The Greek philosopher, Plato (c.427 BC - c.347 BC), published some of his works in the form of dialogues. This format is a natural extension of his preferred dialectical method, and from this format we get the term "the socratic method." Socrates, Plato's teacher, is the central figure in the dialogues, and he serves as inquisitor to those that would either seek knowledge or profess to teach it. The dialogues almost always begin with a subject or question to be examined. Socrates then asks his pupil for a definition of the subject. He then, by means of pointed questions, reveals the inadequacies of the argument. The process repeats, and often, at the end of the dialogue, there are no clear answers. What is most important, though, is the process. By means of dialectical methods, knowledge emerges.
The list below lists the common names of the dialogues, their approximate date writen, and a brief and almost certainly inadequate description of its topic. /msg me with suggestions, please and thank you.
- 399-387 BC. Socrates at trial, defending the philosophic life.
- 399-387 BC. What is temperance or wisdom?
- 386-367 BC. The significance of naming things.
- 360-347 BC. Fragmentary, incomplete discussion of the ideal society of Atlantis.
- 399-387 BC. What is our obligation to the state?
- 386-367 BC. Contrasts the teaching methods of the Sophists and Socrates — the eristic versus the dialectic.
- 399-387 BC. What is piety?
- 399-387 BC. Starts as a discourse on rhetoric, but then turns to a discussion of the value of a life spent pursuing morality and justice over one of worldly success.
- 399-387 BC. The nature of inspiration.
- 399-387 BC. Starts out by exploring the nature of courage but ends up trying to define virtue, being sine qua non to courage and everything else.
- 360-347 BC. Whereas The Republic outlines an ideal state, The Laws suggests real legislation, practical advice.
- 399-387 BC. The nature of friendship.
- 386-367 BC. Since the soul is immortal, the knowledge we acquire in the living world is not learned so much as it is remembered or recollected.
- 386-367 BC. Rhetoric and politics.
- 386-367 BC. Compares the sophistic and socratic epistimology in terms of the question "Can knowledge be taught?"
- 386-367 BC. The immortality of the soul.
- 386-367 BC. The nature of the soul.
- 360-347 BC. What is the good life?
- 399-387 BC. Discussion of ethics and knowledge between the famous sophist and Socrates.
- 386-367 BC. What is justice?
- 366-361 BC. What is a sophist?
- 366-361 BC. What is a statesman? Sophist and Statesman form two of a trilogy along with the unwritten or no longer extant Philosopher.
- 386-367 BC. What is the nature of love?
- 386-367 BC. What is knowledge?
- 360-347 BC. The creation of the world and natural science.
Thanks to m_turner. You know why.
* old notes from college