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Five Dialogues [Paperback]

by Plato, G. M. A. Grube
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1, 2002 0872206335 978-0872206335 2
The second edition of Five Dialogues presents G. M. A. Grube's distinguished translations, as revised by John Cooper for Plato, Complete Works. A number of new or expanded footnotes are also included along with an updated bibliography.

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Five Dialogues + Meditations on First Philosophy: In Which the Existence of God and the Distinction of the Soul from the Body Are Demonstrated + Plato: Republic
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John M. Cooper is Stuart Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Pub Co; 2 edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872206335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872206335
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Many are the college students who have read the Platonic discourses collected in this volume. Along with The Republic, these dialogues form the most basic core of Platonic philosophy and are required reading for anyone interested in the art of philosophy.

In the Euthyphro dialogue, Socrates is on his way to court to answer the charges of Meletus that he creates his own gods and does not believe in the gods of society. On his way, he meets Euthyphro, a lawyer-priest of some sort who tells Socrates that he is prosecuting his own father for the murder of a slave (a slave who had himself committed murder). Socrates compels the learned Euthyphro to explain to him the truth about what is pious and what impious; if he can tell the court what he has learned from the knowledgeable Euthyphro, he will have no trouble countering Meletus' charges. Euthyphro tries to define what is pious as that which is pleasing to the gods, but Socrates shows him that his definition is really just an effect of piety, and Euthyphro bows out of the circular conversation without ever giving Socrates a satisfactory definition of true piety.

In The Apology, Socrates defends himself from both the recent charges of Meletus for impiety as well as the host of charges long leveled at him as being a corrupter of the youth. He cites a pronouncement of the Delphic oracle that he is the wisest of all men and explains how he has spent his life trying to vindicate the god's pronouncement by seeking out the wisest men in society and testing them. The wisest men, he says, turn out to be not wise at all. He himself knows he is not wise, while the supposedly wise think they are wise when they are not, and he has concluded that the gods believe that the wisest man is the man who knows how much he does not know.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Introduction to Plato November 4, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This collection dialogues are a great foundation for the study of Plato. Each deals with a fundamental conern of philosophy and forces the reader to question his or her beliefs. These are realtively basic dialogues in that one is not required to have extensive knowledge of Plato's other works. This translation is one of the best I have read, it is clear and modern while preserving Plato's intention.

I suggest this collection to anyone who is interested in exploring many fundamental questions of philosophy.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The trial, imprisonment, and death of Socrates June 13, 2006
These Five Dialogues cover the most famous (or infamous) portion of Socrates life--his trial and subsequent execution. In this they are historically invaluable.

Plato lays out each dialogue with great artistic prowess (and the translators, for their part, keep everything smooth and pleasant). Society has fully internalized this art and anyone unfamiliar with it is at a disadvantage when considering anything subsequent found in the Western tradition. In this they are culturally invaluable.

One finds also in these dialogues the very basics of Platonic thought--most notably the theory of Forms. There are, of course, many other concepts introduced, from politics to metaphysics. In this the dialogues are philosophically invaluable.

If I haven't yet convinced you to pick up a copy of Five Dialogues I don't know what will, but perhaps you would be interested to know that the book contains good (but short) introductions to each dialogue, informative (although rare) footnotes, and an extensive (if outdated) suggested reading list? I hope that did the trick, because this set of dialogues is, well, invaluable.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very much enlightening September 12, 2010
I roomed with a philosophy major in my first year of college who loved to make my head spin with Plato. He'd come back from class bustling with excitement over the latest breakthrough he'd had and try to explain its significance to me, only to have it go in one ear and out the other since my priorities at the time were decidedly more down-to-earth.

Luckily, I've not been content to stay that way. It occurred to me after graduation that my education was deficient in many 'classics' - novels, poetry, history, philosophy, and so on - and that it would be to my advantage to learn them, so I sat down and made a list of things to read. Plato happened to be near the top for his influence on western philosophy. When his turn came, a friend recommended I start with the dialogues associated with Socrates' trial since they provide a solid foundation for understanding the Republic and other later Platonic dialogues.

A quick search of readily available translations yielded three candidates: Grube (Hackett), Rowe (Penguin Classics), and Jowett (too many to count). I evaluated each of them on my standard book criteria:

1) I like to think of my books as lasting investments, so I'm very keen on acid-free paper and hardcover editions.
2) I expect notes of some sort.
3) Any translations must strike a good balance between faithfulness to the text and readability, erring more to the former. No anachronisms!

The Jowett translation was by far the most abundant, likely because it's out of copyright and thus free to use. There wasn't much difference between the various editions - they were mostly paperbacks printed on cheap acidic paper without any notes. A leather-bound Easton Press edition featured superior binding and fanciful illustrations but still no notes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Was Great
The book was in great condition and it was at an extremely great price. Definitely worth the purchase. Much thanks.
Published 2 months ago by David Mora
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Condition
This book came looking brand new and had absolutely no marking inside. It is exactly what I asked for I am happy.
Published 2 months ago by Rachel truax
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful anthology; good introduction to Plato
Modern skipping translation. Sometimes the notes of explanation are more perplexing than the language in the text. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars It's just a book!
This is a book. Not much to say, except you get exactly what you pay for...words on a page. Interesting stuff!
Published 3 months ago by Boone
4.0 out of 5 stars Great set
An excellent introduction to Plato's philosophy. If you're interested in the historical figure of Socrates, these dialogues are most are most concerned with his life. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Zach
5.0 out of 5 stars This edition includes one of the most important features for doing...
Yes, this edition preserves what Plato and Socrates said in their flavor, but in updated language-this is one of the most easily understandable editions that I have found. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Evan
5.0 out of 5 stars Good edition
This book offers a nice translation of Plato's dialogues presented in a very clear, elegant way. Would purchase again, arrived on time and in great condition.
Published 6 months ago by Sarah Starr
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
the book is about things that are complicated, but i had the time to read it and understand pretty much what was about
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book
I needed this book for my Philosophy class.It is Plato and other philosophers so don't expect easy reading. But overall it is good book
Published 7 months ago by elena
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Another classic writing I have enjoyed over the years. Not an easy read, but filled with depth for anyone. Recommended.
Published 7 months ago by Jerald A. Burton MD
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