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The Works of Plato: Four Volumes Complete in One

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6 review for The Works of Plato: Four Volumes Complete in One

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bob Nichols

    This review is of Jowett’s book length (Volume I) summary of Plato’s life, writing and philosophy and his 302-page introduction to Plato. Jowett (1817-1893), a theologian, equates Plato’s Good with the Christian God (“The Idea of Good is God”). The former is abstract; the latter is not. For Jowett, there is no distinction, as argued by some (e.g., Popper), between Socrates and Plato. Socrates’ conceptual philosophy “had given him a glance at another world," Jowett writes. This was the “higher, su This review is of Jowett’s book length (Volume I) summary of Plato’s life, writing and philosophy and his 302-page introduction to Plato. Jowett (1817-1893), a theologian, equates Plato’s Good with the Christian God (“The Idea of Good is God”). The former is abstract; the latter is not. For Jowett, there is no distinction, as argued by some (e.g., Popper), between Socrates and Plato. Socrates’ conceptual philosophy “had given him a glance at another world," Jowett writes. This was the “higher, super-sensuous world” of Plato’s doctrine of Forms. Plato completes Socrates and extends his thoughts. For Jowett, religion, philosophy and science are the same thing. Jowett calls these “the Socratic Science.” This is the science of dialectics, or the “pure science of ideas” (and “myth fills in the scientific gaps”). Each of the Dialogues (yes, capitalized) is to be read as part of a whole. Plato articulated a comprehensive system and each part is “explicable only in its relation to others.” Plato was not into the material world of particulars and there’s no explanation of the phenomenal world other than its origins in the eternal world of Forms and its World Soul. The polity was not to be of this world but to mirror “the divine government of the universe.” It is the kingdom of the Good on Earth. Its function is not government per se, but to save all of humankind. Happiness is the other world. This makes a life of pain in this world and voluntary death possible. This world is God’s will. Jowett anchors Plato in the clouds. The world of Perfection and eternal forms is then applied to this world. The alternative approach is to start from the bottom - our lives as evolutionary-beings in a care-less planet. We are beings propelled by need and fear (broadly construed). We need to survive and to survive forever, and we fear an ever-so certain death. Plato’s talent was to formulate a compelling myth that, for some or many, may have cloaked evolutionary motivation.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marc

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  4. 5 out of 5

    Angel Vivero

  5. 4 out of 5

    Edc

  6. 5 out of 5

    Scott

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