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Timaeus and Critias (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

Plato , Desmond Lee
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 Aug 2008 Penguin Classics
Timaeus and Critias is a Socratic dialogue in two parts. A response to an account of an ideal state told by Socrates, it begins with Timaeus’s theoretical exposition of the cosmos and his story describing the creation of the universe, from its very beginning to the coming of man. Timaeus introduces the idea of a creator God and speculates on the structure and composition of the physical world. Critias, the second part of Plato’s dialogue, comprises an account of the rise and fall of Atlantis, an ancient, mighty and prosperous empire ruled by the descendents of Poseidon, which ultimately sank into the sea.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Revised edition (28 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140455043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140455045
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.2 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Plato (c. 427–347 b.c.) founded the Academy in Athens, the prototype of all Western universities, and wrote more than twenty philosophical dialogues.

Thomas Kjeller Johansen studied philosophy and classics at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is now University Lecturer in Ancient Philosophy at Oxford University and Tutorial Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford. His publications include Plato’s Natural Philosophy. A Study of the Timaeus-Critias (Cambridge 2004).


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THE Timaeus is a document of great importance in the history of European thought. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plato's natural philosophy and the Atlantis myth 25 Sep 2008
By Andrew Dalby VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I bought this like most other people to read about the Atlantis myth and for anyone interested in either the myth or Plato's natural philosophy this is an important work.

The Criteas is a short fragment of a dialogue where the Atlantis myth originates. He puts the story in a historical context by talking of the discoveries made by Solon on his travels in Egypt, but it is not clear if it is allegorical or that this is a real history. Most of the story is a description of the Island and then an account of their conflict with other peoples and final destruction and fall. The story ends abruptly and we do not see the final moral of the story because the rest of the dialogue is lost.

The Timaeus is Plato's work on natural sciences. He was not an experimentalist and so his theories are based on theory and observation. There is the discussion of the elemental particles, which would come to be known as the Platonic solids as well as some view on medicine and health. For Plato the metaphysical laws of philosophy are well established, whereas natural philosophy is difficult. This is perhaps the opposite to the view we would have today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timaeus from a Process Perspective 22 Nov 2012
By Gordon
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I finally got round to reading Timaeus and now appreciate where Arthur North Whitehead got the inspiration to collate his 1930's Gifford Lectures into his book, 'Process and Reality'. The theme of an Organic Philosophy comes out right from the earliest parts of Timaeus.
I was mildly irritated by the translator's disparaging comment about the neo-platonists, since the Process comunity has its origins in neo-platonism, obviously with a modern world view both in science and theology. Other than that, I can definitely recomend this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Satis for what it is ! A reasonable translation. 25 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Timaeus was never one of Plato's crowd pullers ! though very influential with later mathematical-mystical thinkers. There are some
parts of general interest however, and this book offers the chance to read these, and as much of the more convoluted matter as
pleases you, in clear English, without any financial investment that hurts ! I read it 55 years ago for exams, more fun this time !!
For easier Plato (with intriguing picture of Socrates) you can try The Apology,, The Symposium, the first parts of The Phaedo,,
and the Republic itself. (They raise lots of questions and challenges for the thoughtful reader)..
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dream 29 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback
this book cane to me in a dream and is about to change my life!!!
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