Plato explores the thought of a man who, in a literary career of fifty years, generated ideas that have pervaded history from antiquity to today. After laying out the basics of Plato’s intellectual development and considering his complex relationship with Socrates, Andrew Mason offers a thematic approach to help readers navigate through an often challenging body of work. Throughout, this concise volume traces the development of continuing themes in Plato’s dialogues and considers the relevance of these themes for modern thought. Drawing on recent scholarship, this engaging introduction offers the ideal, up-to-date overview of a figure who remains essential reading in western history and philosophy.
Andrew Mason lectures in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh and is a research fellow of the Archelogos Project.
“Better than most introductions in its coverage of the later dialogues, it highlights distinctions often missed by beginning students, and it offers a clear discussion comparing Plato’s demiurge with traditional theism’s God.”—Choice
“A very good introduction to the thought of Plato, which neither presupposes any prior knowledge on the reader's part nor falls back on the easy generalizations that characterize so many introductory texts. Throughout, Mason's clear, unhurried, and unheated style makes thinking about Plato seem to be something any thoughtful person would want to do. A pleasure to read.”—Nickolas Pappas, Graduate Center, City University of New York