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Series: Ancient Philosophies
Author(s): Andrew S. Mason  
ISBN: 1844651746
ISBN-13: 9781844651740
Publication Date: 31/03/2010
Pages: 256 (216 x 138mm)
Format: Paperback
Published Price: £14.99
Discount Price: £11.99
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Plato (c.428-347 BCE) stands at the beginning of many debates that have continued throughout the history of philosophy. His literary career spanned fifty years and the influence of his ideas and those of his followers pervaded philosophy throughout antiquity. Andrew Mason’s lucid and engaging introduction, draws on recent scholarship to offer a fresh general survey of Plato’s philosophy. Aware of the methodological challenges that confront any writer on Plato, Mason handles the issue of Plato’s intellectual development and relationship with Socrates with an assured grasp. Thematically structured, the book begins with Plato’s principal contribution to metaphysics, the “Theory of Forms”, which forms a necessary background to his thought in many areas. His theory of knowledge, which is intimately linked with the Forms is explored in detail along with Plato’s views of the soul, an important theme in itself and an entry point to discussion of his ethics, one of Plato’s major concerns. Finally, the book deals with two areas of Plato’s thought which have had an especially important historical impact, not confined to academic philosophy: his theory of God and nature, and his aesthetics. Throughout, Mason highlights the continuing themes in Plato’s work and how they develop from one dialogue to another.

"This book certainly delivers. The book is perfectly pitched to undergraduates new to Plato and graduate students who want to broaden their understanding. . . it is a model for the combination of scholarship, sensitive reading, and philosophical skill that introduces students to some of the skills required to read ancient philosophy. This is an introduction that makes you want to read Plato. If you are already familiar with him it will make you want to read Plato again and ask new questions generated by Mason's overview. Plato is an excellent introduction, which I would be delighted to recommend to students of both philosophy and classics." – Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"An excellent introduction to Plato’s thought, and it should be recommended as one of the first readings for both students of philosophy and those who wish to engage with Plato. . . The choice of topics is the most likely to give the best overall view of Plato’s thought and the treatment of each topic accomplishes what should be its primary purpose, turning readers towards Plato with a clear approach, an emphasis on the argument, a set of various perspectives and a willingness to face the problems and raise questions for further exploration. Mason at the beginning of the books states that nothing can replace a reading of Plato’s dialogues; he is right, but his book is a very good supplement." – Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"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. The result is to make Plato more challenging to new readers and to put more real philosophizing in front of them. 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 PappasGraduate Center, City University of New York

Andrew S. Mason lectures in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh and is a research fellow of the Archelogos Project.

1. Introduction
2. Plato’s Development and Plato’s Socrates
3. Plato’s Metaphysics: The “Theory of Forms” 
4. Knowledge
5. The Soul
6. Politics
7. Ethics 
8. God and Nature 
9. Aesthetics

Also available in Hardback (1844651738), priced 50.00

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