Five Dialogues

ISBN: 0915145235
ISBN 13: 9780915145232
By: Plato G.M. Grube Donald J. Zeyl

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Reader's Thoughts


on to plato from the pre-socratics. we started with the apology this week. i can't think of anything i've ever read that's more moving. how did i forget?[update: today i finished the phaedo, and i fucking wept. in the 10am sunshine.][update: by 'read' i mean i've read two of the five, and will now, of necessity, retire the book until at least january. but i get it. i have to read them all. i have to read all of plato. i'll just plow through this one little semester, and on the other side will be the time i need to do it in.]


I have a hard time rating the works of Plato...and as for reviewing them, well it would take a lifetime to do so.


Mine is the 1942 edition!

John Molina

This is definitely the worst book I can recall reading. It started off not so tedious and just went downhill from there. The book is about Socrates' trial and features some of his philosophies on life and is just the most worthless stuff I have ever read. I had to read this book for a class and maybe that's why I found it so boring, but to be honest that's not the reason. This book is just a waste of time. No stars

Robert Sheard

I'm not sure how one "rates" Plato, and by extension, Socrates, but this gave me a headache. I can follow the logical chains in the dialogues, but I'm bothered by the unstated assumptions behind some of them. For example, in Phaedo, there's a long argument/proof explaining how Socrates "knows" that the soul exists separately from the body and that it exists both before the body and after it. He spends an inordinate amount of time proving the before and after existence while never addressing a single word to proving that the "soul" actually exists at all. Maybe it's in another dialogue; I don't know. I also have a problem with the idea that learning isn't really learning at all, but that we already have all of our knowledge before we're born (in the soul?) and then lose it when we're born and then "recollect" it throughout life. Again, if the whole soul assumption falls apart, so does this rather bizarre notion. Sorry, not buying it.


These dialogues contain the core concepts of Platonic philosophy and serve as a good introduction to the legacy of Socrates and philosophy in the golden age of Greece. I've read these dialogues probably a dozen times in my life and discover something new with each read.


i want ot read

Brian Burgess

Plato's dialogues are persuasive at questioning being and knowing. Note that these discussions are said to have been actual conversations between So-crates and reputable men of court and his friends. Going from Euthyphro to the Phaedo you can feel Socrates shifting from arrogance of the court to a more comfortable zone of private kinship with his friends when he is sentenced to death on his last day. "No one knows wether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for man, yet men fear it as if they knew that it is the greatest of evils. And surely it is the most blameworthy ignorance to believe that one knows what one does not know."

Abdulelah Qutub

good baseline understanding of platonic way of thinking, through the five dialogues.

John Yelverton

A must read for those who want to understand how the world continues to work to this very day.

Hamza Hassoun



This is is probably one of most essential book for any one who wants to know more about philosophy.I have read most of the dialogues before and every time you read it you get something new, like the bible. Yes, I believe this should be any philosophers bible, the one only guide understanding other philosophy works and a guide to how to do work out your own "the best way to think about things". I say this because when I first read Euthypro I did not understand anything. The second time I read it, I understood in the end Euthypro did not know what piety is even though in the beginning who seem to very confident what it meant. The third time I read it, I began to see how Socrates was being Ironic as to boast Euthypro's knowledge and baiting him into discussion that makes Euthypro foolish. I probably get more out if it if I read it again and again.This was same with Apology. It was my first time reading the Crito, Meno, and Phaedo it was tough read, and again I did not really comprehend much from it. However, I will probably get something new when I read it again.Ultimately, These dialogues shows how great Writer and Philosopher Plato is, and also what a great Philosopher Socrates. Even if most people did not like Socrates during his time, I know he has been loved more by great thinkers after his demise. True Legend.

Zach Augustine

An excellent introduction to Plato's philosophy. If you're interested in the historical figure of Socrates, these dialogues are most are most concerned with his life. Philosophically, these "Five Dialogues"--Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo--along with Phaedrus, Symposium and the Republic form the bulk of Plato's thought on Forms and the soul. This is a great place to start. The Euthyphro is a typical early dialogue and sets the stage for the charges that face later Socrates in the Apology. Both are very readable. Crito and Phaedo show Socrates in prison accepting his fate with poise and refusing to escape. They are also the most vivid explanation of the immortality of the soul. Meno is a middle dialogue that poses important problems of knowledge and learning resolved by the theory of Forms and Recollection. It's also the most difficult and rewarding of the bunch.This Hackett edition is nice but not great. The dialogues are the Grube translation, edited by Cooper. The introduction by Grube is rather short and just explains the logic behind the grouping of the five dialogues, which is disappointing compared to other Hackett's. However, the translation is good, if a bit literal. There are explanatory footnotes for all of Socrates' idioms and historical references. The margins and book design are nice and readable for such a compact book. The main advantage this little 8x5 paperback has is that it's cheap, easy to carry, and perfect for writing in. I feel the same way about the other excellent Hackett editions of "Symposium", "Phaedrus", and "Laches and Charmides". Now that my interest in Plato has solidified, I will likely invest in the Hardcover collection "Plato: Complete Works". However, you will miss out on the introductions found in the individual Hackett's, in particular Symposium's and Phaedrus which are fantastic.

Dameon Manuel

This edition contains five dramatic Dialogues penned by Plato, all of which purportedly reflect accurately the content—and perhaps the words—of real conversations in which Socrates was a part. This particular grouping of Dialogues, as I have learned, is quite standard in both selection and ordering, with the exception of "Meno." "Euthyphro," "Apology," "Crito," and "Phaedo" are chronologically arranged and, together, paint a picture of the Athenian philosopher Socrates at the end of his life. (The editor included "Meno," he explains, because the ideas it presents track closely with those of the following "Phaedo.") My impression of the book as a whole is of a gradual escalation from some thought-provoking but innocuous inquiries into how and why certain aspects of conduct and behavior constitute a virtuous life, into a territory of speculation about the soul, the afterlife, and mortality. It finishes with a lengthy passage concerning the nature of the cosmos, in which Socrates describes the latter as a world of islands floating in the ether, rivers flowing in all directions unbound by beds and banks, and bountiful jewels that outshine the jewels of earth to which we are accustomed. This passage, at times, sounded as though I was rereading Alduous Huxley's The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell. "Phaedo" draws to an emotional close, as Socrates willingly submits to execution by poisoning, in the company of his friends and disciples.


Apology quotes:"Socrates is guilty of wrongdoing in that he busies himself in studying things in the sky and below the earth; he makes the worse into the stronger argument, and he teaches these same things to others.""Socrates is guilty of corrupting the young and of not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other new spiritual things.""To fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know. No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that it is the greatest of evils.""Wealth does not bring about excellence, but excellence makes wealth and everything else good for men, both individually and collectively.""...and what do I deserve to suffer or to pay because I have deliberately not led a quiet life but have neglected what occupies most people..."

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