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For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation) and Platon that the subject of philosophy, as it is often conceiveda
(disambiguation). rigorous and systematic examination of ethical, political,
metaphysical, and epistemological issues, armed with a
Plato (/pleto/;[a][1]
Greek: [a]
Pltn, distinctive methodcan be called his invention. Few
other authors in the history of Western philosophy ap-
pronounced [pl.tn] in Classical Attic; 428/427 or
424/423 [b]
348/347 BCE) was a philosopher in proximate him in depth and range: perhaps only Aristo-
tle (who studied with him), Aquinas and Kant would be
Classical Greece and the founder of the Academy in [9]
Athens, the rst institution of higher learning in the generally agreed to be of the same rank.
Western world. He is widely considered the most pivotal
gure in the development of philosophy, especially the
Western tradition.[2] Unlike nearly all of his philosophical 1 Biography
contemporaries, Platos entire work is believed to have
survived intact for over 2,400 years.[3]
1.1 Early life
Along with his teacher, Socrates, and his most famous
student, Aristotle, Plato laid the very foundations of Main article: Early life of Plato
Western philosophy and science.[4] Alfred North White-
head once noted: the safest general characterization
of the European philosophical tradition is that it con- Due to a lack of surviving accounts, little is known about
sists of a series of footnotes to Plato.[5] In addition Platos early life and education. The philosopher came
to being a foundational gure for Western science, phi- from one of the wealthiest and most politically active fam-
losophy, and mathematics, Plato has also often been ilies in Athens. Ancient sources describe him as a bright
cited as one of the founders of Western religion and though modest boy who excelled in his studies. His father
spirituality.[6] Friedrich Nietzsche, amongst other schol- contributed all which was necessary to give to his son a
ars, called Christianity, Platonism for the people.[7] good education, and, therefore, Plato must have been in-
Platos inuence on Christian thought is often thought to structed in grammar, music, gymnastics and philosophy
be mediated by his major inuence on Saint Augustine by some of the most distinguished teachers of his era.
of Hippo, one of the most important philosophers and
theologians in the history of Christianity.
1.1.1 Birth and family
Plato was the innovator of the written dialogue and
dialectic forms in philosophy. Plato appears to have The exact time and place of Platos birth are unknown,
been the founder of Western political philosophy, with but it is certain that he belonged to an aristocratic and in-
his Republic, and Laws among other dialogues, pro- uential family. Based on ancient sources, most modern
viding some of the earliest extant treatments of politi- scholars believe that he was born in Athens or Aegina[c]
cal questions from a philosophical perspective. Platos between 429 and 423 BCE. His father was Ariston. Ac-
own most decisive philosophical inuences are usually cording to a disputed tradition, reported by Diogenes
thought to have been Socrates, Parmenides, Heraclitus Laertius, Ariston traced his descent from the king of
and Pythagoras, although few of his predecessors works Athens, Codrus, and the king of Messenia, Melanthus.[10]
remain extant and much of what we know about these Platos mother was Perictione, whose family boasted of
gures today derives from Plato himself.[8] a relationship with the famous Athenian lawmaker and
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes Plato lyric poet Solon.[11] Perictione was sister of Charmides
as "...one of the most dazzling writers in the Western lit- and niece of Critias, both prominent gures of the Thirty
erary tradition and one of the most penetrating, wide- Tyrants, the brief oligarchic regime, which followed on
ranging, and inuential authors in the history of philoso- the collapse of Athens at the end of the Peloponnesian
phy. ... He was not the rst thinker or writer to whom the War (404403 BCE).[12] Besides Plato himself, Ariston
word philosopher should be applied. But he was so self- and Perictione had three other children; these were two
conscious about how philosophy should be conceived, and sons, Adeimantus and Glaucon, and a daughter Potone,
what its scope and ambitions properly are, and he so trans- the mother of Speusippus (the nephew and successor
formed the intellectual currents with which he grappled, of Plato as head of his philosophical Academy).[12] The
brothers Adeimantus and Glaucon are mentioned in the


Republic as sons of Ariston,[13] and presumably broth- Athens in 605/4 BCE. There is no record of a line from
ers of Plato, but some have argued they were uncles.[14] Aristocles to Platos father, Ariston. However, if Plato
But in a scenario in the Memorabilia, Xenophon confused was not named after an ancestor named Plato (there is no
the issue by presenting a Glaucon much younger than record of one), then the origin of his renaming as Plato
Plato.[15] becomes a conundrum.[28]
The traditional date of Platos birth (428/427) is based The sources of Diogenes account for this fact by claim-
on a dubious interpretation of Diogenes Laertius, who ing that his wrestling coach, Ariston of Argos, dubbed
says, When [Socrates] was gone, [Plato] joined Cratylus him Platon, meaning broad, on account of his ro-
the Heracleitean and Hermogenes, who philosophized in bust gure[29] or that Plato derived his name from the
the manner of Parmenides. Then, at twenty-eight, Her- breadth (, platyts) of his eloquence, or else
modorus says, [Plato] went to Euclides in Megara. As because he was very wide (, plats) across the
Debra Nails argues, The text itself gives no reason to forehead.[30] Recently a scholar has argued that even the
infer that Plato left immediately for Megara and implies name Aristocles for Plato was a much later invention.[31]
the very opposite.[16] In his Seventh Letter, Plato notes Although Platon was a fairly common name (31 instances
that his coming of age coincided with the taking of power are known from Athens alone[32] ), the name does not oc-
by the Thirty, remarking, But a youth under the age of cur in Platos known family line. Another scholar, how-
twenty made himself a laughingstock if he attempted to ever, claims that there is good reason for not dismissing
enter the political arena. Thus, Nails dates Platos birth [the idea that Aristocles was Platos given name] as a mere
to 424/423.[17] invention of his biographers, noting how prevalent that
According to some accounts, Ariston tried to force his at- account is in our sources.[28] The fact that the philosopher
tentions on Perictione, but failed in his purpose; then the in his maturity called himself Platon is indisputable, but
god Apollo appeared to him in a vision, and as a result, the origin of this naming must remain moot unless the
Ariston left Perictione unmolested.[18] Another legend re- record is made to yield more information.
lated that, when Plato was an infant, bees settled on his
lips while he was sleeping: an augury of the sweetness of
1.1.3 Education
style in which he would discourse about philosophy.[19]
Ariston appears to have died in Platos childhood, al- Apuleius informs us that Speusippus praised Platos
though the precise dating of his death is dicult.[20] Per- quickness of mind and modesty as a boy, and the rst
ictione then married Pyrilampes, her mothers brother,[21] fruits of his youth infused with hard work and love of
who had served many times as an ambassador to the study.[33] Plato must have been instructed in grammar,
Persian court and was a friend of Pericles, the leader of music, and gymnastics by the most distinguished teach-
the democratic faction in Athens.[22] Pyrilampes had a ers of his time.[34] Dicaearchus went so far as to say that
son from a previous marriage, Demus, who was famous Plato wrestled at the Isthmian games.[35] Plato had also
for his beauty.[23] Perictione gave birth to Pyrilampes attended courses of philosophy; before meeting Socrates,
second son, Antiphon, the half-brother of Plato, who ap- he rst became acquainted with Cratylus (a disciple of
pears in Parmenides.[24] Heraclitus, a prominent pre-Socratic Greek philosopher)
In contrast to reticence about himself, Plato often in- and the Heraclitean doctrines.[36] W. A. Borody argues
troduced his distinguished relatives into his dialogues, that an Athenian openness towards a wider range of sex-
or referred to them with some precision: Charmides uality may have contributed to the Athenian philoso-
has a dialogue named after him; Critias speaks in both phers openness towards a wider range of thought, a
Charmides and Protagoras; and Adeimantus and Glaucon cultural situation Borody describes as polymorphously
take prominent parts in the Republic.[25] These and other discursive.[37]
references suggest a considerable amount of family pride
and enable us to reconstruct Platos family tree. Accord-
ing to Burnet, the opening scene of the Charmides is a 1.2 Later life
glorication of the whole [family] connection ... Platos
dialogues are not only a memorial to Socrates, but also Plato may have traveled in Italy, Sicily, Egypt and
the happier days of his own family.[26] Cyrene.[38] Said to have returned to Athens at the age
of forty, Plato founded one of the earliest known orga-
nized schools in Western Civilization on a plot of land in
1.1.2 Name the Grove of Hecademus or Academus.[39] The Academy
was a large enclosure of ground about six stadia outside
According to Diogenes Lartius, the philosopher was of Athens proper. One story is that the name of the
named Aristocles () after his grandfather.[27] Academy comes from the ancient hero, Academus; still
It was common in Athenian society for boys to be named another story is that the name came from a supposed
after grandfathers (or fathers). But there is only one in- former owner of the plot of land, an Athenian citizen
scriptional record of an Aristocles, an early Archon of whose name was (also) Academus; while yet another ac-
2.2 Heraclitus and Parmenides 3

count is that it was named after a member of the army of

Castor and Pollux, an Arcadian named Echedemus.[40]
The Academy operated until it was destroyed by Lucius
Cornelius Sulla in 84 BCE. Neoplatonists revived the
Academy in the early 5th century, and it operated until
CE 529, when it was closed by Justinian I of Byzantium,
who saw it as a threat to the propagation of Christianity.
Many intellectuals were schooled in the Academy, the
most prominent one being Aristotle.[41][42]
Throughout his later life, Plato became entangled with the
politics of the city of Syracuse. According to Diogenes
Laertius, Plato initially visited Syracuse while it was un-
der the rule of Dionysius.[43] During this rst trip Diony-
siuss brother-in-law, Dion of Syracuse, became one of
Platos disciples, but the tyrant himself turned against
Plato. Plato almost faced death, but he was sold into
slavery. Then Anniceris[44] bought Platos freedom for
twenty minas,[45] and sent him home. After Dionysiuss Pythagoras, depicted as a medieval scholar in the Nuremberg
death, according to Platos Seventh Letter, Dion requested Chronicle
Plato return to Syracuse to tutor Dionysius II and guide
him to become a philosopher king. Dionysius II seemed
sis for philosophical thinking as well as for substantial
to accept Platos teachings, but he became suspicious of
theses in science and morals". (3) Plato and Pythagoras
Dion, his uncle. Dionysius expelled Dion and kept Plato
shared a mystical approach to the soul and its place in the
against his will. Eventually Plato left Syracuse. Dion
material world. It is probable that both were inuenced
would return to overthrow Dionysius and ruled Syracuse
by Orphism.[49][50]
for a short time before being usurped by Calippus, a fel-
low disciple of Plato. Pythagoras held that all things are number, and the cos-
mos comes from numerical principles. The physical
world of becoming is an imitation of the mathematical
1.3 Death world of being. This ideas were very inuential in Hera-
clitus, Parmenides and Plato.[51]
A variety of sources have given accounts of Platos death. Aristotle claimed that the philosophy of Plato closely fol-
One story, based on a mutilated manuscript,[46] suggests lowed the teachings of the Pythagoreans,[52] and Cicero
Plato died in his bed, whilst a young Thracian girl played repeats this claim: They say Plato learned all things
the ute to him.[47] Another tradition suggests Plato died Pythagorean (Platonem ferunt didicisse Pythagorea om-
at a wedding feast. The account is based on Diogenes nia).[53]
Laertiuss reference to an account by Hermippus, a third-
century Alexandrian.[48] According to Tertullian, Plato
simply died in his sleep.[48] 2.2 Heraclitus and Parmenides

These two philosophers, following the way initiated

2 Intellectual inuences on Plato by the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers, particularly
Pythagoras, depart from the mythological tradition, and
initiate the metaphysical philosophical approach, that
2.1 Pythagoras strongly inuenced Plato and has arrived till our days.[51]

Although Socrates inuenced Plato directly as related in Heraclitus thinking specially remarked the fact that all
the dialogues, the inuence of Pythagoras upon Plato also things are continuously changing, or becoming. It is well
appears to have signicant discussion in the philosoph- known his image of the river, with ever changing wa-
ical literature. Pythagoras, or in a broader sense, the ters. Plato received the ideas of this philosopher through
Pythagoreans, allegedly exercised an important inuence Cratylus, that emphasized even more than his teacher the
on the work of Plato. According to R. M. Hare, this inu- idea of change; and considered that this vision of contin-
ence consists of three points: (1) The platonic Republic uous change leads to skepticism, since we can not dene
might be related to the idea of a tightly organized com- a thing that has not a permanent nature.[54] Parmenides
munity of like-minded thinkers, like the one established adopted an altogether contrary vision, and emphasized
by Pythagoras in Croton. (2) There is evidence that Plato the idea of changeless Being, and considered that change
possibly took from Pythagoras the idea that mathematics is an illusion of the senses.[51]
and, generally speaking, abstract thinking is a secure ba- This ideas about change and permanence, or becoming

and Being, was the inuence that led Plato to formulate Socrates become beautiful and new (341c); if the Letter
his theory of forms. According to it, there is a world of is Platos, the nal qualication seems to call into question
perfect, eternal and changeless forms, the realm of Be- the dialogues historical delity. In any case, Xenophon
ing, and an imperfect sensible world of becoming that and Aristophanes seem to present a somewhat dierent
partakes the qualities of the forms, and is its instantiation portrait of Socrates from the one Plato paints. Some have
in the sensible world.[54] called attention to the problem of taking Platos Socrates
to be his mouthpiece, given Socrates reputation for irony
and the dramatic nature of the dialogue form.[55]
2.3 Socrates Aristotle attributes a dierent doctrine with respect to
Forms to Plato and Socrates (Metaphysics 987b111).
Main article: Socratic problem
Aristotle suggests that Socrates idea of forms can be dis-
The precise relationship between Plato and Socrates re-
covered through investigation of the natural world, unlike
Platos Forms that exist beyond and outside the ordinary
range of human understanding.

3 Philosophy

Plato and Socrates in a medieval depiction

mains an area of contention among scholars. Plato makes

it clear in his Apology of Socrates, that he was a devoted
young follower of Socrates. In that dialogue, Socrates is
presented as mentioning Plato by name as one of those
Plato (left) and Aristotle (right), a detail of The School of
youths close enough to him to have been corrupted, if he Athens, a fresco by Raphael. Aristotle gestures to the earth, rep-
were in fact guilty of corrupting the youth, and question- resenting his belief in knowledge through empirical observation
ing why their fathers and brothers did not step forward and experience, while holding a copy of his Nicomachean Ethics
to testify against him if he was indeed guilty of such a in his hand. Plato holds his Timaeus and gestures to the heavens,
crime (33d-34a). Later, Plato is mentioned along with representing his belief in The Forms.
Crito, Critobolus, and Apollodorus as oering to pay a
ne of 30 minas on Socrates behalf, in lieu of the death
penalty proposed by Meletus (38b). In the Phaedo, the
3.1 Recurrent themes
title character lists those who were in attendance at the
prison on Socrates last day, explaining Platos absence Plato often discusses the father-son relationship and the
by saying, Plato was ill. (Phaedo 59b) question of whether a fathers interest in his sons has
Plato never speaks in his own voice in his dialogues. In much to do with how well his sons turn out. In ancient
the Second Letter, it says, no writing of Plato exists or Athens, a boy was socially located by his family identity,
ever will exist, but those now said to be his are those of a and Plato often refers to his characters in terms of their
3.3 Theory of Forms 5

paternal and fraternal relationships. Socrates was not a is real. While most people take the objects of their senses
family man, and saw himself as the son of his mother, to be real if anything is, Socrates is contemptuous of peo-
who was apparently a midwife. A divine fatalist, Socrates ple who think that something has to be graspable in the
mocks men who spent exorbitant fees on tutors and train- hands to be real. In the Theaetetus, he says such people
ers for their sons, and repeatedly ventures the idea that are eu amousoi ( ), an expression that means
good character is a gift from the gods. Crito reminds literally, happily without the muses (Theaetetus 156a).
Socrates that orphans are at the mercy of chance, but In other words, such people live without the divine in-
Socrates is unconcerned. In the Theaetetus, he is found spiration that gives him, and people like him, access to
recruiting as a disciple a young man whose inheritance higher insights about reality.
has been squandered. Socrates twice compares the rela- Socrates idea that reality is unavailable to those who use
tionship of the older man and his boy lover to the father-
their senses is what puts him at odds with the common
son relationship (Lysis 213a, Republic 3.403b), and in the man, and with common sense. Socrates says that he who
Phaedo, Socrates disciples, towards whom he displays
sees with his eyes is blind, and this idea is most famously
more concern than his biological sons, say they will feel captured in his Allegory of the Cave, and more explicitly
fatherless when he is gone.
in his description of the divided line. The Allegory of
In several of Platos dialogues, Socrates promulgates the the Cave (begins Republic 7.514a) is a paradoxical anal-
idea that knowledge is a matter of recollection, and not of ogy wherein Socrates argues that the invisible world is
learning, observation, or study.[56] He maintains this view the most intelligible (noeton) and that the visible world
somewhat at his own expense, because in many dialogues, ("(h)oraton) is the least knowable, and the most obscure.
Socrates complains of his forgetfulness. Socrates is often Socrates says in the Republic that people who take the
found arguing that knowledge is not empirical, and that sun-lit world of the senses to be good and real are living
it comes from divine insight. In many middle period dia- pitifully in a den of evil and ignorance. Socrates admits
logues, such as the Phaedo, Republic and Phaedrus Plato that few climb out of the den, or cave of ignorance, and
advocates a belief in the immortality of the soul, and those who do, not only have a terrible struggle to attain
several dialogues end with long speeches imagining the the heights, but when they go back down for a visit or
afterlife. More than one dialogue contrasts knowledge to help other people up, they nd themselves objects of
and opinion, perception and reality, nature and custom, scorn and ridicule.
and body and soul.
According to Socrates, physical objects and physical
Several dialogues tackle questions about art: Socrates events are shadows of their ideal or perfect forms, and
says that poetry is inspired by the muses, and is not ratio- exist only to the extent that they instantiate the perfect
nal. He speaks approvingly of this, and other forms of di- versions of themselves. Just as shadows are temporary,
vine madness (drunkenness, eroticism, and dreaming) in inconsequential epiphenomena produced by physical ob-
the Phaedrus (265ac), and yet in the Republic wants to jects, physical objects are themselves eeting phenomena
outlaw Homers great poetry, and laughter as well. In Ion, caused by more substantial causes, the ideals of which
Socrates gives no hint of the disapproval of Homer that they are mere instances. For example, Socrates thinks
he expresses in the Republic. The dialogue Ion suggests that perfect justice exists (although it is not clear where)
that Homer's Iliad functioned in the ancient Greek world and his own trial would be a cheap copy of it.
as the Bible does today in the modern Christian world: as
divinely inspired literature that can provide moral guid- The Allegory of the Cave (often said by scholars to rep-
ance, if only it can be properly interpreted. resent Platos own epistemology and metaphysics) is inti-
mately connected to his political ideology (often said to
Socrates and his company of disputants had something also be Platos own), that only people who have climbed
to say on many subjects, including politics and art, reli- out of the cave and cast their eyes on a vision of goodness
gion and science, justice and medicine, virtue and vice, are t to rule. Socrates claims that the enlightened men
crime and punishment, pleasure and pain, rhetoric and of society must be forced from their divine contempla-
rhapsody, human nature and sexuality, as well as love and
tions and be compelled to run the city according to their
wisdom. lofty insights. Thus is born the idea of the "philosopher-
king", the wise person who accepts the power thrust upon
him by the people who are wise enough to choose a good
3.2 Metaphysics
master. This is the main thesis of Socrates in the Repub-
lic, that the most wisdom the masses can muster is the
Main article: Platonic realism
wise choice of a ruler.[57]

Platonism is a term coined by scholars to refer to the

intellectual consequences of denying, as Platos Socrates 3.3 Theory of Forms
often does, the reality of the material world. In several
dialogues, most notably the Republic, Socrates inverts the Main article: Theory of Forms
common mans intuition about what is knowable and what

The theory of Forms (or theory of Ideas) typically refers rives ones account of something experientially, because
to the belief that the material world as it seems to us is the world of sense is in ux, the views therein attained
not the real world, but only an image or copy of the will be mere opinions. And opinions are characterized
real world. In some of Platos dialogues, this is expressed by a lack of necessity and stability. On the other hand,
by Socrates, who spoke of forms in formulating a solu- if one derives ones account of something by way of the
tion to the problem of universals. The forms, according non-sensible forms, because these forms are unchanging,
to Socrates, are archetypes or abstract representations of so too is the account derived from them. That apprehen-
the many types of things, and properties we feel and see sion of forms is required for knowledge may be taken to
around us, that can only be perceived by reason (Greek: cohere with Platos theory in the Theaetetus and Meno.[63]
). (That is, they are universals.) In other words, Indeed, the apprehension of Forms may be at the base of
Socrates was able to recognize two worlds: the apparent the account required for justication, in that it oers
world, which constantly changes, and an unchanging and foundational knowledge which itself needs no account,
unseen world of forms, which may be the cause of what thereby avoiding an innite regression.[64]
is apparent.

3.5 The state

3.4 Epistemology
Main article: The Republic (Plato)
Main article: Platonic epistemology Platos philosophical views had many societal implica-

Many have interpreted Plato as statingeven having

been the rst to writethat knowledge is justied true
belief, an inuential view that informed future develop-
ments in epistemology.[58] This interpretation is partly
based on a reading of the Theaetetus wherein Plato argues
that knowledge is distinguished from mere true belief by
the knower having an account of the object of her or
his true belief (Theaetetus 201cd). And this theory may
again be seen in the Meno, where it is suggested that true
belief can be raised to the level of knowledge if it is bound
with an account as to the question of why the object
of the true belief is so (Meno 97d98a).[59] Many years
later, Edmund Gettier famously demonstrated the prob-
lems of the justied true belief account of knowledge.
That the modern theory of justied true belief as knowl-
edge which Gettier addresses is equivalent to Platos is ac-
cepted by some scholars but rejected by others.[60] Plato
himself also identied problems with the justied true be-
lief denition in the Theaetetus, concluding that justi-
cation (or an account) would require knowledge of dif- Papirus Oxyrhynchus, with fragment of Platos Republic
ferentness, meaning that the denition of knowledge is
circular (Theaetetus 210ab).[61] tions, especially on the idea of an ideal state or govern-
Later in the Meno, Socrates uses a geometrical example to ment. There is some discrepancy between his early and
expound Platos view that knowledge in this latter sense later views. Some of the most famous doctrines are con-
is acquired by recollection. Socrates elicits a fact con- tained in the Republic during his middle period, as well
cerning a geometrical construction from a slave boy, who as in the Laws and the Statesman. However, because
could not have otherwise known the fact (due to the slave Plato wrote dialogues, it is assumed that Socrates is often
boys lack of education). The knowledge must be present, speaking for Plato. This assumption may not be true in
Socrates concludes, in an eternal, non-experiential form. all cases.
In other dialogues, the Sophist, Statesman, Republic, and Plato, through the words of Socrates, asserts that soci-
the Parmenides, Plato himself associates knowledge with eties have a tripartite class structure corresponding to
the apprehension of unchanging Forms and their rela- the appetite/spirit/reason structure of the individual soul.
tionships to one another (which he calls expertise in The appetite/spirit/reason are analogous to the castes of
Dialectic), including through the processes of collection society.[65]
and division.[62] More explicitly, Plato himself argues in
the Timaeus that knowledge is always proportionate to the Productive (Workers) the labourers, carpenters,
realm from which it is gained. In other words, if one de- plumbers, masons, merchants, farmers, ranchers,
3.5 The state 7

etc. These correspond to the appetite part of the the educational system should be set up to produce these
soul. philosopher kings.

Protective (Warriors or Guardians) those who are However, it must be taken into account that the ideal
adventurous, strong and brave; in the armed forces. city outlined in the Republic is qualied by Socrates as
These correspond to the spirit part of the soul. the ideal luxurious city, examined to determine how it
is that injustice and justice grow in a city (Republic
Governing (Rulers or Philosopher Kings) those 372e). According to Socrates, the true and healthy
who are intelligent, rational, self-controlled, in love city is instead the one rst outlined in book II of the Re-
with wisdom, well suited to make decisions for the public, 369c372d, containing farmers, craftsmen, mer-
community. These correspond to the reason part chants, and wage-earners, but lacking the guardian class
of the soul and are very few. of philosopher-kings as well as delicacies such as per-
fumed oils, incense, prostitutes, and pastries, in addition
In the Timaeus, Plato locates the parts of the soul within to paintings, gold, ivory, couches, a multitude of occupa-
the human body: Reason is located in the head, spirit in tions such as poets and hunters, and war.
the top third of the torso, and the appetite in the middle In addition, the ideal city is used as an image to illumi-
third of the torso, down to the navel.[66][67] nate the state of ones soul, or the will, reason, and desires
According to this model, the principles of Athenian combined in the human body. Socrates is attempting to
democracy (as it existed in his day) are rejected as only make an image of a rightly ordered human, and then later
a few are t to rule. Instead of rhetoric and persuasion, goes on to describe the dierent kinds of humans that can
Plato says reason and wisdom should govern. As Plato be observed, from tyrants to lovers of money in various
puts it: kinds of cities. The ideal city is not promoted, but only
used to magnify the dierent kinds of individual humans
and the state of their soul. However, the philosopher king
Until philosophers rule as kings or those who image was used by many after Plato to justify their per-
are now called kings and leading men genuinely sonal political beliefs. The philosophic soul according
and adequately philosophise, that is, until po- to Socrates has reason, will, and desires united in vir-
litical power and philosophy entirely coincide, tuous harmony. A philosopher has the moderate love
while the many natures who at present pursue for wisdom and the courage to act according to wisdom.
either one exclusively are forcibly prevented Wisdom is knowledge about the Good or the right rela-
from doing so, cities will have no rest from tions between all that exists.
evils,... nor, I think, will the human race. (Re-
public 473c-d) Wherein it concerns states and rulers, Plato has made
interesting arguments. For instance he asks which is
bettera bad democracy or a country reigned by a tyrant.
He argues that it is better to be ruled by a bad tyrant, than
by a bad democracy (since here all the people are now
responsible for such actions, rather than one individual
committing many bad deeds.) This is emphasised within
the Republic as Plato describes the event of mutiny on
board a ship.[68] Plato suggests the ships crew to be in
line with the democratic rule of many and the captain,
although inhibited through ailments, the tyrant. Platos
description of this event is parallel to that of democracy
within the state and the inherent problems that arise.
According to Plato, a state made up of dierent kinds of
souls will, overall, decline from an aristocracy (rule by
the best) to a timocracy (rule by the honorable), then to
an oligarchy (rule by the few), then to a democracy (rule
by the people), and nally to tyranny (rule by one person,
Plato in his academy, drawing after a painting by Swedish painter rule by a tyrant).[69] Aristocracy is the form of govern-
Carl Johan Wahlbom ment (politeia) advocated in Platos Republic. This regime
is ruled by a philosopher king, and thus is grounded on
Plato describes these philosopher kings as those who wisdom and reason. The aristocratic state, and the man
love the sight of truth (Republic 475c) and supports the whose nature corresponds to it, are the objects of Platos
idea with the analogy of a captain and his ship or a doctor analyses throughout much of the Republic, as opposed to
and his medicine. According to him, sailing and health the other four types of states/men, who are discussed later
are not things that everyone is qualied to practice by na- in his work. In Book VIII, Plato states in order the other
ture. A large part of the Republic then addresses how

four imperfect societies with a description of the states transmitted by several witnesses. Aristoxenus describes
structure and individual character. In timocracy the rul- the event in the following words: Each came expecting
ing class is made up primarily of those with a warrior-like to learn something about the things that are generally con-
character.[70] In his description, Plato has Sparta in mind. sidered good for men, such as wealth, good health, phys-
Oligarchy is made up of a society in which wealth is the ical strength, and altogether a kind of wonderful happi-
criterion of merit and the wealthy are in control.[71] In ness. But when the mathematical demonstrations came,
democracy, the state bears resemblance to ancient Athens including numbers, geometrical gures and astronomy,
with traits such as equality of political opportunity and and nally the statement Good is One seemed to them, I
freedom for the individual to do as he likes.[72] Democ- imagine, utterly unexpected and strange; hence some be-
racy then degenerates into tyranny from the conict of littled the matter, while others rejected it.[78] Simplicius
rich and poor. It is characterized by an undisciplined so- quotes Alexander of Aphrodisias, who states that ac-
ciety existing in chaos, where the tyrant rises as popular cording to Plato, the rst principles of everything, includ-
champion leading to the formation of his private army ing the Forms themselves are One and Indenite Dual-
and the growth of oppression.[73][69][74] ity ( ), which he called Large and Small
( )", and Simplicius reports as
well that one might also learn this from Speusippus and
3.6 Unwritten doctrines Xenocrates and the others who were present at Platos lec-
ture on the Good.[31]
Main article: Platos unwritten doctrines Their account is in full agreement with Aristotles de-
scription of Platos metaphysical doctrine. In Metaphysics
For a long time, Platos unwritten doctrine[75][76][77] had he writes: Now since the Forms are the causes of every-
been controversial. Many modern books on Plato seem to thing else, he [i.e. Plato] supposed that their elements
diminish its importance; nevertheless, the rst important are the elements of all things. Accordingly the material
witness who mentions its existence is Aristotle, who in his principle is the Great and Small [i.e. the Dyad], and the
Physics (209 b) writes: It is true, indeed, that the account essence is the One ( ), since the numbers are derived
he gives there [i.e. in Timaeus] of the participant is dif- from the Great and Small by participation in the One
ferent from what he says in his so-called unwritten teach- (987 b). From this account it is clear that he only em-
ings ( ). The term " " ployed two causes: that of the essence, and the material
literally means unwritten doctrines and it stands for the cause; for the Forms are the cause of the essence in ev-
most fundamental metaphysical teaching of Plato, which erything else, and the One is the cause of it in the Forms.
he disclosed only orally, and some say only to his most He also tells us what the material substrate is of which the
trusted fellows, and which he may have kept secret from Forms are predicated in the case of sensible things, and
the public. The importance of the unwritten doctrines the One in that of the Forms - that it is this the duality
does not seem to have been seriously questioned before (the Dyad, ), the Great and Small (
the 19th century. ). Further, he assigned to these two elements
respectively the causation of good and of evil (988 a).
A reason for not revealing it to everyone is partially dis-
cussed in Phaedrus (276 c) where Plato criticizes the writ- The most important aspect of this interpretation of Platos
ten transmission of knowledge as faulty, favoring instead metaphysics is the continuity between his teaching and
the spoken logos: he who has knowledge of the just the neoplatonic interpretation of Plotinus[79] or Ficino[80]
and the good and beautiful ... will not, when in earnest, which has been considered erroneous by many but may
write them in ink, sowing them through a pen with words, in fact have been directly inuenced by oral transmission
which cannot defend themselves by argument and can- of Platos doctrine. A modern scholar who recognized
not teach the truth eectually. The same argument is the importance of the unwritten doctrine of Plato was
repeated in Platos Seventh Letter (344 c): every seri- Heinrich Gomperz who described it in his speech during
ous man in dealing with really serious subjects carefully the 7th International Congress of Philosophy in 1930.[81]
avoids writing. In the same letter he writes (341 c): I All the sources related to the have
can certainly declare concerning all these writers who been collected by Konrad Gaiser and published as Tes-
claim to know the subjects that I seriously study ... there timonia Platonica.[82] These sources have subsequently
does not exist, nor will there ever exist, any treatise of been interpreted by scholars from the German Tbingen
mine dealing therewith. Such secrecy is necessary in or- School of interpretation such as Hans Joachim Krmer or
der not to expose them to unseemly and degrading treat- Thomas A. Szlezk.[83]
ment (344 d).
It is, however, said that Plato once disclosed this knowl- 3.7 Dialectic
edge to the public in his lecture On the Good (
), in which the Good ( ) is identied The role of dialectic in Platos thought is contested but
with the One (the Unity, ), the fundamental onto- there are two main interpretations: a type of reasoning
logical principle. The content of this lecture has been and a method of intuition.[84] Simon Blackburn adopts the
4.1 Writings of doubted authenticity 9

rst, saying that Platos dialectic is the process of elicit- genes Laertius to an ancient scholar and court astrologer
ing the truth by means of questions aimed at opening out to Tiberius named Thrasyllus.
what is already implicitly known, or at exposing the con- The works are usually grouped into Early (sometimes by
tradictions and muddles of an opponents position.[84] A some into Transitional), Middle, and Late period.[87][88]
similar interpretation has been put forth by Louis Hartz, This choice to group chronologically is thought worthy of
who suggests that elements of the dialectic are borrowed criticism by some (Cooper et al),[89] given that its recog-
from Hegel.[85] According to this view, opposing argu- nised that there is no absolute agreement as to the true
ments improve upon each other, and prevailing opinion chronologicity, since the facts of the temporal order of
is shaped by the synthesis of many conicting ideas over
writing are not condently ascertained.[90]
time. Each new idea exposes a aw in the accepted
model, and the epistemological substance of the debate Early: Apology (of Socrates), Charmides, Crito,
continually approaches the truth. Hartzs is a teleologi- Euthyphro, Gorgias, (Lesser) Hippias (minor), (Greater)
cal interpretation at the core, in which philosophers will Hippias (major), Ion, Laches, Lysis, Protagoras
ultimately exhaust the available body of knowledge and Middle/Transitional: Cratylus, Euthydemus, Meno,
thus reach the end of history. Karl Popper, on the other Parmenides, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Republic, Symposium,
hand, claims that dialectic is the art of intuition for vi-
sualising the divine originals, the Forms or Ideas, of un- Middle/Late: Theaetetus
veiling the Great Mystery behind the common mans ev- Late: Critias, Sophist, Statesman / Politicus, Timaeus ,
eryday world of appearances.[86] Philebus, Laws
Chronologicity was not a consideration in ancient times,
in that grouping of this nature are virtually absent (Tar-
4 Dialogues rant) in the extant writings of ancient Platonists.[91]

See also: Stephanus pagination

4.1 Writings of doubted authenticity
Thirty-ve dialogues and thirteen letters (the Epistles)
Jowett mentions in his Appendix to Menexenus, that
have traditionally been ascribed to Plato, though mod-
works which bore the character of a writer were at-
ern scholarship doubts the authenticity of at least some
tributed to that writer even when the actual author was
of these. Platos writings have been published in several
fashions; this has led to several conventions regarding the
naming and referencing of Platos texts. For below:
The usual system for making unique references to sections (*) if there is no consensus among scholars as to whether
of the text by Plato derives from a 16th-century edition Plato is the author, and () if most scholars agree that
of Platos works by Henricus Stephanus. An overview of Plato is not the author of the work.[93]
Platos writings according to this system can be found in First Alcibiades (*), Second Alcibiades (), Clitophon (*),
the Stephanus pagination article. Epinomis (), Epistles (*), Hipparchus (), Menexenus (*),
Minos (), (Rival) Lovers (), Theages ()

4.1.1 Spurious writings

The following works were transmitted under Platos

name, most of them already considered spurious in an-
tiquity, and so were not included by Thrasyllus in his
tetralogical arrangement. These works are labelled as
Notheuomenoi (spurious) or Apocrypha.

Axiochus, Denitions, Demodocus, Epigrams,

Eryxias, Halcyon, On Justice, On Virtue, Sisyphus.

Volume 3, pages 3233, of the 1578 Stephanus edition of Plato, 4.2 Composition of the dialogues
showing a passage of Timaeus with the Latin translation and
notes of Jean de Serres No one knows the exact order Platos dialogues were writ-
ten in, nor the extent to which some might have been
One tradition regarding the arrangement of Platos texts is later revised and rewritten. A signicant distinction of
according to tetralogies. This scheme is ascribed by Dio- the early Plato and the later Plato has been oered by

scholars such as E.R. Dodds and has been summarized Forms in the same way. The rst book of the Republic
by Harold Bloom in his book titled Agon: E.R. Dodds is is often thought to have been written signicantly earlier
the classical scholar whose writings most illuminated the than the rest of the work, although possibly having un-
Hellenic descent (in) The Greeks and the Irrational [...] dergone revisions when the later books were attached to
In his chapter on Plato and the Irrational Soul [...] Dodds it.[102]
traces Platos spiritual evolution from the pure rational- The remaining dialogues are classied as late and are
ist of the Protagoras to the transcendental psychologist, generally agreed to be dicult and challenging pieces of
inuenced by the Pythagoreans and Orphics, of the later philosophy. This grouping is the only one proven by sty-
works culminating in the Laws.[94]
lometric analysis.[97] While looked to for Platos mature
Lewis Campbell was the rst[95] to make exhaustive answers to the questions posed by his earlier works, those
use of stylometry to prove objectively that the Critias, answers are dicult to discern. Some scholars[101] indi-
Timaeus, Laws, Philebus, Sophist, and Statesman were cate that the theory of Forms is absent from the late di-
all clustered together as a group, while the Parmenides, alogues, its having been refuted in the Parmenides, but
Phaedrus, Republic, and Theaetetus belong to a separate there isn't total consensus that the Parmenides actually
group, which must be earlier (given Aristotles statement refutes the theory of Forms.[104] The so-called late di-
in his Politics[96] that the Laws was written after the Re- alogues include Critias, Laws, Philebus, Sophist, States-
public; cf. Diogenes Laertius Lives 3.37). What is re- man, and Timaeus.[101]
markable about Campbells conclusions is that, in spite
of all the stylometric studies that have been conducted
since his time, perhaps the only chronological fact about 4.3 Narration of the dialogues
Platos works that can now be said to be proven by sty-
lometry is the fact that Critias, Timaeus, Laws, Philebus, Plato never presents himself as a participant in any of
Sophist, and Statesman are the latest of Platos dialogues, the dialogues, and with the exception of the Apology,
the others earlier.[97] there is no suggestion that he heard any of the dia-
logues rsthand. Some dialogues have no narrator but
Increasingly in the most recent Plato scholarship, writ- have a pure dramatic form (examples: Meno, Gorgias,
ers are skeptical of the notion that the order of Platos Phaedrus, Crito, Euthyphro), some dialogues are narrated
writings can be established with any precision,[98] though by Socrates, wherein he speaks in rst person (examples:
Platos works are still often characterized as falling at least Lysis, Charmides, Republic). One dialogue, Protagoras,
roughly into three groups.[99] The following represents begins in dramatic form but quickly proceeds to Socrates
one relatively common such division.[100] It should, how- narration of a conversation he had previously with the
ever, be kept in mind that many of the positions in the sophist for whom the dialogue is named; this narration
ordering are still highly disputed, and also that the very continues uninterrupted till the dialogues end.
notion that Platos dialogues can or should be ordered
is by no means universally accepted.
Among those who classify the dialogues into periods of
composition, Socrates gures in all of the early dia-
logues and they are considered the most faithful rep-
resentations of the historical Socrates.[101] They include
The Apology of Socrates, Charmides, Crito, Euthyphro,
Ion, Laches, Lesser Hippias, Lysis, Menexenus, and Pro-
tagoras (often considered one of the last of the early di-
alogues). Three dialogues are often considered transi-
tional or pre-middle": Euthydemus, Gorgias, and Meno. Platos Symposium (Anselm Feuerbach, 1873)
Whereas those classied as early dialogues often con-
Two dialogues Phaedo and Symposium also begin in dra-
clude in aporia, the so-called middle dialogues pro-
matic form but then proceed to virtually uninterrupted
vide more clearly stated positive teachings that are often
narration by followers of Socrates. Phaedo, an account
ascribed to Plato such as the theory of Forms. These
of Socrates nal conversation and hemlock drinking, is
dialogues include Cratylus, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Repub-
narrated by Phaedo to Echecrates in a foreign city not
lic, Symposium, Parmenides, and Theaetetus. Propo-
long after the execution took place.[105] The Symposium is
nents of dividing the dialogues into periods often con-
narrated by Apollodorus, a Socratic disciple, apparently
sider the Parmenides and Theaetetus to come late in this
to Glaucon. Apollodorus assures his listener that he is re-
period and be transitional to the next, as they seem to
counting the story, which took place when he himself was
treat the theory of Forms critically (Parmenides) or only
an infant, not from his own memory, but as remembered
indirectly (Theaetetus).[102] Ritters stylometric analysis
by Aristodemus, who told him the story years ago.
places Phaedrus as probably after Theaetetus and Par-
menides,[103] although it does not relate to the theory of The Theaetetus is a peculiar case: a dialogue in dra-
matic form embedded within another dialogue in dra-
4.6 Platonic scholarship 11

matic form. In the beginning of the Theaetetus (142c- dered him in a comic play, and blames him for causing his
143b), Euclides says that he compiled the conversation bad reputation, and ultimately, his death. In the Sympo-
from notes he took based on what Socrates told him of sium, the two of them are drinking together with other
his conversation with the title character. The rest of the friends. The character Phaedrus is linked to the main
Theaetetus is presented as a book written in dramatic story line by character (Phaedrus is also a participant in
form and read by one of Euclides slaves (143c). Some the Symposium and the Protagoras) and by theme (the
scholars take this as an indication that Plato had by this philosopher as divine emissary, etc.) The Protagoras is
date wearied of the narrated form.[106] With the excep- also strongly linked to the Symposium by characters: all
tion of the Theaetetus, Plato gives no explicit indication of the formal speakers at the Symposium (with the excep-
as to how these orally transmitted conversations came to tion of Aristophanes) are present at the home of Callias
be written down. in that dialogue. Charmides and his guardian Critias are
present for the discussion in the Protagoras. Examples
of characters crossing between dialogues can be further
4.4 Trial of Socrates multiplied. The Protagoras contains the largest gathering
of Socratic associates.
Main article: Trial of Socrates
In the dialogues Plato is most celebrated and admired for,
Socrates is concerned with human and political virtue,
The trial of Socrates is the central, unifying event of has a distinctive personality, and friends and enemies who
Platos dialogues. Because of this, Apology is among travel with him from dialogue to dialogue. This is not
the most frequently read of his works. In the Apology, to say that Socrates is consistent: a man who is his friend
Socrates tries to dismiss rumors that he is a sophist and in one dialogue may be an adversary or subject of his
defends himself against charges of disbelief in the gods mockery in another. For example, Socrates praises the
and corruption of the young. Socrates insists that long- wisdom of Euthyphro many times in the Cratylus, but
standing slander will be the real cause of his demise, and makes him look like a fool in the Euthyphro. He dis-
says the legal charges are essentially false. Socrates fa- parages sophists generally, and Prodicus specically in
mously denies being wise, and explains how his life as a the Apology, whom he also slyly jabs in the Cratylus for
philosopher was launched by the Oracle at Delphi. He charging the hefty fee of fty drachmas for a course on
says that his quest to resolve the riddle of the oracle put language and grammar. However, Socrates tells Theaete-
him at odds with his fellow man, and that this is the rea- tus in his namesake dialogue that he admires Prodicus and
son he has been mistaken for a menace to the city-state has directed many pupils to him. Socrates ideas are also
of Athens. not consistent within or between or among dialogues.
If Platos important dialogues do not refer to Socrates
execution explicitly, they allude to it, or use characters or
4.6 Platonic scholarship
themes that play a part in it. Five dialogues foreshadow
the trial: In the Theaetetus (210d) and the Euthyphro (2a
Although their popularity has uctuated over the years,
b) Socrates tells people that he is about to face corruption
the works of Plato have never been without readers since
charges. In the Meno (94e95a), one of the men who
the time they were written.[107] Platos thought is often
brings legal charges against Socrates, Anytus, warns him
compared with that of his most famous student, Aristo-
about the trouble he may get into if he does not stop crit-
tle, whose reputation during the Western Middle Ages
icizing important people. In the Gorgias, Socrates says
so completely eclipsed that of Plato that the Scholastic
that his trial will be like a doctor prosecuted by a cook
philosophers referred to Aristotle as the Philosopher.
who asks a jury of children to choose between the doc-
However, in the Byzantine Empire, the study of Plato
tors bitter medicine and the cooks tasty treats (521e
522a). In the Republic (7.517e), Socrates explains why
an enlightened man (presumably himself) will stumble in The only Platonic work known to western scholarship was
a courtroom situation. The Apology is Socrates defense Timaeus, until translations were made at a time post the
speech, and the Crito and Phaedo take place in prison af- fall of Constantinople, which occurred during 1453,[108]
ter the conviction. In the Protagoras, Socrates is a guestGeorge Gemistos Plethon brought Platos original writ-
at the home of Callias, son of Hipponicus, a man whom ings from Constantinople in the century of its fall. It
Socrates disparages in the Apology as having wasted a is believed that Plethon passed a copy of the Dialogues
great amount of money on sophists fees. to Cosimo de' Medici when in 1438 the Council of Fer-
rara, called to unify the Greek and Latin Churches, was
adjourned to Florence, where Plethon then lectured on
4.5 Unity and diversity of the dialogues the relation and dierences of Plato and Aristotle, and
red Cosimo with his enthusiasm;[109] Cosimo would
Two other important dialogues, the Symposium and the supply Marsilio Ficino with Platos text for translation
Phaedrus, are linked to the main storyline by characters. to Latin. During the early Islamic era, Persian and
In the Apology (19b, c), Socrates says Aristophanes slan- Arab scholars translated much of Plato into Arabic and

By the 19th century, Platos reputation was restored, and

at least on par with Aristotles. Notable Western philoso-
phers have continued to draw upon Platos work since
that time. Platos inuence has been especially strong
in mathematics and the sciences. He helped to distin-
guish between pure and applied mathematics by widening
the gap between arithmetic, now called number theory
and logistic, now called arithmetic. He regarded lo-
gistic as appropriate for business men and men of war
who must learn the art of numbers or he will not know
how to array his troops, while arithmetic was appro-
priate for philosophers because he has to arise out of
the sea of change and lay hold of true being.[112] Platos
resurgence further inspired some of the greatest advances
in logic since Aristotle, primarily through Gottlob Frege
and his followers Kurt Gdel, Alonzo Church, and Alfred
Tarski. Albert Einstein suggested that the scientist who
takes philosophy seriously would have to avoid system-
atization and take on many dierent roles, and possibly
appear as a Platonist or Pythagorean, in that such a one
would have the viewpoint of logical simplicity as an in-
dispensable and eective tool of his research.[113]
Many recent philosophers have diverged from what some
would describe as the ontological models and moral ide-
als characteristic of traditional Platonism. A number of
these postmodern philosophers have thus appeared to dis-
parage Platonism from more or less informed perspec-
tives. Friedrich Nietzsche notoriously attacked Platos
idea of the good itself along with many fundamentals
The safest general characterisation of the European philosoph-
ical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.
of Christian morality, which he interpreted as Platon-
(Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, 1929). ism for the masses in one of his most important works,
Beyond Good and Evil (1886). Martin Heidegger ar-
gued against Platos alleged obfuscation of Being in his in-
complete tome, Being and Time (1927), and the philoso-
wrote commentaries and interpretations on Platos, Aris- pher of science Karl Popper argued in The Open Society
totles and other Platonist philosophers works (see Al- and Its Enemies (1945) that Platos alleged proposal for
Farabi, Avicenna, Averroes, Hunayn ibn Ishaq). Many a utopian political regime in the Republic was prototypi-
of these comments on Plato were translated from Ara- cally totalitarian. The political philosopher and professor
bic into Latin and as such inuenced Medieval scholastic Leo Strauss is considered by some as the prime thinker in-
philosophers.[110] volved in the recovery of Platonic thought in its more po-
During the Renaissance, with the general resurgence of litical, and less metaphysical, form. Strauss political ap-
interest in classical civilization, knowledge of Platos phi- proach was in part inspired by the appropriation of Plato
losophy would become widespread again in the West. and Aristotle by medieval Jewish and Islamic political
Many of the greatest early modern scientists and artists philosophers, especially Maimonides and Al-Farabi, as
who broke with Scholasticism and fostered the ower- opposed to the Christian metaphysical tradition that de-
ing of the Renaissance, with the support of the Plato- veloped from Neoplatonism. Deeply inuenced by Ni-
inspired Lorenzo (grandson of Cosimo), saw Platos phi- etzsche and Heidegger, Strauss nonetheless rejects their
losophy as the basis for progress in the arts and sciences. condemnation of Plato and looks to the dialogues for a
His political views, too, were well-received: the vision solution to what all three latter day thinkers acknowledge
of wise philosopher-kings of the Republic matched the as 'the crisis of the West.'
views set out in works such as Machiavelli's The Prince.
More problematic was Platos belief in metempsychosis,
transmigration of the soul, as well as his ethical views 4.7 Textual sources and history
(on polyamory and euthanasia in particular), which did
not match those of Christianity. It was Plethons student See also: List of manuscripts of Platos dialogues
Bessarion who reconciled Plato with Christian theology,
arguing that Platos views were only ideals, unattainable Some 250 known manuscripts of Plato survive.[114] The
due to the fall of man.[111] texts of Plato as received today apparently represent the
4.8 Modern editions 13

which was written in Constantinople in 895 and acquired

by Oxford University in 1809.[118] The Clarke is given
the siglum B in modern editions. B contains the rst six
tetralogies and is described internally as being written by
John the Calligrapher on behalf of Arethas of Caesarea.
It appears to have undergone corrections by Arethas
himself.[119] For the last two tetralogies and the apoc-
rypha, the oldest surviving complete manuscript is Codex
Parisinus graecus 1807, designated A, which was writ-
ten nearly contemporaneously to B, circa 900 AD.[120]
A must be a copy of the edition edited by the patriarch,
Photios, teacher of Arethas.[121][122][123] A probably had
an initial volume containing the rst 7 tetralogies which
is now lost, but of which a copy was made, Codex Venetus
append. class. 4, 1, which has the siglum T. The oldest
manuscript for the seventh tetralogy is Codex Vindobo-
nensis 54. suppl. phil. Gr. 7, with siglum W, with a
supposed date in the twelfth century.[124] In total there
are fty-one such Byzantine manuscripts known, while
others may yet be found.[125]
To help establish the text, the older evidence of papyri
and the independent evidence of the testimony of com-
mentators and other authors (i.e., those who quote and
refer to an old text of Plato which is no longer extant)
are also used. Many papyri which contain fragments of
Platos texts are among the Oxyrhynchus Papyri. The
2003 Oxford Classical Texts edition by Slings even cites
First page of the Euthyphro, from the Clarke Plato (Codex Ox- the Coptic translation of a fragment of the Republic in
oniensis Clarkianus 39), 895 AD. The text is Greek minuscule. the Nag Hammadi library as evidence.[126] Important au-
thors for testimony include Olympiodorus the Younger,
Plutarch, Proclus, Iamblichus, Eusebius, and Stobaeus.
complete written philosophical work of Plato and are During the early Renaissance, the Greek language and,
generally good by the standards of textual criticism.[115] along with it, Platos texts were reintroduced to West-
No modern edition of Plato in the original Greek repre- ern Europe by Byzantine scholars. In September or Oc-
sents a single source, but rather it is reconstructed from tober 1484 Filippo Valori and Francesco Berlinghieri
multiple sources which are compared with each other. printed 1025 copies of Ficinos translation, using the
These sources are medieval manuscripts written on vel- printing press at the Dominican convent S.Jacopo di
lum (mainly from 9th-13th century AD Byzantium), pa- Ripoli.[127][128] Cosimo had been inuenced toward
pyri (mainly from late antiquity in Egypt), and from the studying Plato by the many Byzantine Platonists in Flo-
independent testimonia of other authors who quote vari- rence during his day, including George Gemistus Plethon.
ous segments of the works (which come from a variety of
The 1578 edition [129] of Platos complete works pub-
sources). The text as presented is usually not much dier-
lished by Henricus Stephanus (Henri Estienne) in Geneva
ent from what appears in the Byzantine manuscripts, and
also included parallel Latin translation and running com-
papyri and testimonia just conrm the manuscript tradi-
mentary by Joannes Serranus (Jean de Serres). It was this
tion. In some editions however the readings in the papyri
edition which established standard Stephanus pagination,
or testimonia are favoured in some places by the editing
still in use today.[130]
critic of the text. Reviewing editions of papyri for the
Republic in 1987, Slings suggests that the use of papyri is
hampered due to some poor editing practices.[116]
4.8 Modern editions
In the rst century AD, Thrasyllus of Mendes had com-
piled and published the works of Plato in the originalThe Oxford Classical Texts oers the current standard
Greek, both genuine and spurious. While it has not sur-
complete Greek text of Platos complete works. In ve
vived to the present day, all the extant medieval Greek
volumes edited by John Burnet, its rst edition was pub-
manuscripts are based on his edition.[117] lished 1900-1907, and it is still available from the pub-
The oldest surviving complete manuscript for many of lisher, having last been printed in 1993.[131][132] The sec-
the dialogues is the Clarke Plato (Codex Oxoniensis ond edition is still in progress with only the rst volume,
Clarkianus 39, or Codex Boleianus MS E.D. Clarke 39), printed in 1995, and the Republic, printed in 2003, avail-
14 6 NOTES

able. The Cambridge Greek and Latin Texts and Cam- the name of Plato on account of his robust g-
bridge Classical Texts and Commentaries series includes ure, in place of his original name which was
Greek editions of the Protagoras, Symposium, Phaedrus, Aristocles, after his grandfather, as Alexan-
Alcibiades, and Clitophon, with English philological, liter- der informs us in his Successions of Philoso-
ary, and, to an extent, philosophical commentary.[133][134] phers. But others arm that he got the name
One distinguished edition of the Greek text is E. R. Plato from the breadth of his style, or from the
Dodds' of the Gorgias, which includes extensive English breadth of his forehead, as suggested by Nean-
commentary.[135][136] thes.
The modern standard complete English edition is the
1997 Hackett Plato, Complete Works, edited by John M. Seneca mentions the meaning [142]
of Platos name in connec-
Cooper. [137][138]
For many of these translations Hackett tion to a moral lesson:
oers separate volumes which include more by way of
commentary, notes, and introductory material. There Illud simul cogitemus, si mundum ipsum, non
is also the Clarendon Plato Series by Oxford Univer- minus mortalem quam nos sumus, providentia
sity Press which oers English translations and thorough periculis eximit, posse aliquatenus nostra quo-
philosophical commentary by leading scholars on a few que providentia longiorem prorogari huic cor-
of Platos works, including John McDowell's version of pusculo moram, si voluptates, quibus pars ma-
the Theaetetus. [139]
Cornell University Press has also be- ior perit, potuerimus regere et coercere. Plato
gun the Agora series of English translations of classi- ipse ad senectutem se diligentia protulit. Erat
cal and medieval philosophical texts, including a few of quidem corpus validum ac forte sortitus et il-
Platos.[140] li nomen latitudo pectoris fecerat, sed naviga-
tiones ac pericula multum detraxerant viribus;
parsimonia tamen et eorum quae aviditatem
evocant modus et diligens sui tutela perduxit
5 See also illum ad senectutem multis prohibentibus cau-
Cambridge Platonists
Let us at the same time reect, seeing that
List of speakers in Platos dialogues Providence rescues from its perils the world
itself, which is no less mortal than we our-
Platonic love selves, that to some extent our petty bodies
can be made to tarry longer upon earth by our
Platonic solid own providence, if only we acquire the ability
to control and check those pleasures whereby
Ellen Francis Mason, translator of Plato
the greater portion of mankind perishes. Plato
Allegorical interpretations of Plato himself, by taking pains, advanced to old age.
To be sure, he was the fortunate possessor of
Harold F. Cherniss, major Plato scholar a strong and sound body (his very name was
given him because of his broad chest); but his
Platos unwritten doctrines strength was much impaired by sea voyages and
desperate adventures. Nevertheless, by frugal
living, by setting a limit upon all that rouses the
6 Notes appetites, and by painstaking attention to him-
self, he reached that advanced age in spite of
a. ^
Plato is a nickname from the adjective many hindrances.
plats broad. Diogenes Laertius mentions three pos-
sible meanings of the nickname:[141] b. ^ The grammarian Apollodorus of Athens argues
in his Chronicles that Plato was born in the rst year
of the eighty-eighth Olympiad (427 BCE), on the sev-
enth day of the month Thargelion; according to this
' - tradition the god Apollo was born this day.[143] Ac-
, cording to another biographer of him, Neanthes, Plato
[], was eighty-four years of age at his death.[143] If we ac-
. cept Neanthes version, Plato was younger than Isocrates
by six years, and therefore he was born in the second
, year of the 87th Olympiad, the year Pericles died (429
. BCE).[144] According to the Suda, Plato was born in
And he learnt gymnastics under Ariston, the Aegina in the 88th Olympiad amid the preliminaries of
Argive wrestler. And from him he received the Peloponnesian war, and he lived 82 years.[145] Sir

Thomas Browne also believes that Plato was born in the [9] Kraut, Richard (11 September 2013). Zalta, Edward N.,
88th Olympiad.[146] Renaissance Platonists celebrated ed. Plato. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Platos birth on November 7.[147] Ulrich von Wilamowitz- Stanford University. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
Moellendor estimates that Plato was born when Dio- [10] Diogenes Laertius, Life of Plato, III
timos was archon eponymous, namely between July 29, Nails 2002, p. 53
428 BCE and July 24, 427 BCE.[148] Greek philologist Wilamowitz-Moellendor 2005, p. 46
Ioannis Kalitsounakis believes that the philosopher was
born on May 26 or 27, 427 BCE, while Jonathan Barnes [11] Diogenes Laertius, Life of Plato, I
regards 428 BCE as year of Platos birth.[149] For her [12] Guthrie 1986, p. 10
part, Debra Nails asserts that the philosopher was born Taylor 2001, p. xiv
in 424/423 BCE.[147] According to Seneca Plato died at Wilamowitz-Moellendor 2005, p. 47
the age of 81 on the same day he was born.[150]
[13] Plato, Republic 368a
c. ^ Diogenes Laertius mentions that Plato was born, ac- Wilamowitz-Moellendor 2005, p. 47
cording to some writers, in Aegina in the house of Phidi-
ades the son of Thales. Diogenes mentions as one of his [14] According to James Adam, some have held that Glaucon
sources the Universal History of Favorinus. According and Adeimantus were uncles of Plato, but Zeller decides
to Favorinus, Ariston, Platos family, and his family were for the usual view that they were brothers (source).
sent by Athens to settle as cleruchs (colonists retaining [15] Xenophon, Memorabilia, 3.6.1
their Athenian citizenship), on the island of Aegina, from
which they were expelled by the Spartans after Platos [16] Nails 2002, p. 247.
birth there.[151] Nails points out, however, that there is
[17] Nails 2002, p. 246.
no record of any Spartan expulsion of Athenians from
Aegina between 431411 BCE.[152] On the other hand, [18] Apuleius, De Dogmate Platonis, 1
at the Peace of Nicias, Aegina was silently left under Diogenes Laertius, Life of Plato, I
Athens control, and it was not until the summer of 411 Plato. Suda.
that the Spartans overran the island.[153] Therefore, Nails
[19] Cicero, De Divinatione, I, 36
concludes that perhaps Ariston was a cleruch, perhaps
he went to Aegina in 431, and perhaps Plato was born [20] Nails 2002, p. 53
on Aegina, but none of this enables a precise dating of Taylor 2001, p. xiv
Aristons death (or Platos birth).[152] Aegina is regarded
[21] Plato, Charmides 158a
as Platos place of birth by Suda as well.[145]
Nails 2003, pp. 228229

[22] Plato, Charmides 158a

7 Footnotes Plutarch, Pericles, IV

[23] Plato, Gorgias 481d and Gorgias 513b

[1] Jones 2006. Aristophanes, Wasps, 97

[2] "...the subject of philosophy, as it is often conceiveda [24] Plato, Parmenides 126c
rigorous and systematic examination of ethical, political,
metaphysical, and epistemological issues, armed with a [25] Guthrie 1986, p. 11.
distinctive methodcan be called his invention (Kraut, [26] Kahn 2004, p. 186.
Richard (11 September 2013). Zalta, Edward N., ed.
Plato. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stan- [27] Lartius 1925, 4.
ford University. Retrieved 3 April 2014.)
[28] David Sedley, Platos Cratylus, Cambridge University
[3] Cooper, John M.; Hutchinson, D. S., eds. (1997): Intro- Press 2003, pp. 212.
[29] Diogenes Laertius, Life of Plato, IV
[4] Plato. Encyclopdia Britannica. 2002.
[30] Diogenes Laertius, Life of Plato, IV
[5] Whitehead 1978, p. 39. Notopoulos 1939, p. 135

[6] Michel Foucault, The Hermeneutics of the Subject [31] see Tarn 1981, p. 226.

[7] Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil [32] Guthrie 1986, p. 12 (footnote).

[33] Apuleius, De Dogmate Platonis, 2

[8] Though inuenced primarily by Socrates, to the extent
that Socrates is usually the main character in many of [34] Diogenes Laertius, Life of Plato, IV
Platos writings, he was also inuenced by Heraclitus, Smith 1870, p. 393
Parmenides, and the Pythagoreans (http://www.iep.utm.
edu/plato/). [35] Diogenes Laertius, Life of Plato, V

[36] Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1.987a [66] Plato, Timaeus 44d & Timaeus 70

[37] Borody 1998. [67] Dorter 2006, p. 360.

[38] McEvoy 1984. [68] Plato, Republic 488
[39] Cairns 1961, p. xiii.
[69] Blssner 2007, p. 350.
[40] Robinson 1827, p. 16.
[70] Republic 550b
[41] Dillon 2003, pp. 13.
[71] Republic 554a
[42] Press 2000, p. 1.
[72] Republic 561ab
[43] Riginos 1976, p. 73.
[73] Republic 571a
[44] Not to be confused with Anniceris the Cyrenaic philoso-
pher. [74] Dorter 2006, pp. 253267.
[45] Diogenes Laertius, Book iii, 20 [75] Rodriguez-Grandjean 1998.
[46] Riginos 1976, p. 194.
[76] Reale 1990. Cf. p.14 and onwards.
[47] Schall 1996.
[77] Krmer 1990. Cf. pp.38-47.
[48] Riginos 1976, p. 195.
[78] Elementa harmonica II, 3031; quoted in Gaiser 1980, p.
[49] R.M. Hare, Plato in C.C.W. Taylor, R.M. Hare and 5.
Jonathan Barnes, Greek Philosophers, Socrates, Plato,
and Aristotle, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999 [79] Plotinus describes this in the last part of his nal Ennead
(1982), 103189, here 1179. (VI, 9) entitled On the Good, or the One (
). Jens Halfwassen states in Der Aufstieg zum
[50] Russell, Bertrand (1991). History of Western Philosophy. Einen' (2006) that Plotinus ontologywhich should be
Routledge. pp. 120124. ISBN 0-415-07854-7. called Plotinus henology - is a rather accurate philosophi-
cal renewal and continuation of Platos unwritten doctrine,
[51] McFarlane, Thomas J. Platos Parmenides. Inte- i.e. the doctrine rediscovered by Krmer and Gaiser.
gralscience. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
[80] In one of his letters (Epistolae 1612) Ficino writes: The
[52] Metaphysics, 1.6.1 (987a)
main goal of the divine Plato ... is to show one principle of
[53] Tusc. Disput. 1.17.39. things, which he called the One ( )", cf. Montoriola
1926, p. 147.
[54] Large, William. Heraclitus. Arasite. Retrieved 3 March
2017. [81] Gomperz 1931.

[55] Strauss 1964, pp. 5051. [82] Gaiser 1998.

[56] Baird & Kaufmann 2008. [83] For a brief description of the problem see for example
Gaiser 1980. A more detailed analysis is given by Krmer
[57] Platos The Allegory of the Cave: Mean-
1990. Another description is by Reale 1997 and Reale
ing and Interpretation - See more at: http:
1990. A thorough analysis of the consequences of such an
approach is given by Szlezak 1999. Another supporter of
allegory-of-the-cave.html#.WLGXw4WcHIV". Bache-
this interpretation is the German philosopher Karl Albert,
lor and Master. Retrieved February 25, 2017. External
cf. Albert 1980 or Albert 1996. Hans-Georg Gadamer
link in |title= (help)
is also sympathetic towards it, cf. Grondin 2010 and
[58] Fine 2003, p. 5. Gadamer 1980. Gadamers nal position on the subject
is stated in Gadamer 1997.
[59] McDowell 1973, p. 230.
[84] Blackburn 1996, p. 104.
[60] Fine 1979, p. 366.
[85] Hartz, Louis. 1984. A Synthesis of World History. Zurich:
[61] McDowell 1973, p. 256. Humanity Press
[62] Taylor 2011, pp. 176187. [86] Popper 1962, p. 133.
[63] Lee 2011, p. 432.
[87] CDC Reeve (Delta Kappa Epsilon Distinguished Profes-
[64] Taylor 2011, p. 189. sor of Philosophy, University of North Carolina, Chapel
Hill), A Plato Reader: Eight Essential Dialogues (page vi),
[65] Blssner 2007, pp. 345349. Hackett Publishing, 2012 ISBN 1603849173.

[88] Robin Barrow (Professor of Philosophy of Education at [112] Boyer 1991, p. 86: 'Plato is important in the history of
Simon Fraser University, Canada and Fellow of The Royal mathematics largely for his role as inspirer and director
Society of Canada), Plato: Appendix 2: Notes on the au- of others, and perhaps to him is due the sharp distinction
thenticity and Groupings of Platos works, Bloomsbury in ancient Greece between arithmetic (in the sense of the
Publishing, 2014 ISBN 1472504852. theory of numbers) and logistic (the technique of compu-
tation). Plato regarded logistic as appropriate for the busi-
[89] Platonic Writings/Platonic Readings (page x) (edited nessman and for the man of war, who must learn the art
by CL Griswold Jr), Penn State Press, 2010 ISBN of numbers or he will not know how to array his troops.
0271044810. The philosopher, on the other hand, must be an arithmeti-
cian because he has to arise out of the sea of change and
[90] JM Cooper (Stuart Professor of Philosophy, Princeton lay hold of true being."'
University, 1997); DS Hutchinson, Complete Works (p.
xii), Hackett Publishing, 1997. [113] Einstein 1949, pp. 683684.

[91] H Tarrant (Professor of Classics at the University of New- [114] Brumbaugh & Wells 1989.
castle, New South Wales), Platos First Interpreters, Cor-
nell University Press, 2000 ISBN 080143792X. [115] Irwin 2011, pp. 64 & 74. See also Slings 1987, p. 34:
"... primary MSS. together oer a text of tolerably good
[92] B Jowett, Menexenus: Appendix I (1st paragraph). quality (this is without the further corrections of other
[93] The extent to which scholars consider a dialogue to be au-
thentic is noted in Cooper 1997, pp. vvi. [116] Slings 1987, p. 31.

[94] Bloom 1982, p. 5. [117] Cooper 1997, pp. viiixii.

[95] Burnet 1928b, p. 9. [118] Manuscripts - Philosophy Faculty Library. 2 March

2012. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012.
[96] Aristotle, Politics 1264b24-27.
[119] Dodds 1959, pp. 3536.
[97] Cooper 1997, p. xiv.
[120] Dodds 1959, p. 37.
[98] Kraut 2013; Schoeld 2002; and Rowe 2006.
[121] RD McKirahan, Philosophy Before Socrates: An Introduc-
[99] Brickhouse & Smith. tion with Texts and Commentary (2nd ed.), Hackett Pub-
lishing, 2011, p. 1 ISBN 1603846123.
[100] See Guthrie 1986; Vlastos 1991; Penner 1992; Kahn
1996; Fine 1999b. [122] RS Brumbaugh, Plato for the Modern Age (p. 199), Uni-
versity Press of America, 1991 ISBN 0819183563.
[101] Dodds 2004.
[123] J Duy Byzantine Philosophy and Its Ancient Sources:
[102] Brandwood 1990, p. 251. The lonely mission of Michael Psellos edited by K
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[103] Brandwood 1990, p. 77.
[104] Meinwald 1991.
[124] Dodds 1959, p. 39.
[105] The time is not long after the death of Socrates; for the
[125] Irwin 2011, p. 71.
Pythagoreans [Echecrates & co.] have not heard any de-
tails yet (Burnet 1911, p. 5). [126] Slings 2003, p. xxiii.
[106] Burnet 1928a, 177. [127] J Hankins, Plato in the Italian Renaissance Vol. 1 (p. 300),
BRILL, 1990 ISBN 9004091610.
[107] Cooper 1997, p. vii.
[128] Allen 1975, p. 12.
[108] C. U. M. Smith - Brain, Mind and Consciousness in the
History of Neuroscience (page 1) Springer Science & [129] Platonis opera quae extant omnia edidit Henricus
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[109] Lackner 2001, p. 21. [131] Cooper 1997, pp. xii & xxvii.

[110] See Burrell 1998 and Hasse 2002, pp. 3345. [132] Oxford Classical Texts - Classical Studies & Ancient His-
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[111] Harris, Jonathan (2002). Byzantines in Renaissance Oxford University Press
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[134] Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries - Series - Lartius, Diogenes (1925). "Plato". Lives of the
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[135] Irwin 1979, pp. vi & 11.
Plato. Charmides. Jowett, Benjamin (translator).
[136] Dodds 1959.
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[137] Fine 1999a, p. 482. Plato. Gorgias. Jowett Benjamin (translator).
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[139] Clarendon Plato Series - Philosophy Series - Series - Aca-

Plato (1903). Parmenides. Translated by Burnet,
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[140] Cornell University Press : Agora Editions
Plato. The Republic. Jowett Benjamin (transla-
[141] Diogenes Laertius, Life of Plato, 3.4; translation by Robert tor). Wikisource. See original text in Perseus pro-
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[142] Seneca, Epistulae, VI 58:29-30; translation by Robert Plutarch (1683) [written in the late 1st century].
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[143] Diogenes Laertius, Life of Plato, II
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[144] Nietzsche 1967, p. 32. Letter 58. Translated by Richard Mott Gummere.
[145] Plato. Suda.
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[146] Browne 1672.
Crawley, Richard (translator). Wikisource., V, VIII.
[147] Nails 2006, p. 1. See original text in Perseus program.

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[149] Plato. Encyclopdia Britannica. 2002.
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pyri of the Politeia". Mnemosyne. Fourth. 40 (1/2): Philosophy: From Thales to the Stoics Analysis
2734. doi:10.1163/156852587x00030. and Fragments, Traord Publishing ISBN 1-4120-
Slings, S. R. (2003). Platonis Rempublicam. Oxford
University Press. Barrow, Robin (2007). Plato: Continuum Library of
Smith, William (1870). Plato. Dictionary of Educational Thought. Continuum. ISBN 0-8264-
Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 8408-5.

Strauss, Leo (1964). The City and the Man. Cadame, Claude (1999). Indigenous and Mod-
Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ern Perspectives on Tribal Initiation Rites: Educa-
tion According to Plato, pp. 278312, in Padilla,
Suzanne, Bernard (8 March 2009). The Stephanus Mark William (editor), Rites of Passage in Ancient
edition. Plato and his dialogues. Retrieved 3 April Greece: Literature, Religion, Society, Bucknell
2014. University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8387-5418-X
Szlezak, Thomas A. (1999). Reading Plato. Rout- Cooper, John M.; Hutchinson, D.S., eds. (1997).
ledge. ISBN 0-415-18984-5. Plato: Complete Works. Hackett Publishing Com-
Tarn, Leonardo (1981). Speusippus of Athens. pany, Inc. ISBN 0-87220-349-2.
Brill Publishers.
Corlett, J. Angelo (2005). Interpreting Platos Di-
Tarn, Leonardo (2001). Platos Alleged Epitaph. alogues. Parmenides Publishing. ISBN 978-1-
Collected Papers 1962-1999. Brill Academic Pub- 930972-02-5
lishers. ISBN 9004123040.
Durant, Will (1926). The Story of Philosophy. Si-
Taylor, Alfred Edward (2001) [1937]. Plato: The mon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-69500-2.
Man and His Work. Courier Dover Publications.
ISBN 0-486-41605-4. Derrida, Jacques (1972). La dissmination, Paris:
Seuil. (esp. cap.: La Pharmacie de Platon, 69-199)
Taylor, C. C. W. (2011). Platos Epistemology.
ISBN 2-02-001958-2
In Fine, G. The Oxford Handbook of Plato. Oxford
University Press. pp. 165190. Field, G. C. (1969). The Philosophy of Plato (2nd
Vlastos, Gregory (1991). Socrates: Ironist and ed. with an appendix by Cross, R. C. ed.). London:
Moral Philosopher. Cambridge University Press. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-888040-5.

Whitehead, Alfred North (1978). Process and Real- Fine, Gail (2000). Plato 1: Metaphysics and Episte-
ity. New York: The Free Press. mology Oxford University Press, USA, ISBN 0-19-
Wilamowitz-Moellendor, Ulrich von (2005)
[1917]. Plato: His Life and Work (translated in Finley, M. I. (1969). Aspects of antiquity: Discover-
Greek by Xenophon Armyros). Kaktos. ISBN ies and Controversies The Viking Press, Inc., USA
Garvey, James (2006). Twenty Greatest Philosophy
Books. Continuum. ISBN 0-8264-9053-0.
9 Further reading Guthrie, W. K. C. (1986). A History of Greek Phi-
losophy (Plato - The Man & His Dialogues - Earlier
Alican, Necip Fikri (2012). Rethinking Plato: A Period), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-
Cartesian Quest for the Real Plato. Amsterdam and 31101-2
New York: Editions Rodopi B.V. ISBN 978-90-
420-3537-9. Guthrie, W. K. C. (1986). A History of Greek Phi-
losophy (Later Plato & the Academy) Cambridge
Allen, R. E. (1965). Studies in Platos Metaphysics
University Press, ISBN 0-521-31102-0
II. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0710036264
Ambuel, David (2007). Image and Paradigm in Havelock, Eric (2005). Preface to Plato (History
Platos Sophist. Parmenides Publishing. ISBN 978- of the Greek Mind), Belknap Press, ISBN 0-674-
1-930972-04-9 69906-8

Arieti, James A. Interpreting Plato: The Dialogues Hamilton, Edith; Cairns, Huntington, eds. (1961).
as Drama, Rowman & Littleeld Publishers, Inc. The Collected Dialogues of Plato, Including the Let-
ISBN 0-8476-7662-5 ters. Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 0-691-09718-6.

Harvard University Press publishes the hardbound Miller, Mitchell (2004). The Philosopher in Platos
series Loeb Classical Library, containing Platos Statesman. Parmenides Publishing. ISBN 978-1-
works in Greek, with English translations on facing 930972-16-2
Mohr, Richard D. (2006). God and Forms in Plato -
Irvine, Andrew David (2008). Socrates on Trial: A and other Essays in Platos Metaphysics. Parmenides
play based on Aristophanes Clouds and Platos Apol- Publishing. ISBN 978-1-930972-01-8
ogy, Crito, and Phaedo, adapted for modern per-
formance. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Mohr, Richard D. (Ed.), Sattler, Barbara M. (Ed.)
ISBN 978-0-8020-9783-5 (cloth); ISBN 978-0- (2010) One Book, The Whole Universe: Platos
8020-9538-1 (paper) Timaeus Today, Parmenides Publishing. ISBN 978-
Hermann, Arnold (2010). Platos Parmenides: Text,
Translation & Introductory Essay, Parmenides Pub- Moore, Edward (2007). Plato. Philosophy Insights
lishing, ISBN 978-1-930972-71-1 Series. Tirril, Humanities-Ebooks. ISBN 978-1-
Irwin, Terence (1995). Platos Ethics, Oxford Uni-
versity Press, USA, ISBN 0-19-508645-7 Nightingale, Andrea Wilson. (1995). Genres in
Dialogue: Plato and the Construct of Philosophy,
Jackson, Roy (2001). Plato: A Beginners Guide. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-48264-X
London: Hoder & Stroughton. ISBN 0-340-80385-
1. Oxford University Press publishes scholarly editions
of Platos Greek texts in the Oxford Classical Texts
Jowett, Benjamin (1892). [The Dialogues of Plato. series, and some translations in the Clarendon Plato
Translated into English with analyses and introduc- Series.
tions by B. Jowett.], Oxford Clarendon Press, UK,
UIN:BLL01002931898 Patterson, Richard (Ed.), Karasmanis, Vassilis
(Ed.), Hermann, Arnold (Ed.) (2013) Presocrat-
Kochin, Michael S. (2002). Gender and Rhetoric in ics & Plato: Festschrift at Delphi in Honor of
Platos Political Thought. Cambridge Univ. Press. Charles Kahn, Parmenides Publishing. ISBN 978-
ISBN 0-521-80852-9. 1-930972-75-9
Kraut, Richard, ed. (1993). The Cambridge Com- Sallis, John (1996). Being and Logos: Reading the
panion to Plato. Cambridge University Press. ISBN Platonic Dialogues. Indiana University Press. ISBN
0-521-43610-9. 0-253-21071-2.
Lilar, Suzanne (1954), Journal de l'analogiste, Paris, Sallis, John (1999). Chorology: On Beginning in
ditions Julliard; Reedited 1979, Paris, Grasset. Platos Timaeus. Indiana University Press. ISBN
Foreword by Julien Gracq 0-253-21308-8.
Lilar, Suzanne (1963), Le couple, Paris, Grasset. Sayre, Kenneth M. (2005). Platos Late Ontology:
Translated as Aspects of Love in Western Society in A Riddle Resolved. Parmenides Publishing. ISBN
1965, with a foreword by Jonathan Grin London, 978-1-930972-09-4
Thames and Hudson.
Seung, T. K. (1996). Plato Rediscovered: Human
Lilar, Suzanne (1967) A propos de Sartre et de Value and Social Order. Rowman and Littleeld.
l'amour , Paris, Grasset. ISBN 0-8476-8112-2
Lundberg, Phillip (2005). Tallyho - The Hunt for Smith, William. (1867). Dictionary of Greek and
Virtue: Beauty,Truth and Goodness Nine Dialogues Roman Biography and Mythology. University of
by Plato: Pheadrus, Lysis, Protagoras, Charmides, Michigan/Online version.
Parmenides, Gorgias, Theaetetus, Meno & Sophist.
Authorhouse. ISBN 1-4184-4977-6. Stewart, John. (2010). Kierkegaard and the Greek
World - Socrates and Plato. Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-
Mrquez, Xavier (2012) A Strangers Knowledge: 7546-6981-4
Statesmanship, Philosophy & Law in Platos States-
man, Parmenides Publishing. ISBN 978-1-930972- Thesle, Holger (2009). Platonic Patterns: A Col-
79-7 lection of Studies by Holger Thesle, Parmenides
Publishing, ISBN 978-1-930972-29-2
Melchert, Norman (2002). The Great Conversation:
A Historical Introduction to Philosophy. McGraw Thomas Taylor has translated Platos complete
Hill. ISBN 0-19-517510-7. works.

Thomas Taylor (1804). The Works of Plato, viz. His Other resources:
Fifty-Five Dialogues and Twelve Epistles 5 vols
Plato at the Indiana Philosophy Ontology
Vlastos, Gregory (1981). Platonic Studies, Prince- Project
ton University Press, ISBN 0-691-10021-7 Plato at PhilPapers
Vlastos, Gregory (2006). Platos Universe - with a "Plato and Platonism". Catholic Encyclopedia.
new Introducution by Luc Brisson, Parmenides Pub- 1913.
lishing. ISBN 978-1-930972-13-1 Website on Plato and his works: Plato and his
Zuckert, Catherine (2009). Platos Philosophers: dialogues by Bernard Suzanne
The Coherence of the Dialogues, The University of Approaching Plato: A Guide to the Early and
Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0-226-99335-5 Middle Dialogues

10 External links
Works available on-line:
Works by Plato at Perseus Project - Greek &
English hyperlinked text
Works of Plato (Jowett, 1892)
Works by Plato at Project Gutenberg
Works by or about Plato at Internet Archive
Works by Plato at LibriVox (public domain
Plato complete works, annotated and search-
able, at ELPENOR
Quick Links to Platos Dialogues (English,
Greek, French, Spanish)
The Dialogues of Plato with Apocryphal
Works from Loeb Classical Library edition
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
Platos Organicism
Platos Phaedo
Platos Political Philosophy
Platos Republic
Platos Theaetetus
Platos Academy
Middle Platonism
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
Platos Ethics
Friendship and Eros
Middle Period Metaphysics and Epistemology
Plato on Utopia
Rhetoric and Poetry

11 Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses

11.1 Text
Plato Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato?oldid=779578051 Contributors: AxelBoldt, Magnus Manske, General Wesc,
MichaelTinkler, Lee Daniel Crocker, Eloquence, Mav, Wesley, Ap, Amillar, Larry Sanger, XJaM, SJK, William Avery, Roadrunner,
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ley, MGee, , AugPi, Djnjwd, Poor Yorick, Dpol, Cimon Avaro, Rl, John K, Barfoed, Harvester, Jod, Skyfaller, JASpencer,
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Dandrake, Wik, DJ Clayworth, Markhurd, Tpbradbury, Nv8200pa, VeryVerily, Mir Harven, James Skarzinskas, Buridan, J D, Wetman,
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master, Josephprymak, Stealie, Warfvinge, Edgar181, Srnec, Sebesta, Commander Keane bot, Aksi great, Peter Isotalo, Gilliam, Portillo,
Ohnoitsjamie, Eudaemonia Noob, Betacommand, The monkeyhate, Poulsen, Ekoontz, Kurykh, TimBentley, Persian Poet Gal, Ian13,
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bomb, West Brom 4ever, An Italian Friend, Bobblehead, James086, Micahburnett, BehnamFarid, Philippe, FreeKresge, MichaelMaggs,
Natalie Erin, Talknshare, Mmortal03, Escarbot, Oreo Priest, Tom dl, KrakatoaKatie, WikiSlasher, AntiVandalBot, Chaleyer61, Manuel
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11.2 Images 25

FisherQueen, Job L, Skarioszky, Leaderofearth, Jackson Peebles, Darkbreed, Ugajin, Arjun01, Goldsmitharmy, Mtevfrog, Tholly,
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OddMNilsen, LordAnubisBOT, Cursorial, Austin512, Samtheboy, Sirfrosties, AdamBMorgan, KowDude, Stevenw988, Rcnet, Anti-
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lerin, Brian Pearson, Mufka, Jay ryann, Milogardner, Zoso101, Madhava 1947, MetsFan76, Juliancolton, WJBscribe, Rich182, SBKT,
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Xcountry99, Center4499, Lights, Vranak, X!, PeaceNT, Bandaidboy, Deor, C.lettingaAV, VolkovBot, Macedonian, ArqMage, Je G.,
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