The serious scholar will want a more scholarly edition, but for the general reader who wants to explore beyond "The Republic" and "The Symposium," this collection will do very nicely. I bought it because a reading group I'm in was reading "Laches," and it filled the bill very nicely. The translations are readable (if a bit anachronistic in idiom) and the supplementary material well laid out in introductions to the various dialogues. The use of interjected editorial material -- always in italics -- in the dialogue itself (to help the non-expert reader focus) might well be an irritant to real scholars, who won't want so much leading by the hand, but for a non-expert reader like me, they were very helpful. And, of course, the price is good -- scholarly editions from university presses are expensive. BTW, the Penguin "Republic," similarly laid out, is useful too, as is the equally accessible World's Classics edition from Oxford.
“Early Socratic Dialogues” by Plato contains seven books probably written shortly after the execution of Socrates in 399 BC. Compared to later works, these dialogues are relatively brief and rather straightforward and were most likely written to defend Socrates’ memory or commemorate him.
The seven dialogues (Ion, Laches, Lysis, Charmides, Hippias Major, Hippias Minor and Euthydemus) are a great starting point to get to know Socrates and Plato, because a lot of their ideas, styles and formats are introduced here. These include amongst others the Socratic dialogue ending in “aporia”, the search for defining moral terms, the idea that virtue is knowledge and the rational conversation to find the truth instead of winning the argument.
The general introduction to understanding Socrates and Plato as well as the introductions to and explanatory notes in each dialogue are excellent guides to understanding, appreciating and enjoying them. Another great companion to classical philosophy in general and Socrates and Plato specifically I use is Peter Adamson’s podcast and book "Classical Philosophy: A history of philosophy without any gaps, Volume 1". In short, I can recommend “Early Socratic Dialogues” as a great introduction to Socrates and Plato.
Ideal for todays ipod generation, this is the book to start you off in philosophy,none of them are too long or complicated, and there is plenty of humour as well.Remember folks, there's nowt on TV at the moment, so dive on in.
Socrates, aka Philosphy's martyr due to the fact that he was put to death for his philosophic beliefs or absence of them! I read this book out of interest as an admirer of the ancient Greeks and found myself becoming intrigued for different reasons. As a manager in an Engineering company I found Socrates approach of 'If...then...' very similar to the engineering approach to problem solving!! Is nothing new?