Are there any listings of Plato's dialogues in internal chronological order?

4

1

Traditionally, the dialogues of Plato have been listed in the order in which Plato is thought to have composed them, because it's believed that Plato presented a more accurate picture of Socrates' words and ideas right after his master had died, compared to taking more literary license years after the fact.

However, what if you wanted to read the dialogues as a narration of what Socrates said and did, reading dialogues that took place earlier in Socrates' life before dialogues that took place later on? Has anyone made such a listing of the dialogues? I imagine it shouldn't be too hard, since a lot of the dialogues reference events like Socrates' upcomig trial, as well as referencing other dialogues; for instance, I think that Timaeus and Critias take place the day after the Republic, while the Sophist and the Statesman take place the day after Thaetetus. I expect the list to start with Parmenides, when Socrates was young, and end with Phaedo, which has the death of Socrates.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You in Advance.

Keshav Srinivasan

Posted 2013-08-16T04:13:05.350

Reputation: 953

Answers

4

From what I understand, there is actually a lot of disagreement about the chronology of the dialogues. After a bit of searching, I did come up with this link that lists some the dialogues sorted chronologically. Hope it helps.

Plato's Dialogues

EDIT

The above link lists them, as Keshav Srinivasan pointed out, in order of writing. The below is one person's listing of the dramatic order, or the order in which they occurred.

  • LAWS (460)
  • EPINOMIS
  • PARMENIDES (450)
  • PROTAGORAS
  • ALCIBIADES I and II
  • CHARMIDES
  • LACHES
  • HIPPIAS MAJOR and MINOR
  • SYMPOSIUM (416)
  • PHAEDRUS
  • ION
  • CLITOPHON
  • REPUBLIC (411)
  • PHILEBUS
  • TIMAEUS-CRITIAS
  • THEAGES
  • EUTHYDEMUS
  • LYSIS
  • GORGIAS
  • MENO
  • THEATETUS
  • EUTYPHRO
  • CRATYLUS
  • SOPHIST
  • STATESMAN
  • APOLOGY
  • CRITO
  • PHAEDO
  • MENEXENUS

This list is listed in PLATO’S PHILOSOPHERS by Catherine Zuckert.

The numbers signify the date they were written, for a reference.

Source: http://www.solopassion.com/node/7198

Thespian

Posted 2013-08-16T04:13:05.350

Reputation: 64

2Note that the early dialogues are in alphabetical order – jeroenk – 2013-08-16T15:05:04.373

This is chronological in the sense of the order in which Plato is thought to have written them. But that's not what I want. I want it to be chronological in the sense of when in Socrates' life the dialogues took place. – Keshav Srinivasan – 2013-08-16T15:13:20.533

I added the word "internal" to my title to clarify. – Keshav Srinivasan – 2013-08-16T15:18:39.107

I edited my answer. Hope this is what you're looking for. – Thespian – 2013-08-16T16:28:18.537

@Thespian Thanks, that's exactly the sort of list I'm looking for. But Zuckert makes a lot of strange choices. First of all, there are dialogues listed that don't feature Socrates and are considered not to be authentic works of Plato, like Epinomis. And she places Menexenus after Phaedo, even though Socrates dies in Phaedo! he puts Philebus between Republic and Timaeus, even though Timaeus and Critias take place the day after the Republic, and Philebus doesn't even mention the Republic, and it's supposed to take place after a conversation between Socrates and Philebus. – Keshav Srinivasan – 2013-08-17T01:37:10.837

She puts Euthyphro between Thaetetus and Sophist, even though Socrates is on his way to the trial in Euthyphro, so it should be right before the Apology, whereas Sophist and Statesman are supposed to take place the day after Thaetetus. – Keshav Srinivasan – 2013-08-17T01:45:20.397