Plato: The Symposium

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Overview

Plato's Symposium, written in the early part of the fourth century BC, is set at a drinking party (symposium) attended by some of the leading intellectuals of the day, including Aristophanes, the comic dramatist, Socrates, Plato's mentor, and Alcibiadies, the brilliant but (eventually) treacherous politician. Each guest gives a speech in praise of the benefits of desire and its role in the good and happy human life. At the core of the work stands Socrates' praise of philosophical life as the best route to happiness. This edition provides an accessible and engaging new translation by M. C. Howatson, and a substantial introduction by Frisbee C. C. Sheffield, which guides the reader through the various parts of the dialogue and reflects on its central arguments. A chronology and detailed notes on the participants help to set this enduring work in context.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

M.C. Howatson is Emeritus Fellow in Classics at St Anne's College, Oxford.

Frisbee Sheffield is Lecturer in Philosophy at King's College, London.

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Table of Contents

Chronology

Further reading

The Symposium ('The Drinking Party') 1

Glossary of Greek words 64

Glossary of names 70

Index of subjects 90

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