Item description for Plato For Beginners (For Beginners) by Robert Cavalier & Eric Lurio...
All philosophy is a footnote to Plato. No other person so shaped the Western world and the way we think about it. Plato's questions remain as real for us today as they were 2500 years ago, and as human beings, we can not avoid their presence nor shirk our responsibility to attempt to answer them: What is Justice? What is Truth? What is Beauty? What kind of society should we build? How do we know what we know? Plato For Beginners introduces the reader to Socrates, Plato's mentor whose martyrdom led Plato to formulate a new system of knowledge based on reason. Socrates was found guilty and sentenced to death for introducing other divinities. He was also found guilty of corrupting youth. Plato For Beginners also covers the history of Greece as well as the life and ideas of this great philosopher and his influence over time, from early Christianity to the 20th century. The reader learns what he meant by Truth, Beauty, and the Good. Classical dialogues such as Symposium, Phaedo, The Apology and The Republic are all explored in the context of his time and our own.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.25" Width: 5.75" Height: 9" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Aug 21, 2007
Publisher For Beginners
ISBN 1934389080 ISBN13 9781934389089
Availability 0 units.
More About Robert Cavalier & Eric Lurio
Robert Cavalier received his BA from New York University and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Duquesne University. In 1987 he joined the staff at Carnegie Mellon's Center for Design of Educational Computing, where he became Executive Director in 1991. Dr. Cavalier was Director of CMU's Center for the Advancement of Applied Ethics and Political Philosophy from 2005-2007. He is currently co-Director of Southwestern Pennsylvania Program for Deliberative Democracy. He also wrote "Democracy For Beginners."
Robert Cavalier currently resides in the state of Pennsylvania.
Reviews - What do customers think about Plato For Beginners (For Beginners)?
First-Class Introduction to Plato Jul 9, 2006
This terrific book is a light and easy read, but contains more information about Plato than I've learned in any other introductory philosophy book. (Did you know that at one point in his life, Plato was taken prisoner by pirates and sold as a slave?) The explanation of The Forms is more clear than I've seen elsewhere.
The book starts with background information on Greek culture and the life of Socrates. Then comes a biographical account of Plato's life, works and travels. Interspersed are summaries of some of his major works, including The Thaetetus, The Phaedrus, The Symposium, The Republic, The Timaeus, and The Laws.
Highly recommended for neophytes!
You always end up back at Plato.... Mar 1, 2002
I guess you get out of this book what you bring to it. Having already been familiar with most of Plato's teachings, as well as his times, I found this volume to be a delightful refresher course. Instead of a dry, condensed outline it is a humorous and original comprehensive overview. Cavalier obviously knows his dialogs- I found no "dumbing down" here.
Those teachers of mine that stressed that if one wanted to be "truly educated" one had to be familiar with Plato's teachings were absolutely correct. When you start digging into subjects of true and lasting worth you always end up back at Plato. When I was younger I would have laughed at the idea that some "dry as dust" greek philosopher could ever be meaningful to me. You see, I confused Plato's philosophy with the "dry as dust" approach that passes for philosophy in modern times. Plato himself not only asked what Truth, Justice, and Beauty were- he actually knew that they really existed as Ultimates. The same with Good- he knew it existed. Plato accepted the validity of omens, dreams, the mysteries, and the pre-existance of the human soul, as well as, an afterlife. It was Plato who gave us the concept of "heaven." In fact, if you examine the words that were put in Christ's mouth in the New Testament you find that every statement is a paraphrase of Plato.
As for political matters, Plato believed that concern over one's own wealth and power was the source of most conflict, and that the goal of any system of laws and government should be making all people as happy and friendly as possible- and not merely a privaleged elite.
I can't help but speculate on how different western culture would have been if Plato's undiluted teachings, or even Plotinus' neoplatonism, had been the real spiritual core of our civilization.
Negativity Stinks! Dec 28, 2000
Like other "for Beginner" books, the Plato version is also an excellent and concise overview for those who want a quick read. Illustrations aren't anything to marvel at, but they do make for a more interesting book. Despite the negative criticism in other reviews (such as that posed by the Seattle reader,) I recommend the book highly. As for spelling mistakes, that is easily explained because it is meant foremost for a British audience where words such as center are spelled centre. No big deal. TLC
Hardly worth the money or effort! Oct 4, 1999
This book was so poorly organized! I didn't find what I was looking for, and the "illustrations" are Xerox copies of maps or sculpture pictures. The sentences were boring, and there were spelling and punctuation errors. Overall, the information could have been presented in a much more concise and effective way.