'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 BC) is a significant moment in Classical literature and the life of Classical Athens. In these four dialogues, Plato develops the Socratic belief in responsibility for one's self and shows Socrates living and dying under his philosophy. In Euthyphro, Socrates debates goodness outside the courthouse; Apology sees him in court, rebutting all charges of impiety; in Crito, he refuses an entreaty to escape from prison; and in Phaedo, Socrates faces his impending death with calmness and skilful discussion of immortality. Christopher Rowe's introduction to his powerful new translation examines the book's themes of identity and confrontation, and explores how its content is less historical fact than a promotion of Plato's Socratic philosophy.
As Socrates abstained from recording his philosophies, we must thank Plato for having the insight to preserve Socratic thoughts for posterity. As a student of Socrates, it seems that Plato, through his own writings, attempts to preserve the memory of his well respected teacher. In The Last Days of Socrates, Plato begins with Euthyphro and we see the Socratic method in action. Socrates and Euthyphro discuss the nature of piety, and through a serious of thought provoking questions, Socrates argues for what he feels is the proper relationship between Man and God. Next, Plato discusses the trial of Socrates by the Athenian aristocracy. Again, we see Socrates using his rhetorical skills in illustrating the hypocrisy and prejudice pervading throughout the Athenian government. Socrates discusses what role a good citizen should play in government. He announces his being a 'gadfly' on the hide of the establishment, and we also find Socrates exposing his own intelligence by claiming that he, in fact, knows very little. The Apology is by far my personal favorite section of the book. After Socrates conviction, we find him discussing the morality of obeying or breaking laws in Crito. He meets with one of his close friends and the two discuss Socrates' options in regard to his death sentence. Here we see Socrates espouse the belief that it is acceptable to break an unjust law, however, one must also accept the consequences for breaking said law in order to preserve the stability of society. The Last Days of Socrates tackles many complex issues which are as relevant today as they were when first committed to paper in the 4th century B.C. This should be standard reading for any introductory course in political theory, and a must have for anyone interested in philosophy or ethics.
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2010-10-28
A new translation of Plato's four-part dialogue that eulogizes the genius of his mentor Socrates. Plato's account of Socrates' trial and death in 399 BC represents a significant moment in Western literature as well as a watershed in the life of ancient Athens. In these four dialogues, Plato develops the Socratic belief in responsibility for one's self and shows Socrates- condemned to suicide by his fellow Athenians-living and dying under his own philosophy. In Euthyphro, Socrates debates goodness outside the courthouse; Apology sees him in court, rebutting all charges of impiety; in Crito, he refuses an entreaty to escape from prison; and in Phaedo, Socrates faces his impending death with calmness and a skillful discussion of immortality.
After the execution of Socrates in 399 BC, a number of his followers wrote dialogues featuring him as the protagonist and, in so doing, transformed the great philosopher into a legendary figure. Xenophon's portrait is the only one other than Plato's to survive, and while it offers a very personal interpretation of Socratic thought, it also reveals much about the man and his philosophical views. In 'Socrates' Defence' Xenophon defends his mentor against charges of arrogance made at his trial, while the 'Memoirs of Socrates' also starts with an impassioned plea for the rehabilitation of a wronged reputation. Along with 'The Estate-Manager', a practical economic treatise, and 'The Dinner-Party', a sparkling exploration of love, Xenophon's dialogues offer fascinating insights into the Socratic world and into the intellectual atmosphere and daily life of ancient Greece.
Author: Emlyn-Jones Chris
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2005-06-30
Rich in drama and humour, they include the controversial Ion, a debate on poetic inspiration; Laches, in which Socrates seeks to define bravery; and Euthydemus, which considers the relationship between philosophy and politics. Together, these dialogues provide a definitive portrait of the real Socrates and raise issues still keenly debated by philosophers, forming an incisive overview of Plato's philosophy.
An essential text for understanding Socrates, Xenophon's Memorabilia is the compelling tribute of an affectionate student to his teacher, providing a rare firsthand account of Socrates' life and philosophy. The Memorabilia is invaluable both as a work of philosophy in its own right and as a complement to the study of Plato's dialogues. The longest of Xenophon's four Socratic works, it is particularly revealing about the differences between Socrates and his philosophical predecessors. Far more obviously than Plato in the dialogues, Xenophon calls attention in the Memorabilia to his own relationship with Socrates. A colorful and fully engaged writer, Xenophon aims above all to convince his readers of the greatness of Socrates' thought and the disgracefulness of his conviction on a capital charge. In thirty-nine chapters, Xenophon presents Socrates as an ordinary person and as a great benefactor to those associated with him.
Author: George Rudebusch
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2011-09-13
Socrates presents a compelling case for some life-changing conclusions that follow from a close reading of Socrates' arguments. Offers a highly original study of Socrates and his thought, accessible to contemporary readers Argues that through studying Socrates we can learn practical wisdom to apply to our lives Lovingly crafted with humour, thought-experiments and literary references (from the Iliad to Harry Potter), and with close reading sof key Socratic arguments Aids readers with diagrams to make clear complex arguments
Author: Mo Zi
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2013-11-07
A key work of ancient Chinese philosophy is brought back to life in Ian Johnston's compelling and definitive translation, new to Penguin Classics. Very little is known about Master Mo, or the school he founded. However, the book containing his philosphical ideas has survived centuries of neglect and is today recognised as a fundamental work of ancient Chinese philosophy. The book contains sections explaining the ten key doctrines of Mohism; lively dialogues between Master Mo and his followers; discussion of ancient warfare; and an extraordinary series of chapters that include the first examples of logic, dialectics and epistemology in Chinese philosophy. The ideas discussed in The Book of Master Mo - ethics, anti-imperalism, and a political hierarchy based on merit - remain as relevant as ever, and the work is vital to understanding ancient Chinese philosophy. Translator Ian Johnston has an MA in Latin, a PhD in Greek and a PhD in Chinese, and was Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at Sydney University until his retirement. He has published translations of Galen's medical writings, early Chinese poetry (Singing of Scented Grass and Waiting for the Owl), and early Chinese philosophical works (the Mozi and - with Wang Ping - the Daxue and Zhongyong). In 2011 he was awarded the NSW Premier's Prize and the PEN medallion for translation. Unlike previous translations, this version includes the complete text. It also includes an introduction and explanatory end notes. 'A landmark endeavour' Asia Times 'A magnificent and valuable achievement' Journal of Chinese Studies 'Eminently readable and at the same time remarkably accurate...Johnston's work will be the standard for a long time' China Review International 'Compelling and engaging reading...while at the same time preserving the diction and rhetorical style of the original Chinese' New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2007-03-01
The master of ancient Greek comic drama, Aristophanes combined slapstick, humour and cheerful vulgarity with acute political observations. In The Frogs, written during the Peloponnesian War, Dionysus descends to the Underworld to bring back a poet who can help Athens in its darkest hour, and stages a great debate to help him decide between the traditional wisdom of Aeschylus and the brilliant modernity of Euripides. The clash of generations and values is also the object of Aristophanes’ satire in The Wasps, in which an old-fashioned father and his loose-living son come to blows and end up in court. And in The Poet and the Women, Euripides, accused of misogyny, persuades a relative to infiltrate an all-women festival to find out whether revenge is being plotted against him.
'I'll stop doing it as soon as I understand what I'm doing.' Somewhere between a historical account and work of philosophy, Socrates' Defence details the final plea of Plato's beloved mentor. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Plato (474 BC-347 BC). Plato's works available in Penguin Classics are Republic, The Last Days of Socrates, The Laws, Phaedrus, Protagoras and Meno, Timaeus and Critias, Theaetetus, Early Socratic Dialogues, The Symposium and Gorgias.
Author: Paul Johnson
Publisher: Penguin Books
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Illuminates key tenets in the influential philosopher's beliefs through the story of his life, tracing his middle-class existence against a vibrant backdrop of fifth century B.C. Athens while sharing intimate analyses of specific aspects of his personality. By the best-selling author of Churchill. 40,000 first printing.
Examines early Greek philosophy, which relied on reasoning and forged the first scientific vocabulary, and includes discussion of such topics as Democritus' atomic theory of matter and Pythagorean insights into mathematics.
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.