Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Plato—a bleg

One of my goals has been to read Plato. And understand, at least partially, what I’m reading. If nothing else, it should prove entertaining (even if only in a painful manner) for others who took philosophy courses. I thought I would go in the order of John M. Cooper’s compilation (shown above—a gift from my wife last year) and read a dialogue every month or two. Which leads me to this bleg on Plato…

I found a few online resources for approaching Plato, including one with that very name (“Approaching Plato”). For those more acquainted or experienced is there anything you found helpful in reading and understanding Plato? Are there translators to avoid? Am I overthinking this?

4 comments:

Steven Riddle said...

Dear Dwight,

I wish I knew enough to help you. However, I can say that my twelve year old son has started reading the dialogues and I'm amazed at what he is able to get from them just on his own. I'll be interested in your reflections.

shalom,

Steven

Dwight said...

Thanks Steven. I'm not worried about "getting" everything that is in the dialogues, although I will probably need some outside help on a few of the weightier ones. We'll see how it goes. I've put this off for too long...

Gil said...

Hmm. I think we used the Bollingen when I was at St. John's College as a grad student. The Allan Bloom version of the Republic, I recall, had a ton of supporting notes. I really dug Jacob Klein's Commentary on the Meno, too.

(The undergrads did some translation work of their own, but my Greek was only good enough for some lines of the Meno in the summer of '92.)

Keep up the great work! (And if you decide to do an essay-by-essay run through Montaigne, I can offer some help through my Monday Morning Montaigne series.)

Dwight said...

Thanks Gil...much appreciated.

And one of these days I'll get to Montaigne! (more than just "Of Cannibals") Nice to know where to go for help.