THE SOCRATIC DIALOGUES – LATE PERIOD VOLUME 1
Timaeus • Sophist • Critias • Statesman • Philebus
These five very different Socratic Dialogues date from Plato’s later period when he was revisiting his early thoughts and conclusions and showing a willingness for revision. In Timaeus (mainly a monologue read by David Timson in the title role) Plato considers cosmology in terms of the nature and structure of the universe, the ever-changing physical world and the unchanging eternal world. And he proposes a demiurge as a benevolent creator God. Though unfinished, Critias (read by Peter Kenny) is a fascinating document in which Plato tells story of the strong island empire of Atlantis and reports of a more ideal Athens in the past. In Sophist, Plato questions the nature of the sophist, and how he differs from a statesman or a philosopher. In Statesman, Plato questions his earlier projection as the philosopher king as the ideal ruler (The Republic) and considers the importance of other issues such as political awareness. In Philebus, Plato’s spotlight falls on hedonism, the life of pleasure – and the balance offered by wisdom and intelligence. Translation by Benjamin Jowett.