Alcibiades by Plato

hypatiasilver's review

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challenging funny informative reflective medium-paced


boazoosterom's review

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challenging inspiring reflective medium-paced


sookieskipper's review

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Socrates doesn't waste time in setting context for the eventual ping pong dialogue between him and Alcibiades I. Reading Plato's dialogue is like watching a huge ship getting decommissioned or assembled. The argument builds, branches out, builds some more and finally takes a shape that's promised in the premise. At the same time, notions that would otherwise weaken his argument are speculated, hypothesized and trashed.

To prove why Aclibiades needs Socrates, Socrates takes upon himself to narrate the importance of self-worth of a person, the context in which a person is evaluated and the virtues that are necessary to be successful in society.

"Mistakes in life and practice are likewise to be attributed to the ignorance which has conceit of knowledge."

Since the beginning of this conversation it's the first time Socrates address the innocence young men like Aclibiades possess. He is, in fact, attacking the young man's education and what Socrates believes, an unpreparedness to thrive in the politics of Athens.

Socrates makes an astute observation at one point. Its unfortunate that its not explored in detail.

"What, then, is justice but that better, of which I spoke, in going to war or not going to war with those against whom we ought or ought not, and when we ought or ought not go to war?"

There is a debate on authenticity of this dialogue. Without much exposure to Plato's other works, I cannot provide an opinion on that matter. I definitely enjoyed reading it.