Plato is the foundational thinker of European speculative thought. He was the first Western writer to undertake a comprehensive and rigorous study of the fundamental categories of reality and value, and few philosophers have escaped his influence or rivaled the depth of his works, many of which have remarkable dramatic power and literary beauty. His writings range over ethics, politics, religion, art, the structure of the natural world, mathematics, the human mind, love, sex, and friendship. Richard Kraut explores the intellectual milieu that gave rise to Plato’s thinking and emphasizes the influence of Socrates, whose devotion to the examined life and death at the hands of Athenian democracy are memorialized in many of Plato’s writings. The full extent of his moral and political thought and its metaphysical underpinning are investigated.