Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

The Cambridge Companion to Plato (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521436106
ISBN-10: 0521436109
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$27.14 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$49.99 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
39 New from $29.94 52 Used from $8.20
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
$49.99 FREE Shipping. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Cambridge Companion to Plato (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)
  • +
  • The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)
  • +
  • The Cambridge Companion to Aquinas (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)
Total price: $140.72
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is an unusually well coordinated composite work, with a lengthy bibliography and good index. ... The volume can be commended to the use of graduate students and advanced undergraduates." Religious Studies Review

"...should prove quite useful....For its intended audience, and also their instructors, this Companion will live up to its name, and Kraut and his contributors are to be commended." R.E. Houser, International Philosophical Quarterly

"Richard Kraut has put together a rich collection of fifteen newly-commisioned articles on various aspects of Plato's thought, plus an extensive bibliography of secondary articles and books...". Ancient Philosophy

Book Description

Fourteen new essays discuss Plato's views about knowledge, reality, mathematics, politics, ethics, love, poetry, and religion in a convenient, accessible guide that analyzes the intellectual and social background of his thought as well.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Companions to Philosophy
  • Paperback: 578 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (October 30, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521436109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521436106
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #791,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I cannot recommend this volume highly enough. It's a collection of essays, all (bar one) especially written for this volume, each of them authored by a leading scholar on the respective dialogue or topic. Especially the pieces by Frede and Fine constitute path-breaking, durable contributions to Plato scholarship; each of them would merit the purchase by itself. Between them, Frede and Fine also introduce the reader to two rather different approaches to interpreting Plato, and at once present these approaches at their very best.

Some essays are naturally harder than others, ranging from the instantly accessible to the rather technical. This is as it should be: a reader's companion to Plato's dialogues which themselves vary from the easy to the 'forbidding'. And a book that won't become redundant as your own competence with the dialogues grows (who ever said it won't?).

To conclude: these pieces range from the good to the outstanding, none of them is harder than it should be, and they display considerable diversity in methodology.

PS People interested in the 'non-doctrinal' approach to reading Plato may profitably consult Ferrari's piece at [...] and the "Introduction" (pt.III-IV) in John Cooper, "Plato: Complete Works" (Hackett 1997).
Comment 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The Cambridge Companion to Plato is an extrememly good primer of Plato's philosophy. The book begins with a complete overview of Plato's philosophy and how it progressed through time. This overview is particularly helpful for those who have never studied Plato before and essential for those who use this book, as I did, as their first exposure to the study of philosophy.
Like all books in the Cambridge series, the Companion to Plato consists of a number of essays written by preminent scholars. These essays explain and evaluate various aspects of Plato's philosophy, from "the defense of justice in Plato's Republic" to "mathematical method and philosophical truth."
Like any philosophy textbook, The Cambridge Companion to Plato can, at times, be dense. I won't recommend it for everbody; a hearty interest in learning philosophy is definately required. However, I've found it to be one of the finest introductions to Plato in his philosophy. It provides a good foundation for actual reading of Plato's texts, which is the next logical step beyond this book. It is also perfect for those who wish to gain a working understanding of Plato's view of the world but, like me, simply do not have the patience to garner it from Plato's own work.
Comment 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Plato is perhaps the most approachable of the major philosophers. His work is largely presented in short dialogues. Their brevity allow them to be read in a single sitting, and their characterizations, humor, and stories engage even the reader new to philosophy.
Given this, it may surprise those unfamiliar with Plato to learn that the interpretation of him has always been the subject of hot dispute - perhaps only Nietzsche among philosophers has inspired more controversy.
Why is this? Why is Plato so easy to read and yet so difficult?
Five problems are worth calling out:
(1) Dramatic presentation: All of Plato's published works are presented as dialogues between characters - Plato himself is never a character. Thus, any interpretation must have some mapping (implicit or explicit) between the characters' views and Plato's views, as well as how the dramatic structure (setting, characters, story) as a whole presents Plato's views.
(2) Irony: The main speaker in most of Plato's dialogues is Socrates, a character who often speaks ironically. Other characters can be read as sometimes being ironical as well (such as The Athenian in the dialogue "Laws"). Any interpretation must determine when a character is speaking ironically and when seriously.
(3) Stories/Myths: Characters in Plato's dialogues often tell stories whose subject matter is mythological - they concern Gods and Goddesses, the afterlife, and other subject matter beyond ordinary human experience. Any interpretation that deals with them must determine how they are to be read.
(4) The Platonic Lie: In "The Republic", Plato endorses (or seems to endorse) lying as a means of instilling beneficial beliefs in audiences that are unable to acquire philosophical knowledge.
Read more ›
8 Comments 129 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This collection of essays written by a host of outstanding scholars of ancient philosophy in this generation may well serve as a comprehensive and dense guideline to the philosophy of Plato and the contemporary viewpoints concerning the arguments presented by Plato. I am especially impressed by the excellent introduction written by the editor of this book, Richard Kraut. It is so well-organized, sharply presented and teemed with useful materials that I find it to be the best short introduction on Plato I ever read. And the structure of the whole book is also well balanced that the essays of which it is composed nearly touch every controverisal problems concerning Plato's philosophy and that those problems are all more or less treated in a appreciable way.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Reading Plato's dialogues is demanding. I am sure that common readers (such as students, average readers or scholars who are not specialist in Plato's works) are not to understand deeply enough without help. And "help" means interpretative literatures. Just this book is mention kind of literature. It presents 15 excellent articles from 14 distinguished authors (R. Kraut, G. Fine, G. Ferrari, M. Frede, to name a few) and the articles deal with various subjects, such as chronology, Socratic question, religion, love, epistemology, justice, politics, Third Man, etc. Although interpretative literature is really necessary, you should not suppose that studying this 'Companion' is enough... For example, Plato's dialogue 'Phaedo' has ca 50-60 pages, but there are thousends pages written about this Plato's dialogue. In other words, to read this books is useful (or necessary), but is not sufficient! If you want to understand Plato's at lest at a average level, you have to read also other works, I roughly estimate at least 5-10 other works. And final remark - if you want to understand Plato's messages, you have to put on primary place Plato's works, not works of interpretators; in any words, you have to read Plato's works as often as possible.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Cambridge Companion to Plato (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Cambridge Companion to Plato (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)