Plato: A Complete Introduction

Plato: A Complete Introduction

by Roy Jackson


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Plato: A Complete Introduction by Roy Jackson

Written by Dr Roy Jackson, who Senior Lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire, Plato: A Complete Introduction is designed to give you everything you need to succeed, all in one place. It covers the key areas that students are expected to be confident in, outlining the basics in clear jargon-free English, and then providing added-value features like summaries of key books, and even lists of questions you might be asked in your seminar or exam.

The book uses a structure that mirrors the way Plato is taught on many university courses, with chapters including: the pre-socratics; Socrates; who was Plato?; can virtue be taught?; piety; the philosophical life; obeying the law of Athens; the Soul; knowledge as recollection; the forms; Plato's state; education and morality; Plato and art; the Later Period; Aristotle, Plato's great pupil; Neoplatonism; Plato and religion; Plato's legacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473601796
Publisher: Quercus
Publication date: 05/10/2016
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 803,869
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Dr Roy Jackson is Reader in Philosophy of Religion at the University of Gloucestershire. He has previously lectured in Philosophy and Religion at various universities, including Kent, Durham, and King's College London. He has a doctorate from the University of Kent and a PGCE from Roehampton University.

Table of Contents

Praise for Plato: a complete introduction viii

About the Author ix

Reference convention x

How to use this book xi

1 The Presocratics and the beginning of philosophy 1

The birth of Western philosophy

The time of myth

Hesiod and Homer

The Materialists

The Milesians

The polls


The ontological superiority of 'Being'

Anaximander and Anaximenes

2 Who was Socrates? 21

Socrates the man

The teachings of Socrates

Concern for ethical issues

The Sophists

The Socratic method

The scapegoat

3 Who was Plato? 39

Plato's world

Plato: a life

Plato's works

4 The Forms 55

The Analogy of the Cave

The path to enlightenment

The Realm of the Forms

Criticisms of the Forms

5 Knowledge, opinion and ignorance 71

Protagoras and relativism

Heraclitus and change

The philosopher defined

The roots of knowledge

What does it mean to know?

The rote of reason

The soul

The Cosmic Soul

6 How are we to live? 91


Glaucon and the Myth of Gyges

The soul of the state

The ideal state

The 'City of Pigs'

The 'Noble Lie'

The just state and the just individual

The healthy soul

7 The Philosopher-King 115

The three polls

The critique of democracy

The true philosopher


The four imperfect societies

The root of all evil

8 Love and friendship 135




9 In praise of love: Symposium 155

The setting

The first three speeches

The speech of Aristophanes

Agathon's praise of love

Socrates' speech

Alcibiades barges in

10 Gorgias 173

Gorgias The setting

11 Timaeus 193

The setting

Timaeus and organicism

The Demiurge

The universe and its natural state

The cosmos as animate

The Great Chain of Being

Being ethical

12 The war between philosophy and poetry and the Myth of Er 209

Republic Book III

Republic Book X

The Myth of Er

13 Plato's legacy 227


The city of Alexandria


Muslim philosophers

Christian philosophers

Modern contributors

Plato's writings 245

Answers 247

Index 249

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