Method to Read Plato

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David Bailey | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Jul 28 2013 4:56 PM

For those who want to read some Plato, the following dialogues are considered his earliest and in chronological order:

  1. Charmides
  2. Lysis
  3. Laches
  4. Protagoras
  5. Euthydemus
  6. Cratylus
  7. Phaedrus
  8. Ion
  9. Symposium
  10. Meno
  11. Euthyphro
  12. Apology
  13. Crito
  14. Phaedo
  15. Gorgias

You can read them chronologically if you choose. Looking through some notes I have, the editors of the Great Books of the Western World suggest that, instead of chronological order, a better way to read them is to group the dialogues as shown:

<Dialogues about the life, character, and death of Socrates>

  • Apology
  • Crito
  • Phaedo

<Dialogues that illustrate Socratic methods of questions and conclusions>

  • Euthydemus
  • Ion
  • Charmides
  • Laches
  • Euthyphro

<Dialogues on moral virtue>

  • Meno
  • Protagoras
  • Gorgias

<Dialogues about love and friendship>

  • Symposium
  • Phaedrus
  • Lysis

<Read discussion about language last because it is a difficult dialogue >

  • Cratylus

It is a blessing to have Plato in English and in Logos digital format.  I can highlight and take notes using Logos - a much preferred way than to markup a book copy I have here. I welcome any suggestions regarding a method to read Plato. Big Smile

David

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 28 2013 5:07 PM

David Bailey:
It is a blessing to have Plato in English and in Logos digital format.  I can highlight and take notes using Logos - a much preferred way than to markup a book copy I have here. I welcome any suggestions regarding a method to read Plato. Big Smile

David, You did us all a great service posting this. I don't mark up my Great Books because they are in the Founder's binding. I prefer following Hutchins & Adler's order. Topical studies lend themselves better to memory than rote chronologies.

I know the Harvard Classics has a Reader's Guide called "15 Minutes a Day." It is not included in the Logos set. I downloaded the PDF from Archive.org but I prefer the Great Books suggestions.

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David Bailey | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 28 2013 5:15 PM

Super Tramp:

I prefer following Hutchins & Adler's order. Topical studies lend themselves better to memory than rote chronologies.

I know the Harvard Classics has a Reader's Guide called "15 Minutes a Day." It is not included in the Logos set. I downloaded the PDF from Archive.org but I prefer the Great Books suggestions.

ST,

Thanks for sharing. I would be interested in taking a look at the Reader's Guide "15 Minutes a Day".  If that is in the PDF, I'll search around the Archive.org.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 28 2013 5:22 PM

David Bailey:
I would be interested in taking a look at the Reader's Guide "15 Minutes a Day".  If that is in the PDF, I'll search around the Archive.org.

It is difficult to find because they do not list the titles by name or in numerical order. They have 52 PDF files all labeled "PDF." When you hover over each PDF a dialogue box will reveal a file number. These correspond to the volume numbers of the Harvard Classics. File # 000 is the Readers Guide. It is the smallest file, I think 4.9MB so look for that about two-thirds the way down the list.

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David Bailey | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 28 2013 5:55 PM

I took a look at Archive.org. Indeed, it is difficult to find this Reader's Guide.  I used my friend Google instead and found it in a few seconds, using "Harvard Classics 15 minutes a day reading guide"

Yes

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