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Introducing Plato: A Graphic Guide Paperback – January 11, 2011
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About the Author
Judy Groves: Judy Groves is a painter, graphic designer and illustrator. She has illustrated numerous titles.
Top Customer Reviews
"Introducing Plato" is not an exhaustive treatment of Plato and his philosophy - and it is no substitute for reading the dialogues - but what it does excellently is delineate the ground covered by Plato, places it in historical and social context, and brings home the relevance and impact of the philosophy on todays world. The authors also cover some of the subsequent criticisms of Plato's ideas, and some of the weaknesses and contradictions in Plato's work when viewed as a whole.
If you are interested in reading the dialogues, this book is an excellent little companion that I recommend reading first for some context. It packs a lot of information in very accessible format, and I will certainly be seeking out more of the books in the series.
Plato's philosophy began by asking questions that went beyond religion, myths and superstitions in a search for life's uncertainties. Before philosophers, along with its many warring gods, the sophists ruled Athens. Plato wrote his "Republic" to set them all straight.
In addition to Socrates, Pythagoras, and Heraclitus also influenced Plato. Pythagoras' religion was numbers; Heraclitus believed change to be the fundamental process of nature; and Socrates was obsessed with fundamental questions of human virtue: What should humans strive for? His answer was: that man should seek truth through knowledge.
Socrates invented the first methodology of philosophy, the "Socratic Method." It involves a dialectic consisting of structured enquiries bound together by logical inferences and nested deductions. Socrates also believed that everything had an underlying "essence" or constituent part which could be revealed through dialectic debate.
Plato dedicated his life and most of his works and teachings to exposing the world to Socrates' methods and thinking. Plato's first work, Eurthyphro, is the first of several imagined dialogue with Socrates on his way to his death. It was about the ultimate source and meaning of moral knowledge.
He begins by pointing out that "doing the right thing" and "doing what god demands or approves," are not necessarily the same things. Morality does not always reduce to god's teachings.Read more ›
The author presents Plato as a proto-fascist. Plato's theories of the forms are muddled, and Aristotle was wise to clarify or dispense with them. Laws was a horrid work which formed an unfortunate ending to Plato's writings.
I find the author's opinions to be eminently reasonable. His views represent a common-sense approach to Plato. The author, too, asks the right questions.
Notable aspects include the major ideas from the main works, as well as some scant (should be more really) biographical info on the philosopher behind the thoughts that set the tone for over two thousand years of all western philosophic questions and pondering. Both the continental and analytic tradition owe their origins to Plato as the first recorder of philosophy in dutifully diligent written format, which would continue thereafter).
By reading "Introducing Plato", I now have a far better understanding of Objectivist philosophy. Before I read this book, I found some of Rand's terminology a bit odd but now I realize that she was engaged in a conversation with the ancient philosophers that I had walked in on toward the end. I also see where she agrees and where she deviates with them on the important questions. I would recommend "Introducing Plato" to any student of Objectivism that has not previously studied the ancients.
Ayn Rand was no fan of Plato. She prefers to praise Aristotle, his student of twenty years. I see that a second edition of "Introducing Aristotle" in coming out in 2006 August. I am looking forward to it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fun. Easy. Can probably be read by most under 3 hours. Seems good for high school students, or anyone not trained philosophically.Published 13 months ago by Karma
It's good. I have to read his works, but this can help me get started.Published on July 5, 2014 by Tom
Very Good. On time and as expected. Highly recommended. Will use again and recommend to others. Very good very good.Published on October 2, 2013 by Charles Onuogu
This graphic novel series is wonderfully done. Great for adults who just want a refresher or a great way to get kids interested in these usually profound subjects.Published on January 30, 2013 by Alexis Giostra
The book is great at giving a feel for who the whole of Plato was as a person. The book is not so great at explaining all of the theories of Plato. Read morePublished on March 13, 2008 by T. Gallion
Make sure to read the Aristotle book first, then hit this one. Two good reads.Published on June 14, 2007 by S. Kosloske
Plato doesn't make people fight. He makes people think about why bad people should be eliminated. I like when he says "Yes, I agree" but I get mad when he yells at... Read morePublished on September 30, 2003 by misterb1020