 step-father. 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.

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