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Plato for Everyone [Kindle Edition]

Aviezer Tucker
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $21.00
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Book Description

Plato's dialogues, featuring his famous mentor Socrates, often prove difficult to understand for many contemporary readers. Students today miss the ancient cultural and historical references, and they have trouble following Plato's arguments as presented in dialogue format.

This book remedies these problems by recasting five of Plato's dialogues into accessible and entertaining short stories in modern settings. The Euthyphro becomes a tale about a televangelist bent on disowning his son at a denominational boarding school in rural Virginia; the Crito - retitled "What do you have to do for your country?" - is focused on the question of whether a US citizen who considers a current war to be unjust should avoid a military draft by moving to Canada. In all of the stories (the Meno, the Statesman, and Phaedo are also included), the central character is Socrates, just as in the original dialogues, but here the maverick philosopher appears in twenty-first-century guise. The author, who has taught philosophy for many years, captures the tone, wit, and philosophical essence of Plato's dialogues in a modern English interpretation that is often amusing and fun to read.

For instructors looking for an engaging way to interest undergraduates in Plato and for students who find the original works a bit daunting, this book offers an enlightening and enjoyable read.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


"Plato for Everyone is a refreshing and relevant transposition of Plato's dialogues to contemporary times. Tucker has done a masterful job of recasting Socrates in current contexts, which today's students can readily grasp. This book is both accessible and instructive, illustrating why love of wisdom has no expiry date."
- Lou Marinoff, PhD, professor of philosophy, the City College of the City University of New York; author of Plato Not Prozac

"In Plato for Everyone Aviezer Tucker ingeniously rewrites ancient texts for a twenty-first-century audience. The result is a provocative and fresh introduction to philosophy, where old ideas are put to new use and Socrates speaks English with only a slight Greek accent. Philosophy is notoriously a nut hard to crack, but this book may just do the job."
- Costica Bradatan, PhD, author of Dying for Ideas: The Dangerous Lives of the Philosophers

"Aviezer Tucker brings Socrates to life in this sparkling collection of revised, updated versions of Plato's most influential dialogues. Tucker's prose is clear, brisk, witty, and poignant. His staging of the dialogues in contemporary settings places their central teachings in sharp, vibrant relief. This is the perfect first book for aspiring philosophers, thoughtful minds, and precocious souls of any predilection. I look forward to reading this book with my own children."
- Daniel Conway, PhD, professor of philosophy, Texas A&M University

"Profound and full of humor, Plato for Everyone is a peerless introduction to Plato for today's reader - student and philosopher alike. Tucker preserves Plato's spirit and philosophical complexity in stories that breathe new life into the most famous Platonic dialogues. Tucker's unique presentation of Plato is perfect for the classroom and beyond."
- Seth Rogoff, history instructor, Southern Maine Community College

About the Author

Aviezer Tucker (Austin, TX) is the author of Our Knowledge of the Past: A Philosophy of Historiography; The Philosophy and Politics of Czech Dissidence: From Patocka to Havel; and numerous scholarly articles. He is also the editor of A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography. He has taught philosophy at universities throughout the world and currently works at the University of Texas-Austin.

Product Details

  • File Size: 481 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1616146540
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (February 19, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C4B2KLK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,465,938 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Plato is now accessible! December 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Plato's //Dialogues// are the essential starting point for a basic understanding of Western philosophy; Socrates has long been regarded the father of critical thinking. However, the intervening years have obscured their meaning; cultural differences and translation inaccuracies have made reading Plato extremely difficult, and understanding almost impossible without some kind of guide. // Plato for Everyone// is exactly that needed guide for today's readers. Understanding the barriers to understanding Plato (whose Dialogues are the only record we have of the philosopher Socrates' arguments), the author has rewritten it to be much more accessible, while still remaining true to the spirit of the originals. Four of the Socratic dialogues, as well as Plato's recount of Socrates' death, are placed in a new context of our modern America, with a modern conversational tone and a storyline, rather than the confusing script of before; this modern retelling clarifies how timeless these dialogues really are. An extremely helpful introduction gives an overview of each dialogue and the modern change, and why the author set it the way he did, with some of his own observations.
The first dialogue is after //The Crito//, which questions the duty of a citizen to his country, even when the law is wrong or unjust. The original was Socrates' choice between exile or imprisonment; the modern analog is self-exile or compulsory military service; Socrates has been drafted into an unjust war against which he has protested and demonstrated, and his friends try to persuade him to flee the country.
The second is from //Meno//, which in the original questions the meaning of virtue.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Everyone needs to read this. June 7, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My introduction to Plato was many years ago in college. I read only what the professor assigned, and promptly went on to the next assignment. How much I missed those many years ago. Prof. Tucker has put Plato's wisdom in a modern context. For the non-philosophy student who had difficulty with the formal language of the Greek philosophers as translated, this exposure works!
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More About the Author

Dr. Aviezer Tucker writes about philosophy, history, politics, science and technology studies, and their interdisciplinary interactions. He and his wife the literary critic Veronika Tuckerova live in Cambridge MA and Prague, Czech Republic.
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