Edited by Hugh Benson (University of Oklahoma)
Assistant editor: Mark Hallap (University of Western Ontario)
About this topic
Summary Plato (ca. 427-347 B.C.E.) was an Athenian philosopher who is widely recognized among the most important philosophers of the Western world.  Plato can be plausibly credited with the invention of philosophy as we understand it today – the rational, rigorous, and systematic study of fundamental questions concerning ethics, politics, psychology, theology, epistemology, and metaphysics.  He wrote primarily in dialogue form.  Among his most influential views are a commitment to the distinction between changeless, eternal forms and changeable, observable ordinary objects, the immortality of the soul, the distinction between knowledge and true belief and the view that knowledge is in some way recollection, that philosophers should be rulers and rulers philosophers, and that justice is in some way welcomed for its own sake.  He was a follower of Socrates, significantly influenced Aristotle, the Stoics, the Academic skeptics, Plotinus, among others, and founded the Academy, perhaps the first institution of higher learning in the west.
Key works Among the most well-known of Plato’s works (26 generally acknowledged dialogues and 13 more doubtful letters) are the Apology, Crito, Euthyphro, Protagoras, Gorgias, Meno, Phaedo, Republic, Symposium, Theaetetus, and Timaeus.  The standard English translations of the complete works can be found in Cooper & Hutchinson 1997.
Introductions A good place to start studying Plato in general is the entry in Stanford Encyclopedia, Kraut 2008, Hare 1982, and Annas 2003.  Important collections of essays include Vlastos 1973, Kraut 1992, Fine 1999, Fine 1999, Fine 2008, and Benson 2006.
Related categories
Plato, Misc (761)
History/traditions: Plato

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  1. Platon und Aristoteles – sub ratione veritatis. Festschrift für Wolfgang Wieland zum 70. Geburtstag.Gregor Damschen, Rainer Enskat & Alejandro G. Vigo (eds.) - 2003 - Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
    With contributions by John J. Cleary, Gregor Damschen, Rainer Enskat, Francisco J. Gonzalez, Jürgen Mittelstraß and Carlo Natali (all on Plato) as well as by Enrico Berti, Nicolas Braun, Graciela M. Chichi, Wolfgang Kullmann, Helmut Mai, Alejandro G. Vigo, Franco Volpi and Hermann Weidemann (all on Aristotle).
  2. The Choreography of the Soul: A Psychedelic Philosophy of Consciousness.Ed D'Angelo - manuscript
    This is a 2018 revision of my 1988 dissertation "The Choreography of the Soul" with a new Forward, a new Conclusion, a substantially revised Preface and Introduction, and many improvements to the body of the work. However, the thesis remains the same. A theory of consciousness and trance states--including psychedelic experience--is developed. Consciousness can be analyzed into two distinct but generally interrelated systems, which I call System X and System Y. System X is the emotional-visceral-kinaesthetic body. System X is a (...)
  3. Plato's Guide to Living with Your Body.Russell E. Jones & Patricia Marechal - 2018 - In Philosophy of Mind in Antiquity: The History of the Philosophy of Mind, Volume 1. pp. 84-100.
  4. Reler Platão. Ensaio sobre a Teoria das Ideias.António Pedro Mesquita - 1995 - Lisboa, Portugal: Imprensa Nacional - Casa da Moeda.
  5. Platão e o Problema da Existência.António Pedro Mesquita - 2003 - Lisboa, Portugal: Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa.
  6. Die Aretê des Leibes. Die Stellung des Gesundheit in der Platonischen Güterlehre.Jan Szaif - 2009 - In Dorothea Frede & Burkhard Reis (eds.), Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy. Berlin, Germany: pp. 205-246.
    This essay on “The Status of Health in Plato’s Theory of Goods” discusses how health figures as a “good” in the framework of Plato’s general theory of human goods. It starts with meta-ethical distinctions regarding how things can be classified as “good,” including the conceptual distinctions between intrinsic, final, and constitutive goods. I then discuss passages in Plato that shed light on the function of health as an “instrumental good” that contributes to an undisturbed mode of existence free to pursue (...)
  7. Plato and Aristotle on Truth and Falsehood.Jan Szaif - 2018 - In Michael Glanzberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Truth. Oxford, UK: pp. 9-49.
  8. Platons Begriff der Wahrheit (2., durchgesehene Auflage. Studienausgabe).Jan Szaif - 1998 - Freiburg, Germany: Alber.
  9. A Unified Interpretation of the Varieties of False Pleasure in Plato's Philebeus.Matthew Strohl - manuscript
    Most commentators think that Plato's account of the varieties of false pleasure is disjointed and that various types of false pleasure he identifies are false in different ways. It really doesn't look that way to me: I think that the discussion is unified, and that Plato starts with less difficult cases to build up to a point about more important but less clear cases. In this paper, I do my best to show how this might work. I don't think I (...)
  10. Plato and the Freedom of the New Academy.Charles E. Snyder - 2017 - In Harold Tarrant, François Renaud, Dirk Baltzly & Danielle A. Layne (eds.), Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity. Leiden/Boston: Brill. pp. 58–71.
    Scholars of Greek and Roman antiquity advance a variety of reasons to explain why the study of Hellenistic philosophy remains dependent on fragments and testimonies. Mansfeld observes such dependence in his use of the premise that philosophers of late antiquity based philosophical instruction and school curricula on a core set of writings from the classical period. On this basis, Mansfeld infers that schools of late antiquity continually transcribed and preserved writings of instructional significance. The schools routinely excluded other classical and (...)
  11. James Warren, “The Pleasures of Reason in Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic Hedonists.” Review by Facundo Bey. [REVIEW]Facundo Bey - 2016 - Boletín de Estética 36:71-76.
    The Pleasures of Reason in Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic Hedonists se centra en la relación mutua entre las capacidades humanas de sentir placer y dolor y el carácter afectivo que las une con las facultades cognitivas de aprender, comprender, recordar, evocar, planificar y anticiparse. Para esto, Warren consagra toda su agudeza analítica a eminentes obras del pensamiento antiguo: particularmente nos referimos a los diálogos platónicos República, Protágoras y Filebo. Otro tanto hace con De Anima, De Memoria et Reminiscentia, Ética (...)
  12. Figures Philosophiques du Conflit.Andreas Wilmes & Joan-Antoine Mallet (eds.) - 2015 - Paris, France: L'Harmattan.
    L'ambition de cet ouvrage est d'illustrer à la fois comment la philosophie conceptualise le conflit et comment elle s'efforce d'en résoudre les dangers inhérents. Plutôt que de proposer un aperçu purement abstrait de la notion de « conflit », l'ensemble des travaux se focalise sur la confrontation des philosophes à des problèmes historiques tels que la guerre, la dissension sociale, la tyrannie, ou encore le sport. -/- .
  13. Time, the Image of Absolute Logos: A Comparative Analysis of the Ideas of Augustine and Husserl.Lee Chun Lo - 2018 - Comparative and Continental Philosophy 10 (1):50-61.
    ABSTRACTIn the Timaeus, Plato explicitly defines time as “the moving image of eternity”. This proposition affirms actually that time reflects the eternal that embodies the rational and lawful principle – namely the logos of proportionality – in the motion and change of visible objects in the universe. In other words,time determines the principle that every mutable being must follow to participate in the rational and nomological order of existence; the absolute logos which is given by God is hence intrinsic to (...)
  14. Bradley's Concept of Metaphysics.Damian Ilodigwe - 2016 - EKPOMA Review 3 (2016):116-137.
    -/- Bradley is one of the most important philosophers in the 20th century. He contributed to virtually every area of the philosophical discipline. However, he is mostly known for his work in metaphysics which finds a systematic exposition in his magnum opus: Appearance and Reality: An Essay in Metaphysics (1893). Bradley’s concept of metaphysics is implicit in all his writings, especially in his account of morality as self-realization in Ethical Studies and of course the theory of judgement and inference he (...)
  15. The Relationship of Idea and Particulars in Plato: Episteme Versus Doxa.Abdullah Demir - 2017 - Entelekya Logico-Metaphysical Review 1 (1-2):37--48.
    There are some terms which should be defined conceptually in the philosophy of values, such that they show us the quality of value judgments. As we have already pointed out, we have to start thinking about values with the essence of ethical concepts, and it is possible for us to create a norm of politics or law through these concepts. The Good as the basic concept of morality is the most comprehensive term that describes the reason for being in existence. (...)
  16. Idealistic Groundwork for Plato’s Philosophy of Education.Özkan Fatih - 2017 - Entelekya Logico-Metaphysical Review 1 (1-2):19--36.
    There are some terms which should be defined conceptually in the philosophy of values, such that they show us the quality of value judgments. As we have already pointed out, we have to start thinking about values with the essence of ethical concepts, and it is possible for us to create a norm of politics or law through these concepts. The Good as the basic concept of morality is the most comprehensive term that describes the reason for being in existence. (...)
  17. Luc Brisson and Francesco Fronterotta, Ed.: Lire Platon. [REVIEW]John Garner - 2014 - Bryn Mawr Classical Review 9 (44).
  18. Second Sailing: Alternative Perspectives on Plato Ed. By Debra Nails and Harold Tarrant. [REVIEW]Verity Harte - 2017 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 55 (1):154-155.
    Tradition has it that ‘deuteros plous’, an idiomatic expression used by Plato most famously at Phaedo 99c–d, refers to the use of oars to get to one’s destination in the absence of suitable wind for sailing. The nautical motif is a gesture towards the seafaring credentials of Holger Thesleff, the scholar to whom the volume pays tribute, the author, most notably for this occasion, of three books and several articles on the style, chronology and metaphysical outlook of Plato’s dialogues, now (...)
  19. Virtue, Money and the Other Goods: A Note on Apol. 30b2-4.Orrin Summerell - 1998 - Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch Fur Antike Und Mittelalter 3 (1):199-205.
  20. Henricus Bate, Speculum divinorum et quorundam naturalium. Parts XI-XII:: On Platonic Philosophy.Burkhard Mojsisch - 1998 - Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch Fur Antike Und Mittelalter 3 (1):243-245.
  21. Peter Sloterdijk , Platon. Ausgewählt und eingeleitet von Rafael Ferber Aristoteles. [REVIEW]Malmsheimer Arne - 1998 - Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch Fur Antike Und Mittelalter 3 (1):237-243.
  22. Von Sackgassen und Crossroads: Neue deutsche und anglo-amerikanische Sammelbände zu Platon.Marcel van Ackeren - 2002 - Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch Fur Antike Und Mittelalter 7:199-218.
  23. The Play of Socratic Dialogue.Richard Smith - 2011 - Philosophy of Education 45 (2):221-233.
    Proponents of philosophy for children generally see themselves as heirs to the ‘Socratic’ tradition. They often claim too that children's aptitude for play leads them naturally to play with abstract, philosophical ideas. However in Plato's dialogues we find in the mouth of ‘Socrates’ many warnings against philosophising with the young. Those dialogues also question whether philosophy should be playful in any straightforward way, casting the distinction between play and seriousness as unstable. It seems we cannot think of Plato as representing (...)
  24. Plato for Pleasure.Fox Fox - 1962 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 56 (2):43.
  25. Protagoras and the Challenge of Relativism: Plato's Subtlest Enemy. By Ugo Zilioli: Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Robin Waterfield - 2009 - Heythrop Journal 50 (3):509-510.
  26. Plato on the Rhetoric of Philosophers and Sophists. By Marina McCoy and Plato and the Art of Philosophical Writing. By Christopher Rowe: Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Robin Waterfield - 2009 - Heythrop Journal 50 (3):511-511.
  27. Plato's Stepping Stones. By Michael Cormack: Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Robin Waterfield - 2009 - Heythrop Journal 50 (3):508-509.
  28. Comment parler du beau? L’'me et ses discours dans le Phèdre.Anca Vasiliu - 2011 - Chôra 9:33-65.
    Le Phèdre est considéré comme un dialogue portant sur le beau. Mais du beau il n’est question qu’à travers trois discours qui portent sur l’amour. La tradition des commentaires du Phèdre, telles les scholies d’Hermias, fait état d’une forme d’initiation qui permet de passer de la beauté singulière d’un corps à la beauté des logoi, puis à la connaissance de la seule beauté vraie puisque parfaite, la beauté intelligible. C’est la leçon de Diotime, du Banquet, qui serait ainsi appliquée par (...)
  29. L’'me, l’homme et la connaissance de soi dans le Premier Alcibiade.Karel Thein - 2011 - Chôra 9:171-202.
    Il est question de la connaissance de soi telle qu’elle est recommandée et analysée par Socrate dans le Premier Alcibiade de Platon. Tout en prenant en compte le double contexte de la littérature grecque et des autres dialogues, l’article reconstruit la série de tensions entre l’effort de fournir une définition générale de ce qu’est l’homme et la tâche de se connaître soi-même en tant qu’individu. Sans perdre de vue le progrès de la division par laquelle Socrate arrive à cerner la (...)
  30. Racines platoniciennes pour une philosophie de l'image.Anca Vasiliu - 2005 - Chôra 3:23-45.
  31. Plato’s Penal Code: Tradition, Controversy, and Reform in Greek Penology. [REVIEW]Harvey Yunis - 1994 - Ancient Philosophy 14 (1):168-173.
  32. The Self-Seeing Soul in the Alcibiades I.Daniel Werner - 2013 - Ancient Philosophy 33 (2):307-331.
    The Alcibiades I concludes with an arresting image of an eye that sees itself by looking into another eye. Using the dialogue as a whole, I offer a detailed interpretation of this image and I discuss its implications for the question of self-knowledge. The Alcibiades I reveals both what self-knowledge is (knowledge of soul in its particularity and its universality) and how we are to seek it (by way of philosophical dialogue). This makes the pursuit of self-knowledge an inescapably social (...)
  33. Beyond Legislation, Close to Philosophy: Plato's Last Critique of Writing in the Laws.Panagiotis Thanassas - 2005 - Philosophical Inquiry 27 (1/2):45-56.
  34. On a Common and Unmooted Platonic Source for the Husserlian and Augustinian Conceptions of Memory: A Response to Michael R. Kelly.Roger Wasserman - 2008 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 82 (2):293-315.
    Although Michael Kelly, in his article, “On the Mind’s Pronouncement of Time”, is correct to maintain that Augustine and Husserl share a common conception of time-consciousness, I argue that the similarity does not lie where he thinks nor is it restricted to Husserl’s early period. Instead I locate the source of this commonality in a shared response to a particular Platonic problematic, which I find expressed at Parmenides 151e–152e. This essay shows how the Neoplatonic conception of time, which I claim (...)
  35. Platon et l’invention aristotélicienne du dualisme platonicien.Anca Vasiliu - 2015 - Chôra 13:141-163.
    Aristotle’s main grievances against his forebears, in the first instance Plato, but also Empedocles and Anaxagoras, rely on three theoretical standpoints : the status of the whole and the one, the separation or the immanence of the principle and its ability to act as a cause or not, and finally the possibility of engendering or producing from contraries. An analysis of the criticisms developed in Metaphysics Lambda 10 brings to light both the purpose and the flaws of the Aristotelian indictment. (...)
  36. Plato’s Change of Mind.W. Lutostawski - 1949 - Proceedings of the Tenth International Congress of Philosophy 2:1076-1080.
  37. The Cave and the Burglar. Plato Compared with Zen.Kuang-Ming Wu - 1988 - Philosophie Et Culture: Actes du XVIIe Congrès Mondial de Philosophie 4:223-228.
  38. Plato's Theory of Ideas. By David Ross. [REVIEW]Richard Robinson - 1952 - Philosophical Review 61 (1):115.
  39. Plato's Life and Thought.Gregory Vlastos & R. S. Bluck - 1952 - Philosophical Review 61 (1):134.
  40. The Genesis of Plato's Thought.Gregory Vlastos & Alban Dewes Winspear - 1942 - Philosophical Review 51 (4):421.
  41. Plato's Law of Slavery in Its Relation to Greek Law.Gregory Vlastos & Glenn R. Morrow - 1941 - Philosophical Review 50 (1):93.
  42. What Plato Said.A. E. Taylor & Paul Shorey - 1933 - Philosophical Review 42 (6):627.
  43. Greek Political Theory. Plato and His Predecessors.Paul Shorey & Ernest Barker - 1920 - Philosophical Review 29 (1):83.
  44. Plato's Doctrine of Ideas.Paul Shorey & J. A. Stewart - 1910 - Philosophical Review 19 (5):535.
  45. Plato's Individuals.Allan Silverman & Mary Margaret McCabe - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (3):470.
  46. Platonische Selbstkritik? Platons Nomoi Als Dokument Einer Revision. Über: Helmut Mai. Platons Nachlass.Barbara Zehnpfennig - 2015 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 63 (4).
  47. Greek Philosophy, the Hub and the Spokes.The Discovery of the Mind; the Greek Origins of European Thought.Plato's Earlier Dialectic.Plato's Modern Enemies and the Theory of Natural Law. [REVIEW]Philip Merlan, W. K. C. Guthrie, Bruno Snell, T. G. Rosenmeyer, Richard Robinson & John Wild - 1955 - Journal of Philosophy 52 (13):349.
  48. Platonic Noise.Simon Stow - 2004 - Contemporary Political Theory 3 (3):346-347.
  49. Perception and Knowledge in Plato's Theaetetus.Naly Thaler - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (3):160-167.
    In this paper, I examine several key issues relating to the definition of knowledge as perception in the first part of Plato's Theaetetus. I begin by explaining the workings of the ‘secret doctrine’ of perception, which is introduced in order to support the idea that perception is incorrigible, and then turn to examine the two refutations of the definition of knowledge as perception which appear at the end of the first part of the Theaetetus. I shall present and explain distinct (...)
  50. Plato for the Modern Age.Robert S. Brumbaugh - 1991 - Upa.
    The first one-volume introduction to Plato's biography with a complete account of his works since A.E. Taylor's. It includes a systematic explanation of Plato's theory of forms and concludes with an application of Plato's ideas to the world today.
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