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Cratylus is the name of a dialogue by Plato. Most modern scholars agree that it was written mostly during Plato's so-called middle period. In the dialogue, Socrates is asked by two men, Cratylus and... More > Hermogenes, 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.< Less
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Critias, one of Plato's late dialogues, contains the story of the mighty island kingdom Atlantis and its attempt to conquer Athens, which failed due to the ordered society of the Athenians. Critias... More > is the second of a projected trilogy of dialogues, preceded by Timaeus and followed by Hermocrates.< Less
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Crito is a dialogue by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. It is a conversation between Socrates and his wealthy friend Crito regarding justice, injustice, and the appropriate response to injustice.... More > Socrates thinks that injustice may not be answered with injustice, and refuses Crito's offer to finance his escape from prison. This dialogue contains an ancient statement of the social contract theory of government.< Less
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Euthydemus (or Euthydemos), written circa 384 BCE, is a dialogue by Plato which satirizes what Plato presents as the logical fallacies of the Sophists. In it, Socrates describes to his friend Crito a... More > visit he and various youths paid to two brothers, Euthydemus and Dionysodorus, both of whom were prominent Sophists from Chios and Thurii. The Euthydemus contrasts Socratic argumentation and education with the methods of Sophism, to the detriment of the latter. Throughout the dialogue, Euthydemus and Dionysodorus continually attempt to ensnare Socrates with what are presented as deceptive and meaningless arguments, primarily to demonstrate their professed philosophical superiority. As in many of the Socratic dialogues, the two Sophists against whom Socrates argues were indeed real people. Euthydemus was somewhat famous at the time the dialogue was written, and is mentioned several times by both Plato and Aristotle. Likewise, Dionysodorus is mentioned by Xenophon.< Less
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