Understanding Plato (OPUS) Hardcover – 19 Nov 1987
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a book well-worth reading...Anyone seeking to find out about Plato would do well to start off with it. (Anne Sheppard, THES) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
David Melling is former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Law, and Social Science at Manchester Polytechnic. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
He begins by placing Plato into his historical context and among the philosophers and the political situations which influenced him. He then starts to present many of Plato's dialogues in a sort of chronological order. The beauty of the structure is that the chapters are not independent, but form steps of a staircase taking the reader's understanding from the ground level upwards through the stages Plato's philosophical discourse.
Throughout the book, the author sets up challenging game-like situations which make the reader feel as if part of the discussion group, as one of the characters in the dialogue, raising questions and solving problems.Read more ›
My one caveat is that this may be just a little too deep for someone with no philosophical background (though I would suggest you try it), and on the other hand it is sometimes a little bit too light for someone who wants a serious and critical philosophical review of Platos writing. This would be ideal for someone studying plato at degree level - but probably not sufficient on its own to get into some of the details of his writing.
An overview of Plato's life and work
By Howard A. Jones
This is an excellent introduction to Plato for the general reader and for those beginning a philosophy course - in fact, the best such introduction I have read. The author was Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Law and Social Science at what is now Manchester Metropolitan University at the time this book was written, some two decades ago. But ancient Greek philosophy doesn't change, even if its interpretation evolves, so the age of the book should be no deterrent to readers.
The author takes us through Plato's dialogues in more or less chronological order, as far as this is known. But the chapters also highlight the principal focus of each dialogue. Thus, we learn that the Protagoras is about virtue, the Meno about learning, and the Theaetetus about the nature of knowledge. In many dialogues, the topic of interest subtly changes from one thing to another in the course of the discussion, and this Melling illustrates. Plato's important Theory of Forms has a couple of chapters to itself. We read how Plato's philosophy developed through his career from the Laches to the Laws, some later dialogues contradicting or at least modifying Plato's earlier views.
I would unreservedly recommend this book as a highly readable introduction to Plato, perhaps before tacking the dialogues themselves, quotations of which are to be found within the text. The book has suggestions for further reading and a useful index.
Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God (2006) and The Tao of Holism (2008), both published by O Books, Winchester, UK.
Classical Thought (OPUS)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A must have Plato for Dummies which no one appears to have written. Easy to read and highly recommended.Published 13 months ago by Mr. Nicholas Farrell
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. Read morePublished on 14 Jun. 2012 by Peter Griffiths
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