Virtues of Authenticity, Essays on Plato and Socrates

Philosophical Inquiry 32 (1-2):127-130 (2010)
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
Keywords Plato   Socrates
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 9780691001784     0691001774 (hbk.)
DOI 10.5840/philinquiry2010321/220
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,631
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Laurance J. Splitter (2009). Authenticity and Constructivism in Education. Studies in Philosophy and Education 28 (2):135-151.
Tom Culham (2015). Reuniting Virtue and Knowledge. Journal of Philosophy of Education 49 (2):294-310.
Charles Guignon (2008). Authenticity. Philosophy Compass 3 (2):277–290.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Catherine Osborne (2006). Socrates in the Platonic Dialogues. Philosophical Investigations 29 (1):1–21.
Terence Irwin (1995). Plato's Ethics. Oxford University Press.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

21 ( #196,341 of 1,938,745 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #458,338 of 1,938,745 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.