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Paperback The Trial and Death of Socrates: Four Dialogues Book

ISBN: 0486270661

ISBN13: 9780486270661

The Trial and Death of Socrates: Four Dialogues

(Part of the Great Books in Philosophy Series)

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Book Overview

The Dialogues of Plato (427-347 B.C.) rank with the writings of Aristotle as the most important and influential philosophical works in Western thought. In them Plato cast his teacher Socrates as the central disputant in colloquies that brilliantly probe a vast spectrum of philosophical ideas and issues. None is more exciting and revelatory than the four dialogues -- Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo -- on themes evoked...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

The Last Days of Socrates

I think that everyone would benefit from reading this collection of Platonic dialogues. We get to see what is most likely the most accurate depiction of Socrates that we're going to get. The translation and writing is superb and you will at times laugh, in the case of Euthyphro, but by the end you will surely lament just the same as Socrates's friends.

Plato and Socrates and the Immortality of the Soul.

This edition of _The Trial and Death of Socrates_ contains Plato's four famous dialogues between Socrates and his friends and detractors before the noteworthy philosopher was condemned to death by the Athenian tribunal in ancient Greece. I find this topic of interest because of the close relationship between Platonic thought and early Christian philosophy during the period of roughly 250-750 A.D. when the fundamentals of Christian doctrine were formed. It is clear from a reading of this series of texts why Plato, although a pagan preceding Christ for several hundred years, was very popular among Christian prelates, monks, polemicists, theologians and philosophers. The texts make somewhat awkward reading because they are presented in the forms of dialogue between Socrates and his friends and detractors and thus Plato does not have to express unequivocally what his own opinions are regarding the debates. The first text discussed in this volume is entitled "Euthyphro" and discusses the nature of piety. Here Plato has Socrates question many of the concepts associated with the polytheistic worship and piety of ancient Athens. Socrates' famous "Apology" is a treatise against the accusations of the courts of Athens. Socrates argues for the fact that only God is ultimately the source of wisdom and in all his interactions with fellow poets, artists, philosophers, statesmen, etc., he has not found true wisdom, at least not any wisdom that he himself does not already possess. In "Crito" Socrates debates with those among his followers who entreat him to flee Athens and take up refuge in a safer city. "Phaedo" contains the account of Socrates' last dialogue and concludes with Socrates' death by consuming hemlock poison as ordered by the Athenian court. Socrates explains that he does not fear death because the physical things of this world are impermanent and only the soul is ultimately immortal. Death is in fact an improvement in man's condition and he advocates a type of otherworldly asceticism (disdaining external appearances, food, clothing and human love) as the true path for the philosopher who wants to understand and contemplate the nature of reality in a pure fashion. The body dies and the soul is immortal and therefore the most important thing is to attend to the metaphysical realities while in this life. Socrates argues, among other things, that the soul is pre-existent of the body, a concept which was taken up later by the Christian philosopher Origen and later condemned as heresy. He also believes in a concept of the afterlife where the soul is either punished for wrongdoing or rewarded for good. Some souls go through a process of purification before they can advance, similar to the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory. _The Trial and Death of Socrates_ is an excellent read about an important figure in the history of religion and philosophy, especially as it shows the mindset of one who was willing to die for his beliefs (martyrdom)

the Grube translation

Note that the e-book download shown above is not the most current translation by Grube, but the older Jowett translation. Make sure to look for the newer translations when ordering, especially used editions.

The Masterpiece of Plato

I wondered that why there isn't any church putting Jacque Louis-David's painting the Death of Socrates on the wall. If you hear the story of Socrates' sarcrifice, you would understand why this old man is worth of the worship from millions. Imagine you are in the situation of Socrates. Assume that you are a patriotic citizen of a country. For all the years of your life, you try to make your fellow citizen smart and do them goods by spending all your time making speeches on the streets, defending justice and teaching the students without any charges. Assume that you have annoyed the ruling class of this country and they prosecute you on the court for corrupting the youths of your country-they could not prove that though. Assume your fellow citizen vote and put you to death on the court for you are too poor to pay a satisfactory fine and reject to proclaiming justice in exchange for your release. Assume that your best friend asks you to escape from jail since it is unjust for you to accept this unreasonable condemnation, and he guarantees that all the financial problems would be taken care of and your friends who help you escape would not be suffered, so that you can live in the countries that you prefer and raise your children by yourselves. Is anybody there would refuse to escape? However, Socrates does. He launches three arugements. 1. We should never injury others on any circumstances. Escape from jail and breaks the laws is certainly an act that would put the Laws of Athens on the blink of destruction. 2. You should respect your country's command as if you respect your parents. Since a person's birth, his country provides the protections, regulates the supply of food and enriches him with education. Thus, a person shouls respect his country like or more than he respects his parents. 3. There is a contract between the government and the people. If a person does not like the Laws of a country, he can choose to leave it. If he chooses to stay, that means he signs the contract with government of not ! breaking the laws. If he does not break the laws, the government can't do anything on him. If he does, the government reserves the rights to punish him or even execute him.This book comprises the last part of Socrates' life: Euthyphro, the cause of his accusation, The Apology ,his cross-interrogation at the court, Crito, his refusal to escape from jail, and Phaedo, his Sarcrifice. There are the most important chapters in Plato. The weight of Socrates' sarcrifice is like the cruxifiction of Christ; if he does not die, he is not the Messiah. So, if you don't have too much time to read the Complete Works of Plato, this book undoubtedly would be the best choice for you to understand Plato.
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