On the table below are links to my pages on the works of Plato.
|Seventh Letter||Eighth Letter|
Each of these pages has a number of useful features that introduce the corresponding Platonic text and may assist in its study:
Each dialogue link leads to an entry page linked to a further page of resources on that dialogue. Headings include: Settings, Character, Style, etc.; Relationships; Synopsis and Themes; Outline; Commentary, and Bibliography [Links for the entry pages for material on the letters lack the first of these links]. Scrolling down on the entry page will lead to a table of External Links.
The link called "Settings, Characters, Style, etc." leads to a table of data for the given dialogue. Here one can find the list of characters in the dialogue; the dialogue's setting and dramatic date (if known); information about the style of the dialogue, and other information. [The tables for every dialogue also all appear together on the "Dialogues" page.]
The "Relationships" link leads to suggestions regarding thematic connections between the given dialogue and other dialogues.
The "Synopsis and Themes" link leads to an extremely brief summary statement of the basic dramatic situation or plot of the dialogue and sometimes a list of major themes as well.
The "Outline" link leads to an 'outline' of the dialogue. (These outlines were made over the course of many years for many different purposes, and so they vary tremendously in level of detail. Sometimes they are truly 'outlines'; in other cases, they may be closer to a set of notes or a full summary).
The "Commentary" link leads to an introductory commentary for the given dialogue. These 'commentaries'(like the 'Outlines' above) were written over the course of many years, for various purposes and various audiences, and so they vary quite a bit in style, tone, and level of detail. Many of them may not have been recently revised to reflect my current ways of thinking about the dialogues; and many of my opinions about Plato have been, and continue to be, in flux. But the intention of these 'commentaries' is not to provide a full interpretation, but to suggest questions, problems, possibilities of interpretation, and to expose themes and sub-themes relevant to the dialogue in question. It is my hope that they will be more enticing than off-putting; but if they seem uninteresting or turgid, I recommend skipping them and using the Outline alone to get a better sense of the dialogue itself.
The "Bibliography" link leads to a selective bibliography for the given dialogue. I have compiled these bibliographies with the idea that there should be enough entries to enable one to make a good start on the secondary literature on a given dialogue, and there is no further principle of selection on which they are based; in particular, they do not reflect judgments about quality or an effort to be up-to-date, nor do they necessarily indicate works I have consulted in creating my 'commentaries'.
In the case of certain dialogues, there may be a hotlink on the opening page between the above links and the External Links. This extra link may lead to Study Questions (as in the cases of Apology, Gorgias, Phaedo, Republic, and Symposium, or to some other additional notes about the dialogue (as in the case of Parmenides and Statesman).
The External Links are links to other web resources related to Plato, for which I can take neither credit nor responsibility.
Readers new to Plato who would like some backgraound can peruse the Introductory Materials I have posted under the following links:
Interesting quotations about Plato may be found here. I plan to add to this list from time to time.
Pages of links to external resources pertaining to philosophy generally may be found on my pages devoted to various periods and subdivisions of philosophy, which come under the general title:
The Love of Wisdom
Readers of this website should also note the following DISCLAIMER.
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© 2014 William A. Welton
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