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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Plato (429–347 B.C.)

Plato (plā’tō). The renowned Greek philosopher; born at Athens, in 429 B.C.; died there, 347 B.C. His writings seem to have come down to us complete. They consist of 44 separate works in 64 books, and are all written in dialogue form. These dialogues are classed in three series, marking three periods in the philosopher’s life. First, those written during the life of Socrates or during the year or two next following his death; in these Plato is thoroughly under the Socratic influence, and the discussion is ever on conduct, the foundations of morality. The dialogues of this period are: the ‘Apology,’ ‘Lysis,’ ‘Charmides,’ ‘Laches,’ ‘Protagoras,’ ‘Meno,’ ‘Gorgias,’ ‘Io,’ ‘Euthyphro,’ ‘Crito,’ etc. In the second period the object of research is the objective ground of cognition: to this belong ‘Theætetus,’ ‘The Sophist,’ ‘The Politician,’ ‘Parmenides.’ The dialogues of the third period deal with the problem of reducing to philosophical unity the data of the several sciences,—physics, ethics, politics, etc.: to this class belong ‘Phædrus,’ ‘Symposium,’ ‘Phædo,’ ‘Philebus,’ ‘The Republic,’ ‘Timæus,’ ‘The Laws.’ (See Critical and Biographical Introduction).