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Early Socratic Dialogues

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  198 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Ion/Laches/Lysis/Charmides/Hippia Major/Hippias Minor/Euthydemus

'I am humble enough to learn, so I probe and ask questions, and am extremely grateful to anyone who answers me'

As the father of Western philosophy, who transformed Greek thought with his questioning insights into life and ethics, Socrates was a powerful inspiration - and major irritant - to the Athenians of hi
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 400 pages
Published June 30th 2005 by Penguin Books (first published 1987)
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May 10, 2016 Bukk rated it really liked it
When I first read Socrates's dialogues in college, I was impressed. Reading more of them 13 years later, I'm still impressed. No surprise here. What did surprise me though, as this is something I wasn't aware of in his other dialogues, was just how much of the conversation depends on elements of language that seem to be specific to Greek, making a perfectly sensible translation difficult or impossible. The dialogues are intriguing and enjoyable for not only their great substance, but for the man ...more
Daniel Wright
Plato is at his most fun, I think, when he is using Socrates to lay into the sophists. But I do think there is something rather dishonest or cowardly about using your enemies as straw men in this way - even if they did deserve it. Perhaps the biggest problem with it is that it lets Plato go off on one of his own, and fall into the same trap of fallacious argumentation that he criticizes in his enemies.
Rachel C.
Because this is such a diverse set of dialogues, I'm going to gradually review this book as I read, making comments on individual segments. It is important to state that this is the first time I've read Plato, so I will not be comparing translations; I will only be commenting on this single translation and putting down my general thoughts, with the knowledge that what Plato put to paper could be interpreted differently than it is here. I am also not a philosopher, so this is a laywoman's point o ...more
Ammon Ford
Mar 30, 2009 Ammon Ford rated it really liked it
Check out the guy popping a tent on the cover:-)
Rowland Bismark
Jun 03, 2010 Rowland Bismark rated it really liked it
Plato lived a relatively long life, even according to modern standards. We know that he was born about 427 B.C.E. and died at the age of eighty or eighty-one about 347 B.C.E. Born into a prominent Athenian family, Plato was expected to pursue a career in politics. However, after the trial and execution of his mentor, Socrates, at which Plato was present, Plato became disgusted with Athenian political life, and devoted himself instead to teaching and philosophical inquiry. To that end, he founded ...more
Jul 03, 2009 Carl is currently reading it
Shelves: philosophy
Decided to start catching up on my Greek philosophy. Have read the first dialogue in this collection, which begins to touch on the differences between technical skills and the skills of the rhapsodes, ie, on the problem of Poetic knowledge or skill. Doesn't resolve anything, but from the intro I get the impression that that is par for the course for many of these dialogues. Interesting in any case, and the introduction(s) and notes do a good job of highlighting issues of cultural context in unde ...more
James Smith
Jan 27, 2014 James Smith rated it it was amazing
May 18, 2010 Jesse rated it it was amazing
Ion is a formidable argument against the artistic spirit and the culinary arts, and Euthydemus is a fascinating portrait of two sophists who seem to have resembled Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Also, Lysis is better than all of Derrida. Most of these don't yield conclusions so don't get stressed out when you read them for there is the paradox, to rest upon throughout, that Plato is a master artist.
Joe Pags
Jun 03, 2010 Joe Pags rated it it was ok
A great exercise, slightly entertaining, helps one consider the definition of "what is a thing" more deeply and helps me more clearly define our actions, and consider the just life.
Mr. Davies
Oct 28, 2010 Mr. Davies added it
Shelves: adult
I grabbed a copy of this to take on my trip to Greece this past summer. I did not ultimately finish it, but I did enjoy struggling through the logical puzzles that Plato details.
Oct 10, 2013 Red rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
read the book in the plain to madrid.
by the pressure of the plain my pencil exploded leaving ink everywhere.
socrates is about midwifery for sure!
Jul 30, 2011 Jw rated it liked it
The first book ever that made me think.
Jul 19, 2011 David rated it liked it
Interesting and challenging read.
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  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • The First Philosophers: The Presocratics and Sophists
  • The Post Card: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond
  • Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses (Kierkegaard's Writings, Volume 5)
  • Discourse on Method and Related Writings
  • Dialogues and Letters
  • The Nature of the Gods
  • Socrates to Sartre and Beyond: A History of Philosophy with Free Philosophy Powerweb
  • A Nietzsche Reader
  • Electra and Other Plays
  • Plato's Republic
  • The Greeks and the Irrational
  • Preface to Plato
  • A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive: Being a Connected View of the Principles of Evidence and the Methods of Scientific Investigation
  • Fearless Speech
  • The Presocratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts
  • Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious Belief
  • Hippocratic Writings
(Greek: Πλάτων) (Arabic: أفلاطون)
Plato is a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.

Plato is one of the most
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