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Apology (Tale Blazers: Greek Literature) Paperback – January 1, 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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About the Author

Plato was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Tale Blazers: Greek Literature
  • Paperback: 68 pages
  • Publisher: Perfection Learning (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789154803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789154804
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.5 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,175,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bill R. Moore on April 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Apology" is Plato's least philosophical and most unrepresentative work but arguably his most important and is among many readers' favorites, including mine. However, the fact that it is widely anthologized -- e.g., in The Trial and Death of Socrates -- makes it hard to justify a standalone, but some may be taken by the translation.

The work purports to be Socrates' self-defense at his trial. It is historically priceless if so, as it gives his last public statements and some background about his life and the lead up to the trial. Even if not, it is of immense worth as a passionate, sound defense of individualism and free speech; its timeless evocation of these all-important concepts is forever associated with Socrates and the main reason he has been immortalized. The work also piercingly examines the often vast law/conscience gap and is thus an early higher law document. Finally, it is a sort of mini-dialogue in itself touching on and in several ways tying up classic Socrates/Plato themes like the nature of piety and goodness, responsibility toward the gods and the state, interpersonal relations, and life vs. death issues. It sums up Socrates and perhaps Plato better than any other work.

The ever-important translation issue must also be kept in mind. It goes without saying that anyone who cares about intellectual issues, especially applied ones, must know Plato, as should anyone who wants to be even basically well-read. However, this is far easier said than done for most; he is so different from what now passes for literature, to say nothing of pop culture, that he is virtually inaccessible to general readers. Yet the importance of persevering cannot be overemphasized; the payoff is well worth the effort.
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2 Comments 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this for free on my new Kindle and it was excellent.

My advice is to skip the introduction because it gave me tired-head really quickly. If you like overly-academic, boring talk, go for it. If not, skip straight to the real-deal Plato.

The book is Plato's account of the trial of his teacher, Socrates. Socrates defends his life by appealing to the wisdom, truth, and righteousness of god. He has no fear of the verdict because he knows that to live is truth and to die is gain, thus, his life will either continue being great (if he lives) or just get better (if he dies).

This very short reading inspired me to seek God's truth in my life. It sparked me to regard my soul and to constantly concern myself with what is honorable and good. Socrates said to be "careless of wealth, family interests, military offices, speaking in the assembly, magistracies, plots, and parties." Instead, care about doing right.

Some gems from the reading:

"I am better off than he is (a "wise" politician), - for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows; I neither know nor think that I know."

"God only is wise; and by his answer he intends to show that the wisdom of men is worth little or nothing."

"The unexamined life is not worth living."

"The difficulty, my friends, is not to avoid death but to avoid unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death."

"Men of Athens, I honor and love you, but I shall obey God rather than you."

"Are you not ashamed of heaping up the greatest amount of money and honor and reputation, and caring so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul, which you never regard or heed at all."

"He who will fight for the right ... must have a private station and not a public one."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The "Apology" is an candid, aggressive, and modern defense for Socrates' philosophy, vs. the intolerance of the Athens, that has many similarities in modern persecution on morally corrupt grounds. The Phaedo, a sad effort in comparison, as Socrates defends a rather unimpressive argument for the immortality of the soul, immediately prior to his own demise by hemlock. The reader does an excellent job on both counts.
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Classic books are always a struggle. I want to enjoy them (and usually do) but they require effort in ways other books don't. Oftentimes there is that doubt, "Is this really a classic? Or was it propped up and endurable by someone's judgement rather than its own merits?" This book was slow going but finished very strong. I actually felt like I was in the courtroom and bidding Socrates farewell. And a little ashamed that I did not stand up against his accusers.
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Perhaps the most important of the dialogues.Nice to not be cluttered with notes. Good exercise to just read think for on my own.
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Format: Paperback
Socrates' final plea to the court is a masterpiece of philosophical prose. Socrates' exhortation to examine yourself eternally resonates throughout the history of philosophy. It is actually difficult to employ the Apology in classrooms, though it often is. Unlike the Phaedo, the dialogue does not proceed with the dialectical beauty of Socrates' argumentation, but is rather a monologic distillation of the philosophical life. This is an extraordinary work of the Platonic spirit.
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How am I supposed to cite the author of the introduction if I you don't put their name anywhere. Also like someone else said I would like the translator's name....
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