The path I have loved though it abandons me

The
Phaedrus Kit

Earl
Jackson, Jr.


Web-top

tomrip5@aol.com

Another
Scene

Electronic Plato

The dialogues of Plato are well represented on the Internet,
made available by wonderful and generous institutions of study such as
The Perseus Project of Tufts
University, and The Internet Tech-Classics
Archive
of M. I. T. This arrangement of Plato’s dialogues also is a
guide to the use of both of these resources.

The Perseus Project

The Perseus project has made available the Loeb Classics
translation and the original Greek all of the dialogues traditionally ascribed
to Plato, many of which are now regarded as questionable (such the Hippias
Major) or rejected as fraudulent (such as Erastes, or The Lovers.
The texts are broken down into byte-size portions, and arranged according
to the conventional citation system for Plato’s works, the Stephanus
numbers
. Each text will be divided into numbers referring to the original
page numbers of the 16th-Century edition of Plato, and these numbered sections
are divided into five subsections, a-e.

The Internet Tech-Classics

The Internet Tech-Classics Archive of M.I.T. currently offers
441 texts of classical authors. It includes the Benjamin Jowett translations
of all the dialogues of Plato that are agreed to be authentic. There are
two forms these texts are offered: for online browsing/reading or for download.

How to Find the Texts

The URLs for the Perseus Project are rather long and involved.
It is best to go to the home page at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/
and click on the Texts and Translations button. This will take you to a
menu of all the Greek and Latin Texts archived.

But I have woven some shortcuts into the page you are
currently reading. On this page, I have hyperlinked the titles of each
dialogue to the beginning of the Perseus English translation. Whereever
below you find the word „Greek“ after the dialogue title, that is a hyperlink
to the beginning of the Greek text.

HINTThere is another sort of homespun [or
„Homepage-spun“] shortcut for those who are not afraid of tampering with
URLS. Let’s look at an sample url for the Perseus translation text:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/text?lookup=plat.+parm.+126a“

Rather daunting, isn’t it? You’ll get used to them. But the
easy part, oddly enough, is to determine the url for the Greek original
from the URL for the English translation. Simply add to any of the English
translation URLS, the following string:

&vers=Greek

This is placed immediately after the url, between the
last character of the previous url and the quotation mark [„] that encloses
any url. Therefore, the URL for the Greek original of the Parmenides is:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/text?lookup=plat.+parm.+126a&vers=Greek“

Note that upper/lower case distinctions are made here.

The Internet Tech-Classics URLs are extremely user friendly.
For the online version of any text the URL will be:

http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/{dialogue title
in lower case}.html

For example, the Cratylus is:

http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/cratylus.html

For the texts for download, the [{title}.html] is replaced
wtih [{title}1b.txt]. Thus, the download version of the Cratylus is accessed
by typing:

http://classic.mit.edu/Plato/cratylus1b.txt


Now the entire Platonic canon is literally at your finger
tips!


 


The
Dialogues

of

Plato

   
 
 
 
 

There is a rich and variagated tradition of scholarship
and scholarly debates concerning the „dates“ and order of composition of
Plato’s texts. And there is a traditionally held theory of that order of
composition, which I synopsize below. It is not without controversy, of
course. But for our purposes I think it serves as a good orientational
fiction if nothing else. My attitude towards its historical accuracy is
similar to Socrates’s attitude to the historical accuracy of the local
myths that Phaedrus mentions as the two wend their way to a shady bower
to pour over Lysia’s speech [
Phaedrus 229c-230a
] .


The Early
– or „Socratic“ Dialogues
  Apology

Charmides

Cratylus

Crito

Euthydemus

Euthyphro

Ion

Laches

Lysis

Menexenus

The dialogues categorized as „early“ or „socratic“
display a prominence of Socrates’s own methods and Socrates’s personality.
These are believed to show that Plato was still largely „dominated“ by
Socrates. Of the Socratic methods introduced here most important are: 

the elenchus, or „cross-examination,“ 

the aporia to which the elenchus
leads its interrogatee; 

the ongoing practice of developing conceptually precise
definitions 

     



    Hippias
Minor

Meno

Phaedo
Greek

Phaedrus

Greek

Protagoras
Greek

Republic
Greek

Symposium
Greek

The
Middle
 
  Dialogues
These are considered
Plato’s masterpieces – both in terms of philosophical sophistication and
literary/stylistic brilliance. 

    In terms of method or technique these dialogues feature:

  • The dialectic and diairesis
  • The distinction between the dialectic and mere rhetoric 
  • The sharp division between sophists and philosophers

    Among the most important Platonic concepts that emerge here are

  • The theory of Forms 
  • The participation of objects in Forms [Republic] 
  • Socrates’s erotic
    doctrines
    [Phaedrus;
    Symposium]



The Later
Dialogues 


These dialogues are traditionally
considered the final ones, as Plato’s „independence“ from Socrates is read
into the new and elaborate philosophical speculations in them, and in the
„fading“ of Socrates from center stage [in the Sophist, he defers to the
„Eleatic Stranger“ and in the Statesman to the Eleatic Stranger and „young
Socrates,“for example].
Critias
Greek

Laws
Greek

Parmenides
Greek

Philebus
Greek

Sophist
Greek

Statesman
Greek

Theaetetus
Greek

Timaeus
Greek

 



Questionable Authorship

These are the works whose attribution to Plato have seemed
or proven spurious. Among them, however, Epistle VII was probably written
by Plato and is very important. Opinion has recently turned in favor of
the authenticity of Alcibiades I but not II. The Erastes,
which is totally
bogus
, will be the medium for a meditation on love and oracles in the
Fall 1999 [A hypothetical pseudo-aquarium
for a certain pair of fake torpedo
fish
]. 

Alcibiades
I
(alc.+1) 

Alcibiades
II

Cleitophon
(cleit.) 

Epinomis
(epin.) 

Erastes

The Epistles

Hippias Major

Hipparchus

The
Letters
Greek

The
VIIth letter

Minos

Theages

Questionable  
 
Authorship
 
 

 

 

Timaeus
Greek

  

To The Phaedrus
Table of Contents
 
Another
Scene
Earl
Jackson, Jr.


Web-top 

tomrip5@aol.com