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Timaeus, Critias, Cleitophon, Menexenus and…
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Timaeus, Critias, Cleitophon, Menexenus and Epistles: LOEB Classical… (edition 1952)

by Plato, R.G. Bury (Translator)

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851141,824 (3.71)None
Member:rolandperkins
Title:Timaeus, Critias, Cleitophon, Menexenus and Epistles: LOEB Classical Library No. 234
Authors:Plato
Other authors:R.G. Bury (Translator)
Info:William Heinemann, LTD (1952), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Etymologies, Greece, Folk Lore, Atlantis, Philosophy

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Plato: Timaeus, Critias, Cleitophon, Menexenus, Epistles by Plato

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I read the Timaeus for summer Basic Program discussion class in 1997. Plato presents an account of the formation of the universe in the Timaeus. He is deeply impressed with the order and beauty he observes in the universe, and his project in the dialogue is to explain that order and beauty from a teleological perspective. The universe, he proposes, is the product of rational, purposive, and beneficent agency. It is the handiwork of a divine Craftsman (“Demiurge,” dêmiourgos, 28a6), who, imitating an unchanging and eternal model, imposes mathematical order on a preexistent chaos to generate the ordered universe (kosmos). He presents the universe as a whole as well as its various parts arranged as to produce a vast array of good effects. It strikes Plato strongly that this arrangement is not fortuitous, but the outcome of the deliberate intent of Intellect (nous), anthropomorphically represented by the figure of the Craftsman who plans and constructs a world that is as excellent as its nature permits it to be. The Timaeus, begins with a summary by Socrates of what appears to be a fragment of the Republic (from Book II to the middle of Book V) and ends with a construction of a universe in which the citizen of Socrates’ best city could have his home. As Plato discusses, the beautiful orderliness of the universe is not only the manifestation of Intellect; it is also the model for rational souls to understand and to emulate. Such understanding and emulation restores those souls to their original state of excellence, a state that was lost in their embodiment. This is a difficult but, ultimately, rewarding work by this foundational philosopher. ( )
  jwhenderson | Dec 20, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0674992571, Hardcover)

Plato, the great philosopher of Athens, was born in 427 BCE. In early manhood an admirer of Socrates, he later founded the famous school of philosophy in the grove Academus. Much else recorded of his life is uncertain; that he left Athens for a time after Socrates' execution is probable; that later he went to Cyrene, Egypt, and Sicily is possible; that he was wealthy is likely; that he was critical of 'advanced' democracy is obvious. He lived to be 80 years old. Linguistic tests including those of computer science still try to establish the order of his extant philosophical dialogues, written in splendid prose and revealing Socrates' mind fused with Plato's thought.

In Laches, Charmides, and Lysis, Socrates and others discuss separate ethical conceptions. Protagoras, Ion, and Meno discuss whether righteousness can be taught. In Gorgias, Socrates is estranged from his city's thought, and his fate is impending. The Apology (not a dialogue), Crito, Euthyphro, and the unforgettable Phaedo relate the trial and death of Socrates and propound the immortality of the soul. In the famous Symposium and Phaedrus, written when Socrates was still alive, we find the origin and meaning of love. Cratylus discusses the nature of language. The great masterpiece in ten books, the Republic, concerns righteousness (and involves education, equality of the sexes, the structure of society, and abolition of slavery). Of the six so-called dialectical dialogues Euthydemus deals with philosophy; metaphysical Parmenides is about general concepts and absolute being; Theaetetus reasons about the theory of knowledge. Of its sequels, Sophist deals with not-being; Politicus with good and bad statesmanship and governments; Philebus with what is good. The Timaeus seeks the origin of the visible universe out of abstract geometrical elements. The unfinished Critias treats of lost Atlantis. Unfinished also is Plato's last work of the twelve books of Laws (Socrates is absent from it), a critical discussion of principles of law which Plato thought the Greeks might accept.

The Loeb Classical Library edition of Plato is in twelve volumes.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:54 -0400)

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