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A Life in Philosophy
Considered by many to be the most important philosopher ever, Plato was born into a well-to-do family in wartime Athens at the end of the fifth century BCE. In his teens, he honed his intellect by attending lectures from the many thinkers who passed through Athens and toyed with the idea of writing poetry. He finally decided to go into politics, but became disillusioned, especially after the Athenians condemned his teacher, Socrates, to death. Instead, Plato turned to writing and teaching. He began teaching in his twenties and later founded the Academy, the world's first higher-educational research and teaching establishment. Eventually, he returned to practical politics and spent a considerable amount of time and energy trying to create a constitution for Syracuse in Sicily that would reflect and perpetuate some of his political ideals. The attempts failed, and Plato's disappointment can be traced in some of his later political works.In his lifetime and after, Plato was considered almost divine. Though a measure of his importance, this led to the invention of many tall tales about him-both by those who adored him and his detractors. In this first ever full-length portrait of Plato, Robin Waterfield steers a judicious course among these stories, debunking some while accepting the kernels of truth in others. He explains why Plato chose to write dialogues rather than treatises and gives an overview of the subject matter of all of Plato's books. Clearly and engagingly written throughout, Plato of Athens is the perfect introduction to the man and his work.
Plato of Athens is erudite and fascinating, and realises its aim of showing that his works were magnificent, that "Plato invented philosophy" not as a body of doctrine but an open-ended and insatiable quest." -- Jane O'Grady, The Telegraph"If all Western philosophy is as has been claimed a series of footnotes to Plato of Athens, it's fortunate indeed that all his dialogues have survived and attracted translators and interpreters of the caliber of Robin Waterfield. Brilliant, witty, profound--and perplexing: Plato's all those and more (a uniquely resonant stylist too), and it's no mean tribute both to him and to the author to say that Robin Waterfield has done him justice." -- Paul Cartledge, author of Thebes: The Forgotten City of Ancient Greece"Whitehead once characterized the history of Western philosophy as a series of footnotes to Plato. Here, at last, we have an authoritative body text for the man himself. 'No philosopher,' Waterfield writes, 'is as accessible to non-specialists as Plato.' The same can be said for this remarkable, impeccably researched biography" -- M. D. Usher, author of Plato's Pigs and Other Ruminations"Writing a biography of Plato is a tricky endeavor, to say the least. Robin Waterfield nonetheless succeeds in delivering a gripping, plausible, and enlightening portrait. Those new to Plato as well as seasoned scholars will come away from Plato of Athens not only with as rounded a picture of Plato the man as may be possible, but also with an excellent sense of his philosophy and the historical times in which he lived and with which he engaged." -- Iakovos Vasiliou, author of Aiming at Virtue in Plato
Code: 13891
ISBN: 9780197564752
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 296
Publication Date: 2023
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published In: USA
Language: English