© 2018


Images, Aims, and Practices of Education


  • Introduces readers to Plato’s multifaceted contributions to educational theory and practice

  • Explores his dialogues and his legacy

  • Describes and explains some of Plato's key educational images

  • Provides an overview of the diverse ways that the “Socratic method” has come to be practiced in schools


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)

Also part of the SpringerBriefs on Key Thinkers in Education book sub series (BRIEFSKEY)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Avi I. Mintz
    Pages 1-4
  3. Avi I. Mintz
    Pages 25-39
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 63-67

About this book


This book opens by providing the historical context of Plato’s engagement with education, including an overview of Plato’s life as student and educator. The author organizes his discussion of education in the Platonic Corpus around Plato’s images, both the familiar – the cave, the gadfly, the torpedo fish, and the midwife – and the less familiar – the intellectual aviary, the wax tablet, and the kindled fire. These educational images reveal that, for Plato, philosophizing is inextricably linked to learning; that is, philosophy is fundamentally an educational endeavor. 

The book concludes by exploring Plato’s legacy in education, discussing the use of the “Socratic method” in schools and the Academy’s foundational place in the history of higher education. 

The characters in Plato’s dialogues often debate – sometimes with great passion – the purpose of education and the nature of learning. The claims about education in the Platonic corpus are so provocative, nuanced, insightful, and controversial that educational philosophers have reckoned with them for millennia. 



educational philosophy Socratic method common education higher education educational questions pedagogical writing Law Republica educational dialogues dramatic dialogues the Academy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationThe University of TulsaTulsaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Plato
  • Book Subtitle Images, Aims, and Practices of Education
  • Authors Avi I. Mintz
  • Series Title SpringerBriefs in Education
  • Series Abbreviated Title SpringerBriefs in Education
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-75897-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-75898-5
  • Series ISSN 2211-1921
  • Series E-ISSN 2211-193X
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 67
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Educational Philosophy
    Philosophy of Education
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Avi Mintz’s book Plato: Images, Aims, and Practices of Education succeeds in providing something new on Plato and a valuable resource for both novice and experienced Plato scholars. … We are indebted to Mintz for reminding us of Plato’s unrelenting interest in education and his continuing importance to educational theory and practice.” (Timothy L. Simpson, Educational Theory, Vol. 70 (2), 2020)

“By examining Plato’s background, ideas, and legacy, Mintz offers a clear, well-researched, and informative introduction to many of Plato’s key educational insights. In doing so he makes a compelling case that education did in fact occupy a central and important role in Plato’s philosophical thought.” (David Diener, Philosophical Inquiry in Education, Vol. 27 (1), 2020)