Easton Press Plato books

Dialogues on Love and Friendship: Lysis, or Friendship, the Symposium, Phaedrus - 100 Greatest Books Ever Written - 1979
The Republic - 100 Greatest Books Ever Written - 1980
Plato The Complete Works (4 volume set) - 2001
The Laws of Plato - Great Philosophers Library
Works of Plato - Harvard Classics

Franklin Library Plato books

The Republic - 100 Greatest Books of All Time - 1975
The Works of Plato - Great Books of the Western World - 3 Books 1979, 1981, 1983

Plato biography

Plato, one of the most influential philosophers in Western thought, was born around 428/427 BCE in Athens, Greece. He was born into an aristocratic family and was believed to have received a rigorous education in philosophy, mathematics, and athletics. Plato's life was profoundly shaped by the tumultuous political and intellectual climate of ancient Athens. His father, Ariston, is believed to have descended from the early kings of Athens. Perictione, his mother, was distantly related to the 6th-century bc lawmaker Solon. His father died, When he was a child, and his mother married Pyrilampes, who was an associate of the statesman Pericles. He came of age during the Peloponnesian War, a time of social upheaval and political turmoil, which deeply influenced his philosophical outlook. Despite initially aspiring to a career in politics, Plato ultimately turned away from Athenian politics, disillusioned by the corruption and instability he witnessed. Instead, Plato devoted himself to the pursuit of truth and wisdom through philosophy. He became a disciple of Socrates, the famed Athenian philosopher, and was profoundly influenced by his teacher's dialectical method and commitment to questioning assumptions and seeking knowledge.

Plato witnessed the death of Socrates at the hands of the Athenian democracy in 399 bc. Perhaps fearing for his own safety, he left Athens temporarily and traveled to Italy, Sicily, and Egypt. Plato traveled extensively, seeking out other philosophers and thinkers across Greece and beyond. He eventually returned to Athens and in 387 founded the Academy, one of the earliest known institutions of higher learning in the Western world. The Academy became a center for philosophical inquiry, attracting students and scholars from all over Greece. Aristotle was the Academy's most prominent student. Plato's philosophical writings cover a wide range of topics, including metaphysics, ethics, politics, epistemology, and aesthetics. His most famous work, The Republic, explores the nature of justice, the ideal society, and the role of the philosopher-king. In The Republic, Plato introduces his famous allegory of the cave, which serves as a powerful metaphor for the journey from ignorance to enlightenment. In addition to The Republic, Plato wrote numerous dialogues, many of which feature Socrates as the central character. These dialogues explore a variety of philosophical questions and themes, including the nature of love (Symposium), the nature of knowledge (Meno), and the immortality of the soul (Phaedo).

Pursuing an opportunity to combine philosophy and practical politics, Plato went to Sicily in 367 to tutor the new ruler of Syracuse, Dionysius the Younger, in the art of philosophical rule. The experiment failed. Plato made another trip to Syracuse in 361, but again his engagement in Sicilian affairs met with little success. The concluding years of his life were spent lecturing at the Academy and writing.

Plato's writings were in dialogue form; philosophical ideas were advanced, discussed, and criticized in the context of a conversation or debate involving two or more persons. The earliest collection of Plato's work includes 35 dialogues and 13 letters. The authenticity of a few of the dialogues and most of the letters has been disputed.

Plato's philosophy has had a profound and lasting impact on Western thought. His ideas continue to be studied and debated by philosophers, scholars, and students around the world. From his theory of forms to his conception of the philosopher-king, Plato's insights into the nature of reality, ethics, and governance have left an indelible mark on the intellectual history of humanity. Plato died at about the age of 80 in Athens around 348/347 BCE, but his legacy as one of the greatest philosophers of all time endures, ensuring that his ideas will continue to shape the course of human thought for centuries to come.

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