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Great Dialogues of Plato

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  2,055 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Written in the form of debates, Great Dialogues of Plato comprises the most influential body of philosophy of the Western world—covering every subject from art and beauty to virtue and the nature of love.
Paperback, 656 pages
Published March 4th 2008 by Signet (first published -400)
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Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
From Meno, the dialogue between Socrates and Menon:

"Menon: And how will you try to find out something, Socrates, when you have no notion at all what it is? Will you lay out before us a thing you don't know, and then try to find it? Or, if at best you meet it by chance, how will you know this is that which you did not know?

...(nine pages later}...

Socrates: Yes, I think that I argue well, Menon. I would not be confident in everything I say about the argument; but one thing I would fight for to the
Cassidy Gan
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is well translated and it took me a long time to finish than anticipated. If you read these dialogues, and I mean really read them thoroughly, it will have a profound effect on how you view life and interaction. The only problem is that you really have to want to read and understand it. When you are ready to commit, buy this book, read it, and watch your outlook on how you view life change before your very eyes.
Joe Blankenship
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this a young, high school level student. Keeping that in mind, the word are clear, concise, and thoughtfully chosen. However, the tragedy of my youth was the lack of understanding and depth to which Plato's idea resonated through time. This philosophy is a great foundation from which to build your cognitive processes keeping in mind that the meaning to many of the passages changes as one ages. It is in this where this sometimes hard to read text shines. I recommend this to all young think ...more
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good translation. Includes The Apology, The Republic, Symposium, Crito, Phaedo, Meno, and Ion. The first two are a must read for everyone. The Republic takes some work getting through, but it is worth it.
Jay Szpirs
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
DONE! Been reading this book for just almost two years!! Faithfulness to the original style and structure of the dialogues is both strength and weakness: it recreates the experience of Socrates' teaching method and creates a compelling narrative by following Socrates through his trial and execution.

Unfortunately, it is also a bit rambling and takes some time getting to the point of a line of questioning. Many anecdotes and turns of phrase are extremely anachronistic (a few are almost incomprehe
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
One of, not just of philosophy's cornerstone texts, but of my own personal views. That isn't to say I actually agree or believe everything Plato says (I find many arguments with his 'innate logic' as well as his views on government), but his method and practice are such that few can hold a candle to the eloquence and captivation that Plato wrote with. The Socratic method is a great tool for understanding and discovery, and many texts also develop a great deal of insight into the lives of the tim ...more
Keith Ford
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best greek philosophers.
Andrew Pixton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aaron White
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading Plato's Socrates, is like following a mathematical proof, except the ends are unknown. Arguments are initiated by a question which is often shown to be irrelevant, not always. Then Socrates begins to break the discussion in what seems a totally random direction, coming to temporary conclusions that you heartily disagree with, only to see him discard those through some fancy bit of word wrangling – and bring you mostly around to what you were thinking in the first place. Sometimes. Often, ...more
Alex Passey
Full disclosure, I'm calling it quits only about 150 pages into this. It's not that there is no value to this book, it's just that it only comes from a historical context when I was really in the market for some provocative philosophy. I also didn't care much for the choppy allegorical way that the philosophy came packaged, though I suppose that is the nature of Plato presenting in writing the work of his mainly oratory teacher. While it was neat in the first couple dialogues seeing Socrates lay ...more
Lynna Kivela
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
W.H.D Rouse did a very good job with the translation and made it easy to follow and enjoyable as well. I got this edition out of my local library. I could not help but imagine a place and time where people actually thought, conversed, knew how to have intellectual exchanges with respect and honor, and cared about developing and improving their intellect and the world (or state) in which they lived.

I also learned that Socrates is a character of Plato's. He may or may not have existed. So when so
Rohan Sohail
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A slow read, this one, especially if you're keen on understanding most, if not all, of what Plato says. interesting ideas; most interesting of all the assessments of the different constitutions that are present in the world, especially the bit about democracy, how the democratic constitution comes into being, what the public is like under it, how a democratic individual is. a definite recommendation for someone looking to take a peak into the world of philosophy.
Dayang Mahani
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's a pure joy to read a book of knowledge like this. but it requires a lot of time to finish it. to sum up, it shows that the human mind is limited. however, his method of arguing and contemplation on life are worth to be practiced in life. socrates is indeed a great teacher. read it then only you know how joyful a reading could be.
Miranda Feneberger
What can I say, I love Plato. This book is a collection of the best & the translation is wonderful.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The definition of justice was amusing. Must-read for everybody older than 3 years old.
Zita Steele
Feb 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I intensely dislike the writings of Plato. His theories are not grounded in experience or reality and his ideas are utterly impractical.
Holt Dwyer
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The review mostly reflects the quality of the Republic and Apology rather than the less interesting Ion and Meno.
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cultured-100
My favorite part reading Plato was how ambitious he was as a thinker. Well, I'm actually not sure if he was the ambitious thinker or Socrates; very confusing. While the Republic is justifiably famous for the sheer scale of the thought experiment, it was tedious in parts. And I have to say, his conclusions don't mesh well with either my own views or how society is structured in the modern era. Still, it was fun to read someone's vision of the perfect city in 400 BC. My favorite by far was Crito, ...more
Nick Smith
Obviously you can get many versions of this. My favorite dialogues are The Phaedo, The Phaedrus, The Symposium, and of course, "The Republic." But I do not think that "The Republic" is very realistic. It is a utopia, whereas Aristotle's middle road or mean would be a much better form of government. If all the power were in the philosopher-king's hands, ultimately corruption would surface and the people would not be satisfied without property or familial bonds. Overall, there are several critical ...more
Apr 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Old man Plato has some thought provoking things to say, the most famous being the claim that the life of your average Joe is no better than living in a cave mistaking shadows on the wall for real existence. Plato urges us to value wisdom and reason above all, to use these to achieve an understanding of the eternal and the unchanging, and not the illusory and temporal. I'm not yet convinced of the existence of this greater reality Plato values above all else, and wonder if there is really anythin ...more
Jap Hengky
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-the-shelf
The extent to which Plato uses the dialogues to record Socrates’ ideas and to which he uses Socrates as a proponent of his own ideas will probably never be conclusively answered. The question is historical, but in the philosophical sense it makes no difference whose ideas found their way into the dialogues. A fairly safe assumption is that it was Socrates who emphasized the importance of philosophical problems of value, knowledge, and philosophy itself. He probably argued that it is important to ...more
Blue Caeruleus
Jan 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
When I got to the Republic, I was greatly surprised to find out that Plato was a communist. His ideas for what makes the perfect city-state are exactly what I would expect to make a nightmare of a government. Still, one can enjoy this for the fact that it's a voice that has been passed down for thousands of years and has had immense influence on human thought. Plus, it contains the dialogues concerning the trial and death of Socrates, of which I am very fond. For anyone who wants to be acquainte ...more
Jan 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this on my honeymoon after finishing Steve Martin's "Born Standing Up," and feeling vaguely guilty that the only book I was reading was "The Wolf's Hour" about a Russian born member of the British Secret Service, expert lover and werewolf who is doing covert ops behind enemy lines in WWII. According to this book, the D-Day invasion might never have succeeded if not for the efforts of this, well, werewolf.

Anyway, yeah- and the Steve Martin book got me thinking about Philosophy again.

Nov 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: collegebooks
I have read many of his dialogues about 10X in undergrad, grad, and teaching them. I used to have the fancy big Collected Dialogues of Plato but I think I borrowed it to a student and never saw it again.

My favorites: Crito, Apology, Phaedo, and Symposium.

Because the dialogue form can be a little awkward to get used to and there are clunky translations and a new reader might not realize that Socrates is often being snarky might cause some readers to not be immediately taken with the dialogues a
Bryan June
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much of what is discussed in Pluto's writings is as true now as it was hundreds of years ago. Obviously there are some outdated ideas and naive beliefs that were held among the ancient Greek people, but the logic behind the arguments presented is still rather solid. I think The Republic should be required reading for anyone going into politics; it seems a better foundation than any religious text would be for a governing body.
Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
From the point of view of philosophy, this is probably the most important book ever written. But from the point of view of literature, I'd have to say it was a little lacking. Basically it's Socrates rambling about a ton of things, going off on 100-page tangents, interspersed with his friends breaking up his line of speech with lines like, "Exactly." "Certainly." "Of course, that is clear." And so on and so on.
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
I didn't read the whole thing; it was a book we were given for school. Notably, we skipped the Republic. Socrates' trial and death were interesting, if most likely not historically accurate. At times, it is clear that this was written by a supporter of Socrates, and while there is nothing wrong with that, the bias shows.

It's worth reading if you're interested in philosophy and/or Greek history.
Erik Graff
Dec 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Plato fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: philosophy
This was probably the first book of Plato's dialogs, some of them at least, which I ever owned. I believe it was purchased used from the Maine South H.S. bookstore and may actually have been read before college matriculation. Later it was replaced on the shelves by Jowett's complete, two-volume edition.
Brook Miscoski
Aug 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I particularly like the dialogue where Socrates destroys a basically Nietzschean will-and-power view of the world. I don't care much for his blathering about how he knows the afterlife must exist, but all philosophies have flaws & everyone picks something to believe in.
Nick Wallace
Of inestimable value as a continuation of Socrates' work, I have to agree with a friend of mine. Many of the dialogues eventually breakdown to an ancient Greek equivalent of a Victorian gentleman's club, with here-here's all around.
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(Greek: Πλάτων) (Arabic: أفلاطون) (Alternate Spelling: Platón, Platone)
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 philosoph
More about Plato

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