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Plato: Complete Works [Hardcover]

by Plato, John M. Cooper, D. S. Hutchinson
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1, 1997 0872203492 978-0872203495
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. Also included are concise introductions to each translation, meticulous annotation designed to serve both scholar and general reader, and a comprehensive index. This handsome volume offers fine paper and a high-quality Smyth-sewn cloth binding in a sturdy elegant edition.

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Plato: Complete Works + The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation, Vol. 2 (Bollingen Series LXXI-2) + Complete Works of Aristotle, Vol. 1
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

One might be tempted to ask whether another collection of Plato's works is really necessary, given that they have been translated many times. But several factors set this particular volume apart, making it a worthy addition to most libraries. The translations are all relatively recent and thus reflect contemporary language use and terminology. The collection includes works such as the Minos, Epinomis, Demodocus, Eryxias, and Axiochus, which, though generally considered not to have been written by Plato, are "Socratic" in form or style. The text itself is clearly printed and laid out, with useful notes, and Cooper's introduction and notes about the translations are helpful in setting the dialogs in context. Finally, given what the purchaser receives, the price is reasonable. Recommended for all libraries.?Terry C. Skeats, Bishop's Univ. Lib., Lennoxville, Quebec
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1808 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Co. (May 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872203492
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872203495
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
258 of 263 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, but use with care June 29, 2007
If you are at all inclined to get all of Plato in one volume then you are well advised to get this volume, for lack of viable alternatives.

The translations are a mixed bag. Cooper had little choice except to take over Grube's translations which inaugurated Hackett editions of Plato. While Grube delivers idiomatic English, he's inaccurate on so many key points that he will simply lead you into dead corners. (Instructurs should seriously avoid him in classroom use. There are worthwhile Penguin volumes of "Euthyphro" and "Republic".)

That said, there are real gems in this collection: Burnyeat's "Theaetetus", Frede's "Philebus", Gill's "Parmenides", Zeyl's "Timaeus", Reeve's "Cratylus", Rowe's "Stateman". But if you are a real fan of (any of) those, you should seriously consider getting the individual volumes (also by Hackett) with their substantial introductions (all of them highly recommended) woefully if understandably omitted from this volume. (Why can't there by a Norton Plato? 3000 pages with all of the individual Hackett's... I know, the market.)

Apart from this alternative (or complementation), you should also consider getting or borrowing items of the Clarendon Plato series: Gallop's "Phaedo", McDowell's "Theaetetus", Irwin's "Gorgias", and Taylor's "Protagoras" - philosophical commentaries and translations which have no superior (not so happy on Gallop, but you'll have to avoid Grube's "Phaedo" anyway).

A final comment. If you are new to Plato, Cooper's volume can be a pleasure to start with. Begin with the first "Alcibiades" and the "Symposium" (both beautifully translated here) and then read Cooper's wonderful introduction to the volume. I very much doubt you'll ever live life without Plato afterwards.
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Super Translation, Marvelous Compilation" February 23, 2001
John M. Cooper's "Comlete Works of Plato" is the best single volume anthology of Plato around. Shrouded within the eighteen hundred pages of this book lie many treasures of abundant proportions.
This edition for the first time exposes these new translations: Cratylus, Alcibiades, Second Alcibiades, Hipparchus, Rival Lovers, Theages, Lesser Hippias, Menexemus, Clitiphon, Timaeus, Critias, Minos, Epinomis, Definitions, On Justice, On Virtue, Demodocus, Sisyphus, Halcyon, and Eryxias.
Also the introduction makes accessible techniques while reading Plato to give a more profound sense of the dialouges in order to distinguish Plato's ideas as a whole. Another point of interest is the section on definitions, which is a dictionary of 185 important philosophical terms that developed throughout the Socratic era. I am very happy to have purchased this volume and I hope you find the same joy in buying it for yourself.
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88 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Definitive Edition of Plato. Accept No Substitute!!! September 30, 1998
By A Customer
This is the best translation of Plato in English. First and foremost, it is the first and only COMPLETE English translation of Plato's works in the 20th century. All other anthologies have left out some works. Second, the individual translations are of high quality (some of the translations in other anthologies are a bit creaky). Third, the introduction and notes are extremely useful. This book is a godsend to me, since I teach courses on Plato and now no longer have to rely on previous, seriously flawed anthologies. This translation of Plato will be the definitive one for some time to come. It supersedes all other editions.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Plato for modern reader I could find February 1, 2001
I am not a classical scholar, just a person that is interested in people and trying to learn about the world around me. I read the Histories, the Pelopponesian Wars and I believe I am getting some idea of the world of the time. I knew I could not really understand the influence the Greeks had on subsequent civilizations without digging into Plato.
So, I looked around and found this book, which is more that 1,000 pages. It has different translators and he says that he is trying to make Plato as alive for the 21st Century as he has been for the last 24 centuries. That sounded promising. I took it home and wondered if I should read it like a novel or just hit the high points. I had no idea what was what.
Fortunately, the introduction to this book proved to be a wonderful road map to the volume, with insight on how to read it. I have found that following the guidence the book is actually fun. As an adult, I have heard so many of the issues reaised throughout my life, it is pretty cool to have them reduced to their essence.
We all know that everyone should read Plato and he is the most important philosopher and all that, but there's a lot of stuff I "should" read that is too tedious. This book turned out to be compelling and once I got started something I wanted to read and not just something I was reading because I "should".
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a warm and comfy volume! September 7, 2003
By a
Usually I don't have a head for collected works: I had much more fun reading Hamlet in a slim, single volume than I would've in the clumsy Riverside Shakespeare. This book is an exception. It is absolutely wonderful to have the world of Plato at one's fingertips; to flip through the dialogues and letters and definitions and just take in a few pages, perhaps going back and reading one entire if one finds it at all interesting.
About Plato as a philosopher, it's hard to write a review. I used to be one of the many students to hate Plato; not anymore. My thinking is, The Republic shouldn't be read until a fair amount of other works are read. Plato just says too many neat things--all of them more than make up for the sometimes-doubtful though sometimes quite interesting philosophy of the Republic. Example: "Time is a moving image of eternity." (I paraphrase here...) That's from Timaeus. Now those are the words of a true mystic in touch with the grandness of the universe--not the seeming fascist who wrote The Laws.
In order to read Plato, you've just got to focus on all the good stuff the man wrote. When you do this, the seemingly beastly stuff will make more sense--though you may not agree with it.
I hasten to add that The Symposium is a much better place to start than The Republic. If you are new to Plato, read this first--and delight: Here is a work both profound, funny, and sexy, just like some of our own century's better literature (Proust, Joyce).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Plato
I have always loved Plato. So, having his entire works on one device is wonderful. I can his works with my children which will help them look at things in new ways.
Published 1 month ago by Ray M.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, Terrible Condition Upon Delivery
Plato is without doubt the founder of the modern institution of Western philosophy. He's the guy who formalized and separated the fields of epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics,... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Andy Moyle
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Foundation
You must have this book and read it cover-to-cover. At the heart of Western Philosophy is just this one book! I know you will not believe me, but still, this is the truth.
Published 4 months ago by Frank C Rac
5.0 out of 5 stars I like how it has so many words in it
This book is great! It has all of Plato's works in it, all that Socrates and stuff. Wonderful. So classy-looking too.
Published 8 months ago by Ben
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensible Plato
My library did not have a volume of Plato that I wnated to read so I bought this one and I am very happy. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Frank Dietrick
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have edition
This edition is vastly superior to the old Edith Hamilton-Huntington Cairns edition. The translations are excellent - true to the original and eminently readable. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Hans U. Widmaier
I still have a copy of the Edith Hamilton The Collected Dialogues of Plato: Including the Letters (Bollingen Series LXXI) that I bought decades ago in graduate school. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Orson Welles
5.0 out of 5 stars This one has Stephanus numbers!
These translations are newer than those of Jowett, which may be an advantage for some readers. But the headline feature is that all the Stephanus numbers (and letters) are present... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Jonathan Blocher
5.0 out of 5 stars So far so good! This will take months
I have read bits and pieces over the years but I decided I needed to do a comprehensive read of all Plato's works. The book is in great shape and the translations are well done.
Published 19 months ago by NitaBillS
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value
This is a nice volume of Plato's corpus, and represents excellent value for money. Highly recommended. Read more
Published 20 months ago by σωφροσύνη
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How think is this book?
I realize that this post is old, but for future reference, this book is approximately 2 and 1/4 inches wide or just under 6 cm wide. It is also 9 1/4 by 6 1/2 inches long and tall. On another note, the binding is low quality: the pages do not turn smoothly and the spine of my book is... Read more
Nov 29, 2012 by Matrixkurt |  See all 2 posts
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