Author: Plato

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Republic is a Socratic dialogue, written by Plato around 375 B.C., on justice, order and the character of the just city-state and the just man. It is Plato’s best known work and has proven to be one of the world’s most influential works of philosophy and political theory, both intellectually and historically.

In the dialogue, Socrates talks with several Athenians and foreigners about the meaning of justice and whether the just man is happier than the unjust. They consider the nature of existing regimes and then propose a series of different, hypothetical cities in comparison, culminating in Kallipolis, a city-state ruled by a philosopher-king. They also discuss the theory of forms, the immortality of the soul, and the role of the philosopher and poetry in society.


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Laches is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato. The participants in the discourse present opposing definitions of the concept of courage.

Lysimachus, son of Aristides, and Melesias, son of Thucydides (not the historian Thucydides), ask Laches and Nicias for advice on whether or not to have their sons train to fight in armor. After each gives his opinion, Nicias in favor and Laches against, they ask Socrates for advice.

Socrates wonders what the initial purpose of the training they want to instill in their sons is. Once they determine that the purpose is to instill virtue, and more specifically courage, Socrates discusses with Laches and Nicias what exactly courage is. The bulk of the dialogue consists of the three men (Laches, Nicias, and Socrates) debating various definitions of courage.



Critias, one of Plato’s last dialogues, tells the story of the powerful kingdom of the island Atlantis and its attempt to conquer Athens, which failed due to the orderly society of the Athenians.

Critias is the second of a projected trilogy of dialogues, preceded by Timaeus and followed by Hermocrates. The latter was possibly never written and Critias was left incomplete. Because of their resemblance (e.g., in terms of the persons who appear), modern classicists occasionally combine both Timaeus and Critias as Timaeus-Critias.



Cratylus is the name of a dialogue by Plato. Most modern scholars agree that it was written mainly during Plato’s so-called middle period. In the dialogue, two men, Cratylus and Hermogenes, ask Socrates to tell them whether names are «conventional» or «natural», that is, whether language is a system of arbitrary signs or whether words have an intrinsic relation to the things they signify.

The individual Cratylus was the first intellectual influence on Plato. Aristotle claims that Cratylus influenced Plato by introducing him to the teachings of Heraclitus.



It is a Socratic dialogue written in the 4th century B.C. that appears to be one of Plato’s last writings and is believed to have been written at the same time as the Timaeus. In this dialogue, Plato again uses Socrates as the main character and speaker and, in addition to him, the other interlocutors are Philebus and Protarchus.

Philebus contains some of Plato’s most sophisticated discussions of moral psychology. The central question of the dialogue concerns the relative value of pleasure and knowledge.

For most of it Philebus refuses to argue and remains silent, leaving it to Protagoras to defend hedonism against the attacks of the intellectualism advocated by Socrates. The final conclusion is that the good of life is the proportion with which these components are mixed.



Timaeus is one of Plato’s dialogues, mainly in the form of a long monologue delivered by the title character, Timaeus of Locri, written in 360 BC. The work raises speculations on the nature of the physical world and the human being and is followed by the dialogue Critias.

Socrates, Timaeus, Hermocrates and Critias participate in the dialogue. Some scholars believe that it is not the Critias of the Thirty Tyrants who appears in this dialogue, but his grandfather, who is also called Critias. It has been suggested from some traditions (Diogenes Laertius VIII BC) from Hermippus (3rd century BC) and Timon (320-230 BC) that Timaeus was influenced by a book on Pythagoras, written by Philolaus, although this claim is generally considered false.