The enduring fascination of Plato's dialogues rests not only on the dazzling range of his arguments and opinions, but also on the extraordinary richness of his literary style. The great Greek philosopher captures the imagination and stimulates the curiosity of his readers through his expert use of the techniques devised by the rhetoricians and the poets of his time: Plato, the critic of art and poetry, shows himself a consummate artist. This book is not a study of Plato's philosophy, but a contribution to the literary interpretation of the dialogues, through analysis of their formal structure, characterization, language, and imagery. Among the dialogues considered in these interrelated essays are some of Plato's most admired and influential works, including Gorgias, the Symposium, the Republic and Phaedrus. Special attention is paid to the personality of Socrates, Plato's remarkable mentor, and to his interaction with the other characters in the dialogues. The author also discusses particular problems such as the sources for our knowledge of Socrates, the origins of the dialogue form, Plato's use of myth, and the "totalitarianism" of the Republic.This combination of sympathetic literary criticism and exact historical scholarship makes The Art of Plato a valuable contribution to the study of one of the greatest of all Greek writers.
Plato's dialogues are usually understood as simple examples of philosophy in action. In this book Professor Rowe treats them rather as literary-philosophical artefacts, shaped by Plato's desire to persuade his readers to exchange their view of life and the universe for a different view which, from their present perspective, they will barely begin to comprehend. What emerges is a radically new Plato: a Socratic throughout, who even in the late dialogues is still essentially the Plato (and the Socrates) of the Apology and the so-called 'Socratic' dialogues. This book aims to understand Plato both as a philosopher and as a writer, on the assumption that neither of these aspects of the dialogues can be understood without the other. The argument of the book is closely based in Plato's text, but should be accessible to any serious reader of Plato, whether professional philosopher, classicist, or student.
A comprehensive and wide-ranging analysis of the continuing importance of the thought of Socrates in Western philosophy demonstrates how the Socratic concern for the correct way to live one's life has influenced such modern philosopher's as Montaigne, Nietzsche, and Foucault. UP.
Plato was the first philosopher in the western tradition to reflect systematically (and often critically) on rhetoric. In this book, Tushar Irani presents a comprehensive and innovative reading of the Gorgias and the Phaedrus, the only two Platonic dialogues to focus on what an 'art of argument' should look like, treating each of the texts individually, yet ultimately demonstrating how each can best be understood in light of the other. For Plato, the way in which we approach argument typically reveals something about our deeper desires and motivations, particularly with respect to other people, and so the key to understanding his views on the proper practice of argument lies in his understanding of human psychology. According to this reading, rhetoric done well is simply the practice of philosophy, the pursuit of which has far-reaching implications for how we should relate to others and how we ought to live.
This collection, focusing on literary aspects of the Platonic dialogues, includes diverse essays by scholars from several different fields. Topics include friendship and desire in the Lysis, Socratic irony in Cratylus, and mystery imagery in Phaedrus.
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Mit seinem Werk Politeia ("Der Staat") wurde Platon zum Begründer einer neuen literarischen Gattung: der politisch-philosophischen Utopie. Schon im Altertum versuchten eine Reihe von Autoren ihm nachzueifern (Theopompos, Euhemeros, Iambulos, parodistisch auch Lukian), und nachdem Thomas Morus mit dem namengebenden Werk "Utopia" (1516) die Gattung gleichsam neu belebt hatte, entstand eine nicht mehr zu überblickende Flut utopischer Entwürfe. Doch nicht nur durch die hier entfaltete Staatslehre erwies sich die "Politeia" als grundlegendes und richtungsweisendes Werk: Platons Ausführungen zu solch verschiedenen philosophischen Gebieten wie der Theorie der Erziehung, der Theorie der Dichtung, der Ethik und Tugendlehre, der Seelenlehre haben die Diskussion bis in unsere Tage beeinflusst. Platon ist aber auch ein Sprachkünstler, der seine Werke als Dialog-"Dramen" meisterhaft gestaltete. Dabei weiß er sich souverän von dem Medium Schrift zu distanzieren, das drei Hauptmängel aufweist: Sie sagt immer dasselbe, kann auf Fragen nicht antworten; sie wendet sich unterschiedslos an alle, weiß nicht, zu wem sie reden und zu wem sie schweigen soll; und wird sie angegriffen, so kann sie sich nicht selbst zur Hilfe kommen. Dass der Kern der platonischen Ideenlehre nicht in dafür ungeeignete Köpfe "gepflanzt" werden kann, beweist das Erste Buch: Das aufgezwungene Gespräch über die Gerechtigkeit mit Polemarchos und dem Sophisten Thrasymachos endet in einer Aporie (so wie Platons Versuche, seine politische Theorie in die Praxis umzusetzen, an der mangelnden Eignung des jungen Herrschers von Syrakus, Dionysios II., scheitern mussten). Erst als Platon (von Buch II an) mit seinen Brüdern Glaukon und Adeimantos das Gesprächsthema wieder aufgreift, kann der Funken der Erkenntnis überspringen, und "Einsicht leuchtet auf".
The leading scholars represented in Politics, Philosophy, Writing examine six key Platonic dialogues and the most important of the epistles, moving from Plato's most public or political writings to his most philosophical. The collection is intended to demonstrate the unity of Plato's concerns, the literary quality of his writing, and the integral relation of form and content in his work. Taken together, these essays show the consistency of Plato's understanding of the political art, the art of writing, and the philosophical life.
Excerpt from The Art of Transition in Plato: A Dissertation The method followed in the present paper is one of compromise. Without attempting an exhaustive study of the process of Platonic dialectic, of Plato's methods of sentence connection, or his use of particles, it is the purpose of this discussion to present from the Platonic dialogues adequate material for the illustration of all these methods of approach to the study of transitions. The stylistic basis of arrangement has not been adopted, but changes in transitional method due to differences in style have been noted. The first chapter contains analyses of a number of representative dialogues. In these analyses only so much of the philosophic content of the argument is given as is necessary to make intelligible the outline of the logical and artistic framework of the dialogue. The chief emphasis is placed on the indication and description of the main points of transition in the argument. The two succeeding chapters are devoted to a more minute study of Plato's methods of transition. The second chapter deals with his usage of conventional transitional formulas and includes a brief, incomplete account of Platonic transitional particles. Under the heading 'plato's literary art of transition' more unusual and artistic means of connection have been discussed. Little or no attempt at formal classification has been made. Similar transitional devices are grouped together for purposes of description. The fre quent union of several transitional elements in one passage and the difficulty of fixing hard and fast boundaries between different types of transition make any rigid classification impossible as well as useless. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
The Art of Poetry
One of Plato's most controversial dialogues, "Hippias Minor" details Socrates' claims that there is no difference between a person who tells the truth and one who lies, and that the good man is the one who willingly makes mistakes and does wrong. But what if Socrates wasn't merely championing the act of lying--as the dialogue has been traditionally interpreted--but, rather, advocating the power of the creative act? In this new translation by Sarah Ruden, "Hippias Minor" is rendered anew as a provocative dialogue about how art is a form of wrongdoing. The accompanying introduction by artist Paul Chan and essay by classicist Richard Fletcher argue that an understanding of the dialogue makes life more ethical by paradoxically teaching one to be more cunning.
An authoritative new translation of Plato's The Republic by Christopher Rowe, with notes and an introduction. 'We set about founding the best city we could, because we could be confident that if it was good we would find justice in it' The Republic, Plato's masterwork, was first enjoyed 2,400 years ago and remains one of the most widely-read books in the world: as a foundational work of Western philosophy, and for the richness of its ideas and virtuosity of its writing. Presented as a dialogue between Plato's teacher Socrates and various interlocutors, it is an exhortation to philosophy, inviting its readers to reflect on the choices to be made if we are to live the best life available to us. This complex, dynamic work creates a picture of an ideal society governed not by the desire for money, power or fame, but by philosophy, wisdom and justice. Christopher Rowe's accurate and enjoyable new translation remains faithful to the many variations of the Republic's tone, style and pace. This edition also contains a chronology, further reading, an outline of the work's main arguments and an introduction discussing Plato's relationship with Socrates, and the Republic's style, ideas and historical context.
The eminent philosopher and classical scholar Alexander Nehamas presents here a collection of his most important essays on Plato and Socrates. The papers are unified in theme by the idea that Plato's central philosophical concern in metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics was to distinguish the authentic from the fake, the original from its imitations. In approach, the collection displays Nehamas's characteristic combination of analytical rigor and sensitivity to the literary form and dramatic effect of Plato's work. Together, the papers represent Nehamas's distinct and original contributions to scholarship on Plato and Socrates and serve as a comprehensive introduction to the thought of these two philosophers. In the book's opening section, Nehamas discusses Plato's representation of Socrates as a model of authentic human goodness, showing that Plato's Socrates is a more skeptical, troubling, and individualistic thinker than is usually supposed. The papers in the second section form a sustained defense of a new and important understanding of Plato's theory of the forms and the evolution of that theory in Plato's later writings. The third section examines Plato's contention that popular entertainment--by which he meant Greek epic and tragic poetry--misleads its audience into a debased life, an argument Nehamas relates to modern anxieties about television and other forms of popular culture. The collection also includes a discussion of Plato's use of the dialogue form in his representation of Socrates and carefully examines the combination of literary and philosophical elements in his work. Nehamas argues in the book that Plato's specific judgments of what is authentic are often flawed, but that his idea of authenticity as the mark of truth, beauty, and goodness is stronger than many modern scholars have assumed. In drawing together Nehamas's many influential ideas about Plato and Socrates, Virtues of Authenticity is a major contribution to the study of ancient Greek philosophy.
In this deeply considered meditation on aging in Western culture, Jan Baars argues that, in today’s world, living longer does not necessarily mean living better. He contends that there has been an overall loss of respect for aging, to the point that understanding and "dealing with" aging people has become a process focused on the decline of potential and the advance of disease rather than on the accumulation of wisdom and the creation of new skills. To make his case, Baars compares and contrasts the works of such modern-era thinkers as Foucault, Heidegger, and Husserl with the thought of Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, Cicero, and other Ancient and Stoic philosophers. He shows how people in the classical period—less able to control health hazards—had a far better sense of the provisional nature of living, which led to a philosophical and religious emphasis on cultivating the art of living and the idea of wisdom. This is not to say that modern society’s assessments of aging are insignificant, but they do need to balance an emphasis on the measuring of age with the concept of "living in time." Gerontologists, philosophers, and students will find Baars' discussion to be a powerful, perceptive conversation starter. -- W. Andrew Achenbaum, author of Older Americans, Vital Communities
This anthology is remarkable not only for the selections themselves, among which the Schelling and the Heidegger essays were translated especially for this volume, but also for the editors' general introduction and the introductory essays for each selection, which make this volume an invaluable aid to the study of the powerful, recurrent ideas concerning art, beauty, critical method, and the nature of representation. Because this collection makes clear the ways in which the philosophy of art relates to and is part of general philosophical positions, it will be an essential sourcebook to students of philosophy, art history, and literary criticism.
This book critically examines Leo Strauss’s claim that the philosophers of antiquity, especially Plato, wrote esoterically, hiding the highest truths “exclusively between the lines.” Reading Strauss’s discourse through Lacanian psychoanalysis, his theory of esoteric writing can be understood as a pathologically perverse response to fear.
For all men are persuaded by considerations of where their interest lies... Aristotle's Art of Rhetoric is the earliest systematic treatment of the subject, and it remains among the most incisive works on rhetoric that we possess. In it, we are asked: What is a good speech? What do popular audiences find persuasive? How does one compose a persuasive speech? Aristotle considers these questions in the context of the ancient Greek democratic city-state, in which large audiences of ordinary citizens listened to speeches pro and con before casting the votes that made the laws, decided the policies, and settled the cases in court. Persuasion by means of the spoken word was the vehicle for conducting politics and administering the law. After stating the basic principles of persuasive speech, Aristotle places rhetoric in relation to allied fields such as politics, ethics, psychology, and logic, and he demonstrates how to construct a persuasive case for any kind of plea on any subject of communal concern. Aristotle views persuasion flexibly, examining how speakers should devise arguments, evoke emotions, and demonstrate their own credibility. The treatise provides ample evidence of Aristotle's unique and brilliant manner of thinking, and has had a profound influence on later attempts to understand what makes speech persuasive. The new translation of the text is accompanied by an introduction discussing the political, philosophical, and rhetorical background to Aristotle's treatise, as well as the composition and transmission of the original text and an account of Aristotle's life.
The Oxford Handbooks series is a major new initiative in academic publishing. Each volume offers an authoritative and state-of-the-art survey of current thinking and research in a particular area. Specially commissioned essays from leading international figures in the discipline give critical examinations of the progress and direction of debates. Oxford Handbooks provide scholars and graduate students with compelling new perspectives upon a wide range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences. Plato is the best known, and continues to be the most widely studied, of all the ancient Greek philosophers. The twenty-one newly commissioned articles in the Oxford Handbook of Plato provide in-depth and up-to-date discussions of a variety of topics and dialogues. The result is a useful state-of-the-art reference to the man many consider the most important philosophical thinker in history. Each article is an original contribution from a leading scholar, and they all serve several functions at once: they survey the lay of the land; express and develop the authors' own views; and situate those views within a range of alternatives. This Handbook contains chapters on metaphysics, epistemology, love, language, ethics, politics, art and education. Individual chapters are are devoted to each of the following dialogues: the Republic, Parmenides, Theaetetus, Sophist, Timaeus, and Philebus. There are also chapters on Plato and the dialogue form; on Plato in his time and place; on the history of the Platonic corpus; on Aristotle's criticism of Plato, and on Plato and Platonism.

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