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Return to Book Page. Preview — Five Dialogues by Plato. Grube Translator. John M. Cooper Editor. The second edition of Five Dialogues presents G. Cooper has also contributed a number of new or expanded footnotes and updated Suggestions for Further Reading.
Get A Copy. Paperback , Second Edition , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Five Dialogues , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Mar 11, Ahmad Sharabiani rated it really liked it Shelves: philosophy , greece , ancient , 04th-century-bc , non-fiction , classics , historical , literature.
Grube Translator , John M. The dialogue covers subjects such as the meaning of piety and justice. It depicts a conversation between Socrates and his wealthy friend Crito regarding justice, injustice, and the appropriate response to injustice. Socrates thinks that injustice may not be answered with injustice, and refuses Crito's offer to finance his escape from prison.
It appears to attempt to determine the definition of virtue, or arete, meaning virtue in general, rather than particular virtues, such as justice or temperance.
Feb 16, Grah rated it it was amazing. Who wouldn't love a series of dialogs from a smartass who walked around Athens asking people irritating questions until they finally decided to kill him? In all seriousness though, what I really identified with in this book is not so much the actual philosophy of Socrates, but his insistence on making people think about their beliefs and opinions. View all 3 comments. Sep 25, K. Elizabeth rated it really liked it Shelves: 4-stars , average , classics , reviewed.
Honestly, call me weird, but this was probably one of the best pieces I've read in class this semester. Super interesting and thought-provoking! Nov 14, Terry rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , philosophy.
All of the Platonic dialogues in this book come together to form something of a narrative of the trial and last days of the famous philosopher Socrates.
Covering topics that range from piety, truth, virtue and even the nature of the soul and the afterlife this is a good collection to get started in an investigation of the figure of Socrates and his depiction by his most famous pupil Plato. Euthyphro : On his way to the Athenian law courts to face charges of impiety and the corruption of the youth All of the Platonic dialogues in this book come together to form something of a narrative of the trial and last days of the famous philosopher Socrates.
Euthyphro is himself at the courts to charge his own father in the case of the murder of one of his slaves a legal action that many in the Athens of the time would have considered itself an impious act , though Euthyphro himself is convinced that he has a more accurate view of the will of the gods than anyone who can stand against him. Socrates thus hopes that this self-styled prophet and expert on piety can teach it to Socrates himself and ultimately aid him in his legal defense.
At first Euthyphro is only too eager to accept the challenge until the penetrating questions of Socrates start to show this would-be ally that his convictions are not based on any rational foundation, but are rather the results of his own baseless assumptions and personal feelings.
He is a penetrating questioner, but his lack of tact and disregard for all but the truth show how it was all too likely that even many of those who might admire and support Socrates could in the end be driven away by his remorseless quest for answers.
Apology : In which Socrates has his day in court and responds to the allegations of impiety and corruption of the young levelled at him by the Athenian citizens who are fed up with his ability to constantly show up the flimsy nature of their beliefs.
There is much of interest in this dialogue or really monologue for the most part , but it is significant that Socrates avers that the basis for his whole way of life is piety and attributes as the source of his questioning no lesser authority than Apollo himself through the voice of the Delphic oracle. According to Socrates a friend discovered from the oracle that no man was wiser than Socrates himself.
Apparently perturbed by this declaration Socrates decided to put the oracle to the test and so began by questioning all of those thought to be wisest in the city, the result being that he soon discovered that all those most likely to put themselves forward as wise were in fact the least wise and often the ones whose opinions held the least water when examined closely.
Add to this the fact that he holds the position of principal nuisance and embarrassment to the powerful of Athens and he acknowledges that his place on the chopping block is nearly assured.
He takes his eventual sentence of death philosophically heh, see what I did there? Engaging his friend in his typical question and answer debate format Socrates quickly dismisses any concern as to the stain on their honour since the opinions of the majority have little or nothing to do with the truth and should therefore not be considered when nothing less than that is at stake. Regardless of the consequences one must follow where the path of virtue leads even unto death.
The truth, for Socrates, is an absolute value, not a relative one. The obvious personal interest of his accusers in using the law to gain their own ends, and even the simple fact that the human laws of any state can easily be used to attain nearly any goal by one skilled enough in their manipulation, left me feeling that in this regard Socrates was either being willfully simple, or making an ironic comment on law itself.
Also, given that the ways of states can differ significantly, and Socrates avowed aim is to find the objective Truth with a capital T , to defer to the man-made and situational laws of one state as in some way embodying a facet of this greater Truth left a bad taste in my mouth.
Is this not also a betrayal of the truth, arguably an even larger one than that proposed by his friends? Socrates goes some way to answering this argument by claiming that the laws themselves were just, they were merely misused by men, but I still remain largely unconvinced.
Crito gives up on any further attempts to convince his friend to escape and Socrates places his fate in the hands of the god. Meno : Socrates searches out the answer to the question of how virtue is attained is it learned, the result of practice, or an in-born quality and skirts around the wider question of what in fact virtue even is.
In the case of the latter investigation Socrates first asserts that the soul is immortal and as such participates in the eternal nature of the cosmos and has therefore come to know all things, which are then able to be recollected by us in our earthly lives.
He begins by noting that life is like a prison, a difficult trial which men must overcome by adopting the philosophical life whose end is apparently ultimately to prepare one for death. It would thus appear that the philosopher is, ultimately, a spiritual man. It seemed to me that Socrates or Plato laid it on a little thick here in denying the utility of sense perceptions as part of rational investigation: Then he will do this most perfectly who approaches the object with thought alone, without associating any sight with his thought, or dragging in any sense perception with his reasoning, but who, using pure thought alone, tries to track down each reality pure and by itself, freeing himself as far as possible from eyes and ears and, in a word, from the whole body Do not the things that we perceive about objects inform our very understanding of these Platonic Ideals in which they supposedly participate?
Could a man born blind and deaf be a good philosopher since he would not be hampered by deceptive sense perceptions? Socrates seems to adopt an almost dualistic stance equating the body, and all of its functions, with a flawed and even evil nature, while the soul is pure unless dragged down by the desires of the body.
I think it is in the presentation of the doctrine of the Platonic Ideals that I had the most difficulty in this dialogue. Socrates argues that these Ideals are eternal and existed before all other things in the world that merely participate in their nature. In the end Socrates stoically socratically? Apr 04, Cameron rated it it was amazing. These dialogues contain the core concepts of Platonic philosophy and serve as a good introduction to the legacy of Socrates and philosophy in the golden age of Greece.
I've read these dialogues probably a dozen times in my life and discover something new with each read. Apr 10, Joshua rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction , reviews. Dialogues taken from around the time of Socrates' death. I picked up this book wanting to understand more about the thinking of Socrates and the progressions of logical thought.
My only previous introduction to "the Socratic Method" was from pop culture references and its abysmal application in public education. Apology, Crito and Phaedo all center upon Socrates' trial, personal philosophy and final conversation respectively and, while interesting from an academic point of view, I did not find Dialogues taken from around the time of Socrates' death.
Apology, Crito and Phaedo all center upon Socrates' trial, personal philosophy and final conversation respectively and, while interesting from an academic point of view, I did not find them very helpful with regard to understanding the manner in which Socrates' plied his trade. Euthyphro and Meno, on the other hand, were remarkable for my understanding. In Euthyphro, Socrates attacks the question of the meaning of virtue when a young man decides to sue his father for the supposedly wrongful death of one slave that had killed another.
In Meno, Socrates again tries to grasp an underlying meaning to the word, this time with a focus as to the nature of virtue, and whether or not it is a kind of knowledge that can be taught or it is ingrained in the "soul" of a man. While, in Meno, the conversation detours into a discussion of the soul and Socrates' personal belief that knowledge is eternal and "recollected" by the individual rather than learned or discovered, the characterization of knowledge, education and definition were extremely interesting.
Grube's translations are at once simple and elegant prose which made for both enjoyable reading and clear understanding of the text. While the particular dialogues were not necessarily the best ones to cut my teeth on for my particular learning project, I would definitely recommend this collection for any one wanting more of the Man behind the Method.
Aug 15, Frank rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , philosophy , classic. Philosophy prioritises questions to answers. Answers are often product of the local culture, and so tend to be parochial. This becomes very evident when we examine a distant culture. The answers lack credibility, even coherence. This is a humbling experience, when we consider how foolish our own answers will appeat in the distant future.
Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo
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Plato - Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo