Plato Study Guides

  • Gorgias

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  • Great Dialogues

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  • Phaedrus

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    Phaedrus is a dialog between Socrates and Phaedrus, who has just heard another man, Lysias, give a speech on the subject of love. At first, Socrates convinces Phaedrus to recite the speech given by Lysias. Socrates then follows up with his own monologue on love, which also covers the topics of madness and the importance of the soul. Although the focus of the speeches might seem to be love, the pair end up reflecting on the importance of rhetoric and the outline of an argument for creating a compelling speech.

  • Protagoras and Meno

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  • The Last Days of Socrates

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  • Plato's Phaedo

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    Phaedo is a philosophical dialogue by the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato about Socrates' arguments for the soul's immortality. Shortly before his execution, Socrates makes four arguments for why the soul must be immortal: a cyclical theory that things are born of their opposites and that death and life are therefore dialectically interrelated, a recollection theory that humans possess innate knowledge at birth and therefore must have existed before and after corporeal life, and two other arguments that focus on the soul's immortality because of its participation in metaphysical forms.

  • The Apology

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    The Apology is a work by the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato about the trial of Socrates for corrupting Athenian youths and being an atheist. After a disclaimer that he will not employ rhetoric and wishes his jurors to judge by truth and not by prejudice and gossip, Socrates argues that he neither intended to corrupt anyone and that he does, indeed, believe in gods. However, the jury is unconvinced and finds him guilty by a narrow margin of votes. After varying proposals of punishment, Socrates is sentenced to death.

  • The Republic

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    The Republic is a text by the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato, written in the form of a Socratic dialogue. The dialogue begins as a discussion defining justice, but soon describes a hypothetical city that might possess justice. Socrates describes a utopian society that is communal, stratified and fair, ruled by wise "philosopher kings." Socrates discusses the degradation of society through timocracy, oligarchy, democracy and tyranny. The Allegory of the Cave presents a philosophical discrepancy between appearances and true forms and his Myth of Er describes consequences in the afterlife.

  • Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo

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    Euthyphro, Apology, Crito and Phaedo are four philosophical dialogues sorrounding the trial and death of Socrates, written by the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato. In the Euthyphro, Socrates is awaiting trial and attempts to find a universal definition for piety. The Apology is an account of Socrates' speech during his trial, defending himself against charges of blaspheme and corrupting Athenian youths. Crito is a dialogue about justice and social obligation in which Socrates accepts his death sentence. In Phaedo, Socrates attempts to prove the immortality of the soul.