Dameon Manuel's Reviews > Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo

Five Dialogues by Plato
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Feb 25, 2011

Read from February 25 to December 10, 2011

This edition contains five dramatic Dialogues penned by Plato, all of which purportedly reflect accurately the content—and perhaps the words—of real conversations in which Socrates was a part. This particular grouping of Dialogues, as I have learned, is quite standard in both selection and ordering, with the exception of "Meno." "Euthyphro," "Apology," "Crito," and "Phaedo" are chronologically arranged and, together, paint a picture of the Athenian philosopher Socrates at the end of his life. (The editor included "Meno," he explains, because the ideas it presents track closely with those of the following "Phaedo.") My impression of the book as a whole is of a gradual escalation from some thought-provoking but innocuous inquiries into how and why certain aspects of conduct and behavior constitute a virtuous life, into a territory of speculation about the soul, the afterlife, and mortality. It finishes with a lengthy passage concerning the nature of the cosmos, in which Socrates describes the latter as a world of islands floating in the ether, rivers flowing in all directions unbound by beds and banks, and bountiful jewels that outshine the jewels of earth to which we are accustomed. This passage, at times, sounded as though I was rereading Alduous Huxley's The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell. "Phaedo" draws to an emotional close, as Socrates willingly submits to execution by poisoning, in the company of his friends and disciples.
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Reading Progress

02/25/2011 page 45
29.0% "after i read the apology i read some pieces drawing comparisons with antigone, so i'm currently reading that"
02/25/2011 page 45
29.0% "i read bits of this in high school & college but can remember very little of it, hence am re-reading."
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