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Antiquity's Greatest Philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle [Kindle Edition]

Charles River Editors
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

*Analyzes the controversies and mysteries surrounding Socrates' life and death, including the debate over his portrayal in Plato's Socratic dialogues.
*Discusses the philosophers' writings about knowledge, logic, metaphysics, science, reason, Forms, political science, rhetoric and more.
*Includes busts and other art depicting the philosophers and other important people.
*Includes a Bibliography on each for further reading.
*Includes a Table of Contents.

In 427 B.C., the Ancient Greek city-state of Athens was flourishing. Approximately 80 years earlier, the Athenians had formed the first self-representative democracy in history, the Peloponnesian War against Sparta had only just started, and Socrates was only beginning to lay the foundation of what would become Western philosophy.

None of Socrates’ works survived antiquity, so most of what is known about him came from the writings of his followers, most notably Plato. What is known about Socrates is that he seemed to make a career out of philosophy, and Plato was intent on following in his footsteps. Yet for all of the influence of Socrates’ life on his followers, it was Socrates’ death around 399 B.C. that truly shaped them. Plato was so embittered by Socrates’ trial in Athens that he completely soured on Athenian democracy, and Aristotle would later criticize politicians who relied on rhetoric; when Aristotle’s own life was threatened, he fled Greece and allegedly remarked, “I will not allow the Athenians to sin twice against philosophy."

About a decade after Socrates’ death, Plato returned to Athens and founded his famous Platonic Academy around 387 B.C., which he oversaw for 40 years until his death. One of Plato’s philosophical beliefs was that writing down teachings was less valuable than passing them down orally, and several of Plato’s writings are responses to previous writings of his, so Plato’s personally held beliefs are hard to discern. However, Plato educated several subsequent philosophers, chief among them Aristotle, and his writings eventually formed the backbone of Western philosophy.

Alongside Socrates and Plato, Aristotle is, without question, one of the most influential ancient Greek philosophers and arguably the greatest icon of ancient thought. His life and work expanded rapidly and extensively across the ancient world, helped in part by the fact he tutored Alexander the Great, he was a recognized and celebrated intellectual force during all of antiquity and the Middle Ages. Furthermore, after Aristotle, Greek thought and political influence began a rapid decline, and the cultivation of knowledge, so important during the classic period, slowly but surely began to fade, making Aristotle the last of ancient Greece’s great philosophers.

Aristotle’s influence on Western philosophical thought is marked by an extensive list of crucial issues that both signaled the way forward but at the same time boggled philosophers’ minds throughout the centuries. Aristotle’s reflections on Being, as well as his rigorous Logic, were his most important philosophical legacy, but he was also an intellectual in the broadest sense of the word. His interests went beyond metaphysical questions and into practical life and practical knowledge, from ethics to politics, rhetoric and the sciences, all of which left a profound impact on Western political thought and ethics. Naturally, this has also made him one of the foundations of knowledge and philosophical thought that subsequent philosophers relied on when forming and refining their own philosophies.

Antiquity’s Greatest Philosophers chronicles the lives, works, and philosophies of all three philosophers in depth, while analyzing their enduring legacies. You will learn about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle like never before.


Product Details

  • File Size: 914 KB
  • Print Length: 121 pages
  • Publisher: Charles River Editors (January 28, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B7JXRNU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #905,969 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This short essay provides a concise and informative summary on the lives and impacts of "The Big Three" of Ancient Greek Philosophy--Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle--and the beliefs they held. There is nothing all that special with this book, though, and I can even go so far as to say that there were some key issues I noticed as I read it:

Firstly, the section on Socrates is essentially that of Plato's mouthpiece and not necessarily the actual life of the man behind the name. Moreover, the chapters regarding Socrates quickly digress into a discussion of Plato's beliefs and views, or at the very least with his relationship to the philosopher. There is in fact very little about Socrates in this essay that can be identified as strictly belonging to him and not his quasi-fictional counterpart in Plato's dialogues. I find this to be very disappointing, for I am a major fan of Socrates and upon first glance at the length of his section in comparison to the others, I was ecstatic. Needless to say, what I discovered dampened the mood significantly.

Secondly, the section on Plato is similarly devoid of content and in fact, entire pages from the section on Socrates are literally copied and pasted without edition in the chapters, acting almost as filler or reiteration in an attempt to maintain a smooth progression throughout the book. If it weren't for the fact that I wished to complete the book in order to provide as accurate a review as I can, I would have probably stopped reading or began skipping over paragraphs long before the section was over. This too was disappointing because although I do not hold as high an affinity for Plato as I do his teacher, I nonetheless hoped to discover new facts or claims about him that may not be found elsewhere.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive but Readable March 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Starting with a limited knowledge of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, I found this book to be very useful. It told of the life and times of these philsophers and gave a comprehensive review, without oversimplifing, their teachings
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Charles River Editors is a digital publishing company that creates compelling, educational content. In addition to publishing original titles, we help clients create traditional and media-enhanced books.


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