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ISBN13: 9780199538935
ISBN10: 019953893x
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Publisher Comments:

The Phaedo is acknowledged to be one of Plato's masterpieces, showing him both as a philosopher and as a dramatist at the height of his powers. For its moving account of the execution of Socrates, the Phaedo ranks among the supreme literary achievements of antiquity. It is also a document crucial to the understanding of many ideas deeply ingrained in western culture, and provides one of the best introductions to Plato's thought. This new edition is eminently suitable for readers new to Plato, offering a readable translation which is accessible without the aid of a commentary and assumes no prior knowledge of the ancient Greek world or language.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Wendell Bowerman, August 9, 2012 (view all comments by Wendell Bowerman)
There are many translations of the Phaedo, and several of them are quite good, including this one by David Gallop. The dialogue is set in Athens, in the prison where Socrates is spending the last day of his life, discussing the immortality of the soul with several of his friends. The dramatic side is quite powerful, especially if you have already read Plato's Apology and Crito which take place respectively at Socrates' trial and while he is in prison, when a friend urges him to escape.

Some of the arguments for the immortality of the soul are complex and difficult. Most of the annotations in the recent translations attempt to clarify these arguments, with mediocre success. There are two separate books on the Phaedo which do a much better job; unfortunately they are very expensive to buy, but perhaps you have access to a college library where you can borrow them or at least read them in the library. These two are (1) Kenneth Dorter, Plato's Phaedo an Interpretation (Toronto, 1982) and (2)David Bostock, Plato's Phaedo, (Oxford, 1986). Dorter's book is a comprehensive commentary and explication of the Phaedo, paragraph by paragraph. Bostock's book is focused on the philosophical arguments, with critiques of their validity and weaknesses. While they are not exactly easy reading, they are well-written and quite lucid.
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Product Details

Oxford University Press
Gallop, David
Gallop, David
null, David
History & Surveys - Ancient & Classical
Ancient - General
Immortality (Philosophy)
Classical Studies | Ancient Philosophy
Philosophy : General
Edition Description:
Oxford World's Classics
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
5 x 7.5 x 0.4 in 0.244 lb

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Fiction and Poetry » Classics » General
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Greek » Texts
Humanities » Philosophy » General

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