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This imaginary questioner clearly has no real idea what Socrates actually does. Socrates proceeds to enlighten him: What I do, as I move around among you, is just this: I try to persuade you, whether younger or older, to give less priority, and devote less zeal, to the care of your bodies or of your money than to the care of your soul and trying to make it as good as it can be. ’5 The form that this ‘persuasion’ takes is well illustrated by the Euthyphro, in which Socrates discusses the nature of ‘piety’, the very thing that his prosecutors at his trial are accusing him of lacking.
M. Nicoll, D. B. Robinson, J. C. G. Strachan, Platonis opera, vol. I (Oxford (Oxford Classical Texts), 1995). ) A Complete English Translation of Plato John M. ), Plato: Complete Works (Indianapolis/Cambridge, MA, 1997). ), New Perspectives on Plato, Modern and Ancient (Cambridge, MA, 2002). Ruby Blondell, The Play of Character in Plato’s Dialogues (Cambridge, 2002). ), Plato I and II (Oxford, 1999). ) Terence Irwin, Plato’s Ethics (Oxford, 1995). ) Charles H. Kahn, Plato and the Socratic Dialogue: The Philosophical Use of a Literary Form (Cambridge, 1996).
In the mid-380s, in Athens, he founded the Academy, the first permanent institution devoted to philosophical research and teaching. Plato wrote over twenty philosophical dialogues, appearing in none himself (most of them have Socrates as chief speaker). His activity as a writer seems to have lasted over half a century; few authors in any language could claim to rival his peculiar combination of brilliant artistry and intellectual power. CHRISTOPHER ROWE was until 2009 Professor of Greek in Durham University, where he moved in 1995 from the H.