Complete Works
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Complete Works

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  6,858 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Outstanding translations by leading contemporary scholars -- many commissioned especially for this volume -- are presented here in the first single edition to include the entire surviving corpus of works attributed to Plato in antiquity. In his introductory essay, John Cooper explains the presentation of these works, discusses questions concerning the chronology of their c...more
Hardcover, 1808 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Hackett Publishing Company (first published -400)
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I was gifted my copy of this book by my Philosophy professor back in college. He was a character: he'd ride a bike to work, could discuss theories for hours and he would go to used bookstores to pick up the great journals for less than a dollar and give them the students based on the type of beliefs they exhibited in class. If you were a Utilitarian he gave you a book by Bentham or Mill, if you expressed a Libertarian outlook, he'd present you with Thoreau or Nietzsche. When he handed me my book...more
Dylan Mcarthur
Jul 14, 2009 Dylan Mcarthur rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone
The dialogues of Plato have helped renew my faith in life and humanity. In college I learned that 1) there is no truth, 2) every assertion is merely someone's perspective and 3) all meaningful inquiry involves a technical deconstruction of someone else's thoughts (i.e. someone deluded enough not to know that there isn't any truth and that all is perspective). Plato believed in reason, in the reality of goodness (i.e., the better choice), and in the value of the struggle to understand ourselves a...more
Erik Graff
Nov 11, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Leo Sweeney
Shelves: philosophy
I took Leo Sweeney's Plato course during my first semester at Loyola University Chicago. Early on he asked for research proposals. I said I wanted to read all the material and write comprehensively about Plato's theology. He accepted that and I proceeded to take extensive notes while pouring through the texts.

Meanwhile, Sweeney taught the course focusing only on a few dialogs focusing on epistemology. While what he said plausibly connected to the texts he specifically addressed, much of it was a...more
This book is my bible. I first read it for a college class as an undergrad. One of the first books I remember reading was the Symposium. I ended up dropping that first philosophy class for various reasons. When I came back to school at a different university, I decided to try philosophy again. Synchronicity must have been at work in my choice of professors, as the one I chose became my mentor and my friend. It was in his class that I delved back into Plato and fell in love with them. It would be...more
It's practically a Bible.
Feb 22, 2010 max rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: greek
In Greek literature, there are many authors whose substantive ideas and technical literary skills are breathtaking. Purely in terms of influence -- by which I mean the degree to which a particular author has reconfigured the intellectual landscape for future generations -- it is undisputed that the two greatest writers in the Greek literary tradition are Homer and Plato. Plato took philosophy to an entirely new level, and few if any philosophers who wrote subsequently have matched the extraordin...more
Aug 14, 2007 Mark rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: other
Socrates says "The unexamined life is not worth living." Yet this book actually shows that an examined dialogue is not worth believing. The general format of the Socratic dialogues is:
Socrates: Incorrect fact #1.
Friend: Obviously, Socrates.
Socrates: Correct fact #2.
Friend: Of course, Socrates.
Socrates: 1 + 2 = 3. And a half.
Friend: You are so wise Socrates.

Since the arguments are so blatantly made up, it is hard to give any credence to the conclusions. Which is a shame because he espouses...more

Many reviewers have noted how this book is the Bible of Plato. They are correct.

I recommend this book for anyone who plans to study Plato in-depth. Containing all the extant works of Plato, this book will not disappoint those who want to experience all of Plato's thought. Most pages have footnotes explaining unclear references to historical places, or other important concepts.

The introduction is superb, providing details to approaching the writings of Plato. It is a helpful guide for those who...more
Erik Graff
Nov 11, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Kelly Fox
Shelves: philosophy
Jowett's translations are to Plato as King James' committee was to the English bible, viz. as standards against which future efforts are judged.

The first time I actually sat down to read all of Plato, authentic and spurious, was for a course at Loyola University. That was the Hamilton edition. I had, however, read much of Jowett previously and, indeed, much of Jowett is to be found recycled in Hamilton.

The first serious exposure I had to Plato was through Jowett's voice and it occurred during th...more
Ok, been throwing myself in at the deep end with this one.

I know, Plato/Socrates are best known by quotation.
Still, my absolute lack in knowledge of philosophy had me hesitant, since I tend to read cover to cover (and everything in between)....
But hey, a gift, nice hard cover, inviting typeface, sound introduction.
(and my weak spot for 'big' books, sorry to iPad)

I will surely re-read much of this tome.
In the first place because of its unrivalled value as a dictate of humanity.
Also, because I can...more
While I do not always agree with Plato, the beauty of his prose and its poetic quality bring me back to his dialogues again and again. This is the edition I acquired for my class in Plato & Aristotle in college and it is still the standard one volume text. It includes all the dialogues attributed to Plato plus the letters. This is one of the few books that I have read and reread over the last forty years. The result has been a growing appreciation for both Plato's project and his image of So...more
Plato (and his alter ego, Socrates) is just someone you have to read to make any headway in philosophy. He wasn't pleasant for me, because I disagreed with a lot of his premises and conclusions. But, the good thing is that he often makes his stories (especially the ones with Socrates) entertaining. Socrates (real or not) was my kind of guy. He listened patiently, asked questions, and then slowly got people to question their assumptions through rationality. Fun times. Problem is, at least for me,...more
May 09, 2008 R X marked it as to-read
I've read up to The Republic, which I've already read. I'm not sure what's after that. High Point: Crito.
made me think too much! philosophy just spurs on more questions.
Contains Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Protagoras, Meno, Symposium, and Gorgias. In general, these are considered the primary component of Plato's early works, in which he expounds that learned from his teacher Socrates. The arguments seem somewhat simplistic by today's standards, but the style and logic clearly represent the timeless fame rendered to Socrates. In Apology, Socrates willingly accepts indictment and makes his argument. True to his spirit, he makes adequate defense against both classes o...more
Selections needed to complete my St. John's list: In Phaedrus, the discussion of Platonic love is completed with further discussion regarding the sensible vs the bodily love. Socrates is made out as a lover of wisdom, not as wise himself. His mastery of discussion are also shown in the way he wraps up his first argument so quickly, only to have Phaedrus force him to stay, at which time he works into his real thoughts. In essence, he shows that arguments are of higher worth if they can stand up t...more
Thomas Coon
The first time I had to read anything by Plato, I was a junior-year Classics major at a small liberal arts college. I hated it - we read through The Republic, and after I was done with the course, I burned the book in a furnace.

Two years later, though, another look at Plato's works (albeit outside of a structured, classroom setting) has proven to me that there is a great deal to be learned from Plato. For one, there is no other writer I've yet encountered who thinks so critically about any iss

Jerrid Wolflick
Mar 07, 2013 Jerrid Wolflick rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: philosophy, reference
This is one of the finest translations of Plato's works that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Since my Attic Greek is now quite rusty, it is a chore to read Plato in the original (although I did so in High School thus helping me recognize the translation quality). The Foreward is a paean to the greatness and timelessness of Plato's works. It also explains the reason for the order chosen by the editor. The footnotes and editorial notes (marginalia) both help further explain the more obscu...more
Richard Newton
This is a brilliant edition of Plato's collected works, which is excellent value for money. Of course, you can probably buy them all very cheaply in an eBook format now - but the hard-copy is easier to use if you are studying and therefore need to make cross references regularly. There are many many gems here, and you do not have to love everything about Plato to get huge value from this book.

The only drawback is the sheer size of the book - which is simply a result of Plato's prodigious output...more
Billie Pritchett
Not every dialogue in Plato's Complete Works is thrilling, and some are in fact downright boring and difficult to get through. Nevertheless, it's no exaggeration to say that Plato's dialogues are a cornerstone to Western and world-historical thought. I read these dialogues in the order they were presented in the book, but if I had it to do over again, I think I would have read the dialogues in the order in which Plato would have intended them to have been read. More on that in a moment, but firs...more
What's to say? It's Plato: a philosophical classic. I went through this book with a guy who got his PhD under the editor, John Cooper (Princeton). That made it for accessible and illuminating, especially for someone who doesn't consider himself into "ancient philosophy."
I'm a philosophy major. Every philosopher I've ever read is really only writing a response to this.
There's a reason why Plato's stuck around for so long.

Socrates reminds me of Columbo sometimes. He asks questions ("Just one more thing..."), and he acts like he doesn't really know, but you can just hear the wheels turning as he puts things together.

Honestly, I don't remember what I got out of Symposium because I read it almost 6 months ago...but I took notes, so...oh, Diotima's Ladder was very interesting, even though I don't think I got all of it. But seeing it come back in Augustine was pr...more
Having finally read this from cover to cover (with the exception of The Republic to which I went to Allan Bloom’s translation) one cannot help but feel some sense of achievement. The purist in me loves that the entire corpus of Plato’s works is easily accessible in one volume. But I wouldn’t recommend reading Plato: Complete Works as I have.

To read Plato, and actually digest Plato, is not an easy task. At times, I am not ashamed to admit that it’s a chore. Though the Complete Works contain short...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Plato and Aristotle between them not only laid the foundations for Western philosophy, many would argue they divided it neatly between them: Plato the one who with his "Allegory of the Cave" gave birth to the idea of an existence beyond our senses, giving a rational gloss to mysticism. Aristotle, the father of logic and a scientist, with a this-world orientation. There's a famous fresco by Raphael, "The School of Athens," where that's illustrated, where the figure meant to be Plato points to the...more
Brian Burt
This is a great volume for those of you interested in Plato. Not only does it contain all of Plato's works, but also works possibly composed by Plato and works considered not to be composed by Plato (the academic status of composition of each work is clearly indicated in the table of contents). Insightful but concise introductions are provided for each work.

By no means do you need to read this entire volume, unless of course you are spurred on by shear academic motives. Works that I would sugges...more
Craig Williams
Good god, how I hated this book. A coworker saw me reading this, and was absolutely flabbergasted I was reading it "recreationally". She gave me a high five for my effort, and now I know why: this book is a fucking bear to read. While it was interesting to read how enlightened the Greek civilization was, and some of the political and social ideas of the time, it was also very, very boring. My eyes would glaze over with each page, and my brain would shut down. Socrates was, no doubt, a master of...more
Benn Peek
I've finished Apology, a dialogue entitled Ion, Phaedro, the subsequnce of the Apology, adn have now finished Book I of Plato's Republic (which still plays into the dialogues, and is not a novel of its own). Socrates has a Christ like demeanor, and to me eerily resembles the Christian messiah, although this may be the work of the interpretor. Main points in the dialogues raise a candle to not only statements in philosophies, but can summarize entire theologies in the process.

The conflicts in Th...more
Does it count if I have been reading it for a decade or more? It puts me to sleep (perhaps because I read it before bed), and I disagree with Socrates' conclusions on almost everything. It is sometimes funny.

Socrates makes blanket statements about humanity, and consistently convinces his straight man that he is correct, but it seems like sophistry. His generalizations are ideals but not actually true. Whomever he is talking with usually makes generalizations that are not true, either, but he (no...more
It seems the ‘Dialogues of Plato’, is one of the few official accounts of Socrates’ philosophies.
Socrates obviously had no paucity of brains. His peers in Athens knew that well and most revered him and sought his valuable thoughts, bought his arguments and honoured him as an elite philosopher. Yet, the mighty prevailed.
Reading this book, made me realize how some things never change. Might is right and if you are no Socrates, your principles somehow evolve to mirror those of the ‘mighty’ or the...more
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  • The Complete Works: The Revised Oxford Translation, Vol. 1
  • The Ethics/Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect/Selected Letters
  • The Presocratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts
  • Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics
  • After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory
  • Early Greek Philosophy
  • A Treatise of Human Nature
  • The Enneads
  • The Portable Nietzsche
  • Phenomenology of Spirit
  • A History of Philosophy 2: Medieval Philosophy
  • The Philosophical Writings of Descartes: Volume 1
  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  • On the Republic/On the Laws
  • Principles of Human Knowledge & Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonius
  • The World as Will and Representation, Vol 1
  • Naming and Necessity
  • On Certainty
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 important Western philosophers,...more
More about Plato...
The Republic The Trial and Death of Socrates The Symposium Apology Five Dialogues: Euthyphro/Apology/Crito/Meno/Phaedo

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“What a strange thing that which men call pleasure seems to be, and how astonishing the relation it has with what is thought to be its opposite, namely pain! A man cannot have both at the same time. Yet if he pursues and catches the one, he is almost always bound to catch the other also, like two creatures with one head.” 16 likes
“Whenever someone, on seeing something, realizes that that which he now sees wants to be like some other reality but falls short and cannot be like that other since it is inferior, do we agree that one who thinks this must have prior knowledge of that to which he says it is like, but deficiently so?” 11 likes
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