Plato

Overview

Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that readers find especially challenging. Concentrating specifically on what makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material. It is widely agreed that Plato laid the foundations for the whole history of western thought and, well over 2000 years later, his work is still studied by every ...
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Plato: A Guide for the Perplexed

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Overview

Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that readers find especially challenging. Concentrating specifically on what makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material. It is widely agreed that Plato laid the foundations for the whole history of western thought and, well over 2000 years later, his work is still studied by every student of philosophy. Yet his thought and writings continue to evoke perplexity in readers; and perplexity (aporia) is itself a characteristic of many of his writings, a recurrent motif of his thought, and apparently an important stage one must pass through along the path to wisdom that Plato presents.

Plato: A Guide for the Perplexed is a clear and thorough account of Plato's philosophy, his major works and ideas, providing an ideal guide to the important and complex thought of this key philosopher. The book offers a detailed review of all the major dialogues and explores the particular perplexities of the dialogue form. Geared towards the specific requirements of students who need to reach a sound understanding of Plato's thought, the book also provides a cogent and reliable survey of the whole history of Platonic interpretation and his far-reaching influence. This is the ideal companion to the study of this most influential and challenging of philosophers.

About the Author:
Gerald A. Press is Professor of Philosophy at CUNY, USA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826491763
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury
  • Publication date: 10/24/2007
  • Series: Guides for the Perplexed Series
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerald A. Press is Professor of Philosophy at CUNY and has published widely on Plato.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     vii
Introduction: Perplexity, doubt and the quest for wisdom and happiness     1
Background
Plato's life and works     13
The contexts for interpreting Plato's dialogues     23
Sources of perplexity: Change
A brief history of Platonism and Plato interpretation     39
Dialogue form     55
Arguments and ideas, vision and doctrines     75
Fables, myths and stories     92
Irony and other forms of humour     106
Play and seriousness     118
Paradox     130
Plato's philosophy: Permanence
Platonic anonymity and the nature of Plato's philosophy     146
Persistent themes and Plato's vision     159
The Platonic path to wisdom     172
Help in reading and understanding Plato's dialogues and philosophy
How to read a Platonic dialogue     185
Summaries of the dialogues     209
Glossary of Greek terms     221
Bibliography     231
Index of dialogues, persons and subjects     235
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