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Plato: Complete Works (1959)

by Plato

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,300105,227 (4.4)9
Gathers translations of Plato's works and includes guidance on approaching their reading and study.
  1. 00
    Plato's Philosophers: The Coherence of the Dialogues by Catherine H. Zuckert (hbryant2)
    hbryant2: "Catherine Zuckert explains ... how these prose dramas cohere to reveal a comprehensive Platonic understanding of philosopohy."
  2. 06
    Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology: Expanded Second Edition by Ayn Rand (mcaution)
    mcaution: Taking up Plato's problem of universals and the tradition of Aristotle, Rand provides the solution as well as laying the foundation for the proper methods of validating all other knowledge.
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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Farewell, study your philosophy, and try to interest the other young men in it. —Letter XIII

...these are the studies. Whether they are difficult, whether they are easy, this is the way we must proceed. —Epinomis 992a

...If we live truly the life of philosophy —Letter VI


__________
I'm not going to presume to review Plato's works. I'm not qualified to do that; I've read them, not studied them.

What I have decided to do is talk a little about the volume itself, and give my opinion on which works I think are must-reads, and which ones I enjoyed. And also sprinkle in some quotes for good measure, which should also give you a flavour of the translations.

And if you're looking for a reason to read his works; your mind will be opened and you will be exposed to so many ideas. Now you probably won't enjoy reading all of them, but you'll be glad you did...

..."After all, this is the object of the exercise — I'm not going through all this simply for the story. —Laws III 699e

__________
First of all, the translation. There is no single translator for this volume, but rather a number of different translators. I thought that the translations were all superb. No troubles reading them whatsoever.

The volume contains a good general introduction, and contains excellent, brief introductions prior to each work.

How are the works arranged? Into the nine-tetralogies, followed by 8 spurious works, and ending with 18 epigrams.

(The organisation into tetralogies is ascribed by Diogenes Laërtius to one Thrasyllus, a 1st. century AD. scholar, and the court astrologer to the Emperor Tiberius.)

There are notes, and these are: textual, quoting references, and give some background information.

But the text isn't packed with explanatory notes; this simply wouldn't be possible in a single volume complete collection.

However, I really didn't find this a problem as the dialogues themselves are fairly easy to read (mostly), and I had no major problems following along. They are not, as I may have thought, very densely written or packed with obscure philosophical terminology.

The text (Palatino) is a good size, is printed on high quality paper, and the volume is bound strongly.

Definitely an edition made to last, and I would highly recommend it.
If you know you want to read all of Plato at some point, get this.

You can always get other editions (with notes) of his major works.
__________
Absolute Must-Reads
-Euthyphro
-Apology
-Crito
-Phaedo


(Collectively known as The Last Days of Socrates or The Trial and Execution of Socrates, these four dialogues give an account of the last days of Socrates and his execution.)

-Republic
-Laws


__________
Favourites
-Euthyphro
-Apology
-Crito
-Phaedo
-Alcibiades
-Protagoras
-Gorgias
-Meno
-Lesser Hippias
-Republic
-Timaeus
-Laws
-Definitions
-Sisyphus
-Axiochus

__________
...I usually praise the ancients who came before us more highly than I praise the people of our own day —Greater Hippias 282a

It looks to us, my friend, as if you mean to imply that passing the time with friends over a drink —provided we behave ourselves —is a considerable contribution to education.
Most certainly. —Laws I 641d

But for a man to acquire good judgement, and unshakeable correct opinions, however late in life, is a matter of good luck: a man who possesses them, and all the benefits they entail, is perfect. —Laws II 653a

We do not hold the common view that a man's highest good is to survive and simply continue to exist. His highest good is to become as virtuous as possible and to continue to exist in that state as long as life lasts. —Laws IV 707d

However, it would be pretty fatuous to spend our time talking about the length or brevity of the text: it's high quality that we should value I think, not extreme brevity or length, —Laws IV 722b

My good Crito, why should we care so much for what the majority think? —Crito 44c

The soul of the philosopher achieves a calm from such emotions; it follows reason and ever stays with it complementing the true, the divine, which is not the object of opinion. —Phaedo 84a
( )
1 vote EroticsOfThought | Feb 27, 2018 |
If you're looking to read Plato in English then this is the book for you. It is the only edition to include everything passed down under his name from antiquity: the entire canon of Thrasyllus, one or two other pieces like Definitions and the epigrams from the Greek Anthology. All other editions make editorial decisions about what is and is not by Plato. Obviously, not everything in here is by Plato. In some cases we know the names of the people who actually wrote certain works, but in the case of something like Clitophon I see no reason why it couldn't be a genuine work. Either way, the spurious pieces give you a wider idea of the philosophy of the Greeks. Some are very good. Others, if nothing else, make clear just how difficult the dialogue form was and just how good Plato was with it.

If I have one quibble it's that not all the translations are as good as they could be. Not that they appear inaccurate, but take the translation of Republic. Some twenty-odd years ago I read Robin Waterfield's translation. It was that book that got me into Plato, philosophy and Greek literature in general. There's a zing and pzazz to the writing that all the best translations share and which must be there in Plato's Greek. The offering in this volume is a plodding affair. If that had been my introduction to Plato I think I would have been put off for life. Also, the tone in some of the other translations is just a little bit off. But most of the translations are fine and some are very good.

It's also a well made book, printed on beautiful paper. I spilt Ribena on my copy. ( )
  Lukerik | Jan 23, 2018 |
Read: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Cratylus, Theatetus, Sophist, Statesman, Parmenides, Symposium, Phaedrus, Rival Lovers, Charmides, Lysis, Protagoras, Gorgias, Meno, Republic, Timaeus.
To read: Philebus, Laches, Euthydemus, Ion, Critias, Laws. ( )
  gesophrosunt | Jul 23, 2016 |
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 composition, comments on the dialogue form in which Plato wrote, and offers guidance on approaching the reading and study of Plato's works. ~Amazon
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  Susannahmary89 | Oct 7, 2015 |
I'm keeping a reading journal as I read this, and posting my entries online. So far:

Meno
Euthyphro
Apology
Crito
  Sopoforic | Feb 6, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (82 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
PlatoAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cooper, John M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dacier, AndréTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edman, IrwinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hutchinson, D. S.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jowett, BenjaminTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Euthyphro: What's new, Socrates, to make you leave your usual haunts in the Lyceum and spend your time here by the king-archon's court?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the Complete works of Plato. It should NOT be combined with "The Works of Plato" from the Great Books of the Western World series (Great Books vol 7; sometimes references as vol 6), as the Great Books collection does not include Plato's "Alcibiades".
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Gathers translations of Plato's works and includes guidance on approaching their reading and study.

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