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In this outstanding introduction, Constance Meinwald covers all of Plato's philosophy and shows how he shaped the landscape of Western philosophy. Beginning with a helpful overview of what is known about Plato's life and times, she clearly explains and assesses Plato's fundamental arguments and ideas. These include the importance of Plato's view of what philosophy is and the distinctive way in which his most important arguments are presented in dialogues; his theories of ethics addressed through the fundamental and enduring questions happiness and virtue; his influential treatments of the soul and immortality; the lasting contributions he made to the study of metaphysics and the nature of knowledge through his theory of the Forms; and his enduring and controversial insights into political and social thought in the context of his theories of human nature. Throughout, Constance Meinwwald draws expertly on Plato's most important dialogues to present a thorough and lively picture of his philosophy. Essential reading for students of ancient philosophy and Classics, Platois an ideal introduction to arguably the greatest of all Western philosophers.