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Peter Griffiths (London)
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Understanding Plato (OPUS)
Understanding Plato (OPUS)
by D J Melling
Edition: Paperback
Price: 27.18

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 14 Jun 2012
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This book reminded me of sitting in a maths lesson at school and struggling to keep up while the teacher tried to explain difficult ideas in language that was alien to me.

I was hoping this short book (170 pages) would explain some of Plato's main ideas in a clear way. I don't think I was much closer to understanding Plato by the time I'd finished reading.

I felt it was often too confusing for the general reader and, I suspect, too basic for philosophy students.

Too many sentences start with phrases like "It is evident that...", "It would not be inconsistent to argue...", "It must be admitted that..." and "It is obvious that...".

The writing style is clunky and dated. Take this on the Theory of Ideas: "The Idea of the Good is itself knowable as well as being the source of the knowability of all that is knowable."

Or this on forms: "If the Form which is the source of the X-ness of other forms is not the source of X-ness, then we seem to be left with an impossible dilemma."

Perhaps it's impossible to avoid such constructions when trying to explain Plato's work, but I found it clumsy and awkward to read.

I'm still searching for a clear guide to Plato for the general reader.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 13, 2013 2:43 AM BST


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent speakers, 28 Aug 2006
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