Citation and Documentation
Quoting and Referring to Passages in Plato and Aristotle
Quoting or referring to passages of certain ancient Greek philosophers has special conventions that enable the reader to identify the passages the writer refers to, despite the fact that reader and writer may be using different editions or translations, and even if one is using the ancient Greek text and another a modern-language translation. Just below are the conventions regarding Plato and Aristotle [skip ahead].
How to quote or refer to passages in Plato
In many editions of Plato's dialogues you'll see numbers and letters in the side margins the text. For example, next to or just above this line in Plato's Euthyphro you will see the letter d, and the number in the side margin above that 'd' (NOT the page number) will be 10.
Then what are we to say about the holy, Euthyphro? According to your argument, is it not loved by all the gods?
When you quote or refer to this passage, identify it as Euthyphro 10d. 10d is called the Stephanus number of the line. In your Works Cited list, identify the translation of Plato that you used (see below).
At Apology 20d-23c, Socrates explains how he discovered that he possessed some wisdom that others did not; and he describes in what he thinks this unusual wisdom consists.
Whereas Cebes suggests that we recollect knowledge of the Equal Itself and other such "realities" by responding to questioning that is done in the "right manner" (Phaedo 73a-b), Socrates proposes to Simmias that recollection occurs when our sense perceptions "make us realize that all that we perceive through them is striving to reach that which is Equal" (75b).
Note that in the second example, the name of the dialogue only appears with the Stephanus number the first time. If you are referring to the same dialogue twice in the same paragraph, or if you are only discussing one dialogue in your paper, then you need mention the title of the dialogue before the number only once; after that you can use the number alone.
This way of quoting and referring to passages in Plato can be used with MLA, Chicago A, or Chicago B formats. (It would not be used with APA; but APA is not used in philosophy journals and books.) When using Stephanus numbers, you do not need to include page numbers as well. You can, of course, if you wish, include page numbers as in the examples of MLA and Chicago formats above. Both ways are acceptable in student papers.
In the Works Cited page for the paper that includes these two passages, you would put this in the form for Chicago B (of course you'd use a different format for this if you are using Chicago A, MLA, etc.): Plato. 1981. Five Dialogues. Trans. G.M.A. Grube. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co. Inc.
For more on the history and meaning of Stephanus numbers, see http://eawc.evansville.edu/essays/suzanne.htm#stephanus (Bernard Suzanne).
How to quote or refer to passages in Aristotle
In many editions of the works of Aristotle you'll see numbers and letters in the side margins the text. For example, next to or just above this statement in Aristotle's Metaphysics Book Γ, you will see the number 15, and in the side margin above that '15' (NOT the page number) you will see 1005b.
For a principle which one must have if he is to understand anything is not an hypothesis; and that which one must know if he is to know anything must be in his possession for every occasion
When you quote or refer to this passage, identify it as Metaphysics Γ 1005b15ff. ('ff.' stands for 'and following lines") or Metaphysics Γ 1005b15-17. 1005b15-17 is the Bekker number of this passage. If it is relevant to your argument to identify the chapter number as well, you can do that: Metaphysics Γ3, 1005b15-17. You will sometimes see just the Bekker number (1005b15-17) without any mention of the title of the work or the Book within that work; but unless you are writing about just one Book of one work, it is much more helpful to the reader in understanding your argument in its relation to the text if you include work titles and Book numbers. In your Works Cited list, identify the translation of Aristotle that you used.
This way of quoting and referring to passages in Aristotle can be used with MLA, Chicago A, or Chicago B formats. (It would not be used with APA; but APA is not used in philosophy journals and books.) When using Stephanus numbers, you do not need to include page numbers as well.
For more on Bekker numbers, see http://www.physicsdaily.com/physics/Bekker_numbers, or http://www.iep.utm.edu/a/aris-pol.htm#H2.