Plato

Edited by Hugh Benson (University of Oklahoma)
Assistant editor: Mark Hallap (University of Toronto, St. George Campus)
About this topic
Summary Plato (ca. 427-347 B.C.E.) was an Athenian philosopher who is widely recognized among the most important philosophers of the Western world.  Plato can be plausibly credited with the invention of philosophy as we understand it today – the rational, rigorous, and systematic study of fundamental questions concerning ethics, politics, psychology, theology, epistemology, and metaphysics.  He wrote primarily in dialogue form.  Among his most influential views are a commitment to the distinction between changeless, eternal forms and changeable, observable ordinary objects, the immortality of the soul, the distinction between knowledge and true belief and the view that knowledge is in some way recollection, that philosophers should be rulers and rulers philosophers, and that justice is in some way welcomed for its own sake.  He was a follower of Socrates, significantly influenced Aristotle, the Stoics, the Academic skeptics, Plotinus, among others, and founded the Academy, perhaps the first institution of higher learning in the west.
Key works Among the most well-known of Plato’s works (26 generally acknowledged dialogues and 13 more doubtful letters) are the Apology, Crito, Euthyphro, Protagoras, Gorgias, Meno, Phaedo, Republic, Symposium, Theaetetus, and Timaeus.  The standard English translations of the complete works can be found in Cooper 1997.
Introductions A good place to start studying Plato in general is the entry in Stanford Encyclopedia, Kraut 2008, Hare 1982, and Annas 2003.  Important collections of essays include Vlastos 1973, Kraut 1992, Fine 1999, Fine 1999, Fine 2008, and Benson 2006.
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Subcategories
Plato, Misc (840)
History/traditions: Plato

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  1. Platonism: Proceedings of the 43rd International Wittgenstein Symposium.Herbert Hrachovec & Jakub Mácha (eds.) - 2024 - Berlin: De Gruyter.
    The clean separation between manifold phenomena and a systematic order that prevails in them is a basic feature of the rational-scientific orientation system. The first authoritative formulation of this premise is found in Plato. His discussion of constitutive forms of world events has initiated a broad development in the history of philosophy, which is also effective today in the preference for reason-guided analyses of often confusing circumstances. The authors of this volume address the lasting relevance of this idea within two (...)
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  2. Plato's Significance for Moral Education.Mason Marshall - 2023 - In Douglas W. Yackek (ed.), Moral Education in the 21st Century. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 9-24.
    In this essay, I offer some of the reasons to think that Plato has a substantial contribution to make to contemporary thinking about moral education. To allow a sense of how wide the range of reasons is, I start by listing ten miscellaneous reasons that one can compellingly offer and some of which scholars *have* offered. Then I present my preferred reason, which involves a way of approaching Plato that is new and unorthodox. When you approach Plato this way, you (...)
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  3. Crossing the Stream, Leaving the Cave: Buddhist-Platonist Philosophical Inquiries.Amber D. Carpenter & Pierre-Julien Harter (eds.) - 2024 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Crossing the Stream, Leaving the Cave brings philosophers from two of the world's great philosophical traditions--Platonic and Indian Buddhist--into joint inquiry on topics in metaphysics, epistemology, mind, language, and ethics. An international team of scholars address selected questions of mutual concern to Buddhist and Platonist: How can knowledge of reality transform us? Will such transformation leave us speechless, or disinterested in the world around us? What is cause? What is self-knowledge? And how can dreams shed light on waking cognition? What (...)
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  4. Martin Heidegger as Interrogator: The Final Paradigm.Daniel Fidel Ferrer - 2023 - Verden: Kuhn von Verden Verlag..
    Martin Heidegger as Interrogator: The Final Paradigm By Daniel Fidel Ferrer. Copyright©2024 Daniel Fidel Ferrer. All rights reserved. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND. Imprint 1.0. 2024. All Rights are reserved. Intended copies of this work can be used for research and teaching. No change in the content and must include my full name, Daniel Fidel Ferrer. Enjoying reading and disagreeing. Publisher: Kuhn von Verden Verlag. Language: English and German. Includes bibliographical references and an index. Pages 1-316. Index total pages is 524. Ontology. (...)
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  5. Listening to Reason in Plato and Aristotle, by Dominic Scott. [REVIEW]Carlo DaVia - 2024 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis:1-7.
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  6. The influence of Plato’s "Phaedrus" on Aristotle's "Rhetoric".N. Zaks - 2020 - In Sylvain Delcomminette, Pieter D' Hoine & Marc-Antoine Gavray (eds.), The Reception of Plato’s Phaedrus from Antiquity to the Renaissance. De Gruyter. pp. 9-23.
    I argue that, although Aristotle himself does not say it in so many words, the Phaedrus has a deep influence on the three books of Aristotle’s Rhetoric. I also show that this influence is not only negative, as some scholars believe, but that Aristotle draws and expands on some of the results and propositions of the Phaedrus. After demonstrating how influential the Phaedrus is for the Rhetoric, I return in my conclusion to the difference between the two works.
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  7. Of Rule and Office: Plato's Ideas of the Political. By MelissaLane. Princeton; Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2023. Pp. xi, 461. £42.00. [REVIEW]Patrick Riordan - 2024 - Heythrop Journal 65 (3):333-334.
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  8. On platonic humor and ethos.Natanael Pacheco & Pablo Vera Vega - 2018 - In Katarzyna Kozak & Edward Colerick (eds.), Humour and meaning: selected aspects of humour in culture. Siedlce: Scientific Publishing House of Siedlce University of Natural Science and Humanities. pp. 69-77.
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  9. The Disturbing Locus Amoenus in Plato’s Phaedrus.Marko Vitas - 2024 - Hermes 152 (2):131-143.
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  10. Socratic Contempt for Wealth in Plato's Republic.Mary Townsend - 2024 - Polis, the Journal for Greek and Roman Political Thought 41:304-326.
    In the Republic, Plato’s Socrates argues that the wealthy feel contempt for the poor, and the poor feel hatred for the rich. But why is Socrates, leading a life of scandalous poverty without taking wages for philosophical work, an exception to this rule? Instead of hatred, envy, or no emotion at all, Socrates consistently treats wealth and the wealthy with ridicule and kataphronēsis – active looking-down or contempt – while meditating on the temptation of the poor to appropriate the excess (...)
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  11. Divine Madness in Plato’s Phaedrus.Matthew Shelton - 2024 - Apeiron 57 (2):245-264.
    Critics often suggest that Socrates’ portrait of the philosopher’s inspired madness in his second speech in Plato’s Phaedrus is incompatible with the other types of divine madness outlined in the same speech, namely poetic, prophetic, and purificatory madness. This incompatibility is frequently taken to show that Socrates’ characterisation of philosophers as mad is disingenuous or misleading in some way. While philosophical madness and the other types of divine madness are distinguished by the non-philosophical crowd’s different interpretations of them, I aim (...)
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  12. Demotic Virtues in Plato’s Laws.Mariana Beatriz Noé - 2024 - Apeiron 57 (2):139-163.
    I argue that, in Plato’s Laws, demotic virtues (δημόσιαι ἀρεταί, 968a2) are the virtues that non-divine beings can attain. I consider two related questions: what demotic virtues are and how they relate to divine virtue. According to my interpretation, demotic virtues are an attainable – but unreliable – type of virtue that non-divine beings can improve through knowledge. These virtues are not perfect; only divine beings possess perfect virtue. However, this does not mean that perfect virtue plays no part in (...)
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  13. A Homeric Lesson in Plato's Sophist.Evan Rodriguez - 2023 - Classical Quarterly 73 (2):593-601.
    Plato's closing reference to the Iliad in the Sophist has been largely overlooked in contemporary scholarship. The reference, a quotation from the confrontation between Glaucus and Diomedes in Book 6, forms part of a broader frame to the dialogue. The frame, with its recurring themes of identification and misidentification, helps us make better sense of the dialogue's final description of the sophist and its central concerns about the relationship between philosophy and sophistry. It also provides a revealing case study of (...)
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  14. Plato on Correcting Philosophical Corruption.Marta Heckel - 2023 - Classical Quarterly 73 (2):579-592.
    Plato's Republic VII suggests that if we ask someone to philosophize when they are too young, they can become corrupted (537e–539d). Republic VII also suggests that to avoid this corruption, we must not expose youth to argument (539a–b). This is not a reasonable option outside of Kallipolis, so a question arises: does Plato describe how to correct corruption if we do not manage to prevent it? This paper shows that a parallel between this passage from Republic VII and a passage (...)
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  15. What We Do when We Talk to Each Other: Conversation and Virtue in Plato's Dialogues.Branislav Kotoc - 2022 - Dissertation, King's College London
    My thesis focuses on the connection between conversation and virtue in Plato’s dialogues. It is often argued that conversation is an instrumental good - that it is conducted in order to obtain knowledge, and more precisely, knowledge of virtue. And once one obtains this knowledge, one can go about one’s life and act virtuously. I am proposing that conversation is a final good. My starting point is the analysis of the Apology, and by taking seriously Socrates’ claim at 38a that (...)
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  16. Numbers and Numeracy in the Greek Polis.Calian Florin George (ed.) - 2021 - Brill.
    This is a wide-ranging study of numbers as a social and cultural phenomenon in ancient Greece, revealing both the instrumentality of numbers to polis life and the complex cultural meanings inherent in their use.
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  17. Plato’s Gorgias: Speech, Soul and Politics.David Machek & Vladimir Mikeš (eds.) - forthcoming
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  18. In: A. Havlicek – F. Karfík (szerk.): Plato’s Theaetetus. Proceedings of the Sixth Symposium Platonicum Pragense, OIKOUMENH, Prague, 2008, 217-249.László Bene (ed.) - 2008
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  19. Otherwise Than the Binary: Toward Feminist Rereadings of Ancient Philosophy and Culture.Mary Townsend (ed.) - 2022
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  20. Defending Philosophy: Plato, Heidegger, and Meno’s Paradox.Joshua Livingstone - 2024 - Symposium 28 (1):149-174.
    Asserting that all inquiry is either superfluous or futile, Meno’s paradox threatens the very heart of philosophy. In response, philosophers have tended to refute the account of inquiry that the paradox presupposes, i.e., inquiry as a means of acquiring knowledge, and to promote an alternative view. While this strategy can be effective in refuting Meno, it can also take philosophy in some uncomfortable directions. This, I argue, is the case for both Plato and Heidegger, whose accounts of the nature of (...)
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  21. Parmenides – Protagoras – Platon – Marc Aurel. Kleine Schriften zur griechischen Philosophie, Politik, Religion und Wissenschaft.Dalfen Joachim (ed.) - 2012 - Franz Steiner Verlag.
    Das Buch des emeritierten Salzburger Gräzisten enthält eine Auswahl seiner in den Jahren seit 1971 entstandenen Aufsätze sowie einen umfangreichen, noch nicht publizierten Beitrag zum sokratisch-platonischen ethischen Intellektualismus. Ausgehend vom Zusammenhang zwischen der areté, dem Wissen vom Guten und dem richtigen Handeln, gelangt Platon zur Konzeption der anámnesis und zur Ideenlehre - ein bisher in der Forschung wenig beachteter Komplex. Weitere Themen der ueber zwanzig Aufsätze sind u.a. die Ontologie des Parmenides, der homo-mensura-Satz des Protagoras und Platons Auseinandersetzung mit ihm, (...)
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  22. The Unpublished Medicina contracta of Arnold Geulincx.Andrea Strazzoni - forthcoming - Nuncius.
    In this paper I provide a commentary on and edition of the unpublished and apparently incomplete Medicina contracta of the Flemish philosopher Arnold Geulincx (1624– 1669). This short treatise, dating to c. 1668–1669, was not included in the edition of Geulincx’s works edited by J.P.N. Land, on the ground of its apparent unoriginality. However, it reveals the attempt, by Geulincx, to develop a medicine based on a new account of disease (intended in Cartesian-Platonic terms of the impossibility of the mind (...)
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  23. The Anthyphairetic Interpretation of Knowledge as Recollection in Plato’s Meno 80d-86e and 97a-98b.Stelios Negrepontis - 2024 - In Bharath Sriraman (ed.), Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Mathematical Practice. Cham: Springer. pp. 471-519.
    This chapter aims to obtain a novel anthyphairetic interpretation of Knowledge as Recollection in Plato’s Meno 80d5-86c3 and 97a9-98b6, in a self-contained manner, in line with the anthyphairetic interpretation I have developed for the whole of Plato’s work.Plato sets out to explain his philosophical notion of Knowledge in the Meno, by explaining what he means by Knowledge in the concrete geometrical case of line a such that a2 = 2b2 for a given line b, in fact of the diameter a (...)
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  24. The Mystery of Plato’s Receptacle in the Timaeus Resolved.Stelios Negrepontis & Demetra Kalisperi - 2024 - In Bharath Sriraman (ed.), Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Mathematical Practice. Cham: Springer. pp. 521-598.
    Plato, most unexpectedly, in the middle of the Timaeus (48e2-49a7) declares that the sensible bodies cannot be explained solely by their participation in the intelligible, as we were led to believe by reading the long succession of all his previous dialogues, but that it is now necessary to introduce, beside the intelligibles and the sensibles, a Third Kind, the Receptacle.We must, however, in beginning our fresh account of the Universe make more distinctions than we did before; for whereas then we (...)
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  25. Rethinking Truth and Method in Light of Gadamer’s Later Interpretation of Plato.William Konchak - 2024 - Philosophy Today 68 (2):363-380.
    As is well known, Plato was a significant influence on Gadamer’s thought. Nevertheless, Gadamer’s interpretation of Plato changed through the years, and he became increasing sympathetic towards Plato in his later works after 1960’s Truth and Method. This article will examine how Gadamer’s writings on Plato after Truth and Method may inform our interpretation of his magnum opus. I will present the case that this not only leads to rethinking Gadamer’s relation to Plato, but also has wider implications for his (...)
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  26. Review of Sarah Broadie’s Plato’s Sun-Like Good: Dialectic in the Republic. [REVIEW]Cinzia Arruzza - 2023 - Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 44 (1):295-300.
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  27. Navigating Democracy’s Fragile Boundary: Lessons from Plato on Political Leadership.Alfonso R. Vergaray - 2024 - Philosophies 9 (2):49.
    This article presents a case that former President of the United States Donald Trump was a tyrant-like leader in the mold of the tyrant in Plato’s Republic. While he does not perfectly embody the tyrant as presented in the Republic, he captures its core feature. Like the tyrant, Trump is driven by unregulated desires that reflect what Plato describes as an extreme freedom that underlies and threatens democratic regimes. Extreme freedom is manifested in Trump’s disregard for social and legal norms, (...)
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  28. Re-Reading Plato's Symposium Through The Lens Of A Black Woman.Donna-Dale Marcano - 2012 - In George Yancy (ed.), Reframing the Practice of Philosophy: Bodies of Color, Bodies of Knowledge. State University of New York Press. pp. 225-234.
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  29. Plato on Women and the Private Family.Rachel Singpurwalla - 2024 - In Sara Brill & Catherine McKeen (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Women and Ancient Greek Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 202-216.
    Plato’s attitude towards women in his major political works, the Republic and Laws, is complex. On the one hand, Plato argues that in well-run cities, women should hold positions of rule; but on the other, he suggests that women are inferior to men with respect to virtue. To reconcile these conflicting attitudes, some scholars argue that Plato’s progressive proposals are about women as they could be given the right education and environment, while his derogatory comments are about women as they (...)
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  30. Plato and Andrea Cesalpino's Aristotelianism : a revealing marginality.Eva Del Soldato - 2023 - In Fabrizio Baldassarri & Craig Edwin Martin (eds.), Andrea Cesalpino and Renaissance Aristotelianism. New York: Bloomsbury.
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  31. Plato’s Crito and the Contradictions of Modern Citizenship.Matthew Dayi Ogali - 2023 - International Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):17-27.
    Citizenship, with its presumptive rights, privileges and obligations, has been a fundamental challenge confronting the state since the classical Greek era and the transformation and reorganization of the centralized medieval Holy Roman Empire after the Thirty Years War. With the changing patterns of state formation from the large and unwieldy empires organized into absolutist states to the more nationalistic/linguistic formations a recurring issue has been the constitutional or legal guarantees of the rights of the citizen as well as his/her obligations (...)
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  32. Fictional Worlds and the Political Imagination.Garry L. Hagberg (ed.) - 2024 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    There has been a steady stream of articles written on the relations between political thought and the interpretation of literature, but there remains a need for a book that both introduces and significantly contributes to the field – particularly one that shows in detail how we can think more freely and creatively about political possibilities by reading and reflecting on politically significant literature. This volume offers analytically acute and culturally rich ways of understanding how it is that we can productively (...)
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  33. Irigaray’s Two and Plato’s Indefinite Dyad.Danielle A. Layne - 2023 - Technophany 2 (1).
    The following hopes to bring Plato’s unwritten doctrines into proximity with Irigaray’s concept of the Two as found in works like To Be Two or I love to you. By focusing on the the indefinite Dyad, Plato's reported co-archai with the One, it will be evidenced that Platonism begins and ends with a One which is not One (a kind of Two). Further, in this Dyad's failure to be One, it ultimately comes to possess its own productive and destructive power (...)
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  34. Is Socrates Permitted to Kill Plato?Juhana Toivanen - 2024 - In Heikki Haara & Juhana Toivanen (eds.), Common Good and Self-Interest in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy. Springer Verlag. pp. 149-168.
    This chapter analyses how one thirteenth century Parisian philosopher, Nicholas of Vaudémont (fl. 1370s), understood the tension between the common good in the sense of the good of the community as a whole, and individual good in his commentary of Aristotle’s Politics. The analysis proceeds in relation to two of Nicholas’ questions. The first of them concerns the classical problem of whether or not a virtuous person should sacrifice his life for the sake of his community; and the second question (...)
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  35. Say Goodbye to Plato.Yu Chen - manuscript
    "Sapiolatry," the excessive reverence and idolization of historical figures renowned for their wisdom, poses a significant challenge to critical thinking and innovation. In the article "Say Goodbye to Plato," we delve into the concept of sapiolatry and its implications for our engagement with the teachings of revered figures like Plato. By exploring the roots, consequences, and the case of Plato, we highlight the necessity of moving beyond uncritical adoration towards a more dynamic and contextual interpretation of ancient wisdom. The article (...)
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  36. The Ethics of Plato’s Ideas and Ideals.Vardenis Pavardenis - 1998 - Problemos 52.
    This work rests on the assumption that Plato as ethic is undeservedly ignored. He is traditionally considered to be the author of objective philosophical idealism. A more careful analysis proves that the famous scholar of antiquity is primarily the author of ontoethical philosophical conception. His essential philosophical convictions are very close to those of his teacher and greatest authority, Socrates. The later maintained that the true objects of philosophical studies were society and individuals together with their ethical orientations. Plato supplemented (...)
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  37. Plato’s Gorgias: Speech, Soul and Politics.David Machek & Vladimír Mikeš (eds.) - 2024 - BRILL.
    This book is an edited collection on one of Plato’s most dramatic as well as most complex dialogues, where a defence of the philosopher’s way of life is carried out against the background of interconnected rhetorical and political stances of the time.
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  38. The Origin, Essence and Attributes of consciousness.Cheng Gong - manuscript
    It has a long history for the exploration of the origin and essence of human consciousness with different definitions and explanations in various fields such as philosophy, medicine, sociology, biology, and psychology. However, all of them had not been recognized so far. The main reason is that the complexity of consciousness leads to the inability of various fields to understand its essence fully, reasonably, and comprehensively, and there are still significant differences for it, and which have become an eternal mystery. (...)
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  39. Platone showrunner: regole filosofiche per scrivere la serialità.Tommaso Ariemma - 2021 - Roma: Dino Audino editore.
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  40. Socrates among the Corybantes: being, reality, and the gods.Carl Avren Levenson - 2022 - Thompson, Conn.: Spring Publications.
    In Plato's dialogues, we find many references to Corybantic rites-rites of initiation performed in honor of the goddess Rhea. But in the dialogue titled Euthydemus, there is more than a mere reference to the rites to be found. Within the context of Socratic dialectic, the ancient rites of the Corybantes are acted out-although veiled and distorted. This is what Carl Levenson argues in his book. Since the Corybantic rites are of the Dionysian/Eleusinian type, Plato gives us a glimpse of the (...)
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  41. The narrow passage: Plato, Foucault, and the possibility of political philosophy.Glenn Ellmers - 2023 - New York: Encounter Books.
    Americans today seem to be more divided than at any time since the Civil War. Our differences are not just political and moral, but philosophical and even spiritual. Red and Blue America hardly seem to live in the same reality. Something has gone terribly wrong with the American political community. It has been a long time since the people of the United States fully exercised their sovereign authority to choose the officials in government whose primary job is to protect the (...)
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  42. Love and friendship in the western tradition: from Plato to postmodernity.James McEvoy - 2023 - Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press. Edited by James Nicholas McGuirk.
    Love and Friendship in the Western Tradition comprises a collection of essays written over a 25 year period by the late Rev. Professor James McEvoy on the theme of friendship. The book traces the genesis and development of philosophical treatments of friendship from Greek philosophy, through the Middle Ages, to modern and postmodern philosophy. The collection's three major concerns are: (1) the history of philosophical discussions of friendship; (2) the role of friendship in the cultivation of the philosophical life; (3) (...)
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  43. Plato's reasons: logician, rhetorician, dialectician.Christopher W. Tindale - 2023 - Albany: State University of New York Press.
    Studies Plato's approach to argumentation, exploring his role as logician, rhetorician, and dialectician in a way that sees these three aspects working together.
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  44. An introduction to Strauss's "On Plato's Euthyphron".Wayne Ambler - 2023 - In Leo Strauss (ed.), Leo Strauss on Plato's Euthyphro: the 1948 notebook, with lectures and critical writings. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press.
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  45. Translation of Plato's Euthyphro.Seth Bernardete - 2023 - In Leo Strauss (ed.), Leo Strauss on Plato's Euthyphro: the 1948 notebook, with lectures and critical writings. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press.
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  46. Reading Strauss's notebook on Plato's Euthyphro.Hannes Kerber - 2023 - In Leo Strauss (ed.), Leo Strauss on Plato's Euthyphro: the 1948 notebook, with lectures and critical writings. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press.
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  47. Comments on Strauss's notes on the Crito.Svetozar Y. Minkov - 2023 - In Leo Strauss (ed.), Leo Strauss on Plato's Euthyphro: the 1948 notebook, with lectures and critical writings. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press.
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  48. Introduction : the significance of Strauss's notebook on Plato's Euthyphro.Hannes Kerber & Svetozar Y. Minkov - 2023 - In Leo Strauss (ed.), Leo Strauss on Plato's Euthyphro: the 1948 notebook, with lectures and critical writings. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press.
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  49. Leo Strauss on Plato's Euthyphro: the 1948 notebook, with lectures and critical writings.Leo Strauss - 2023 - University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press. Edited by Hannes Kerber & Svetozar Minkov.
    An examination of Leo Strauss's 1948 notebook and other writings on the Euthyphro, Plato's dialogue on piety, using close analysis and line-by-line commentary.
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  50. In philebum: a speculative reflection.Francis K. Peddle - 2023 - Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications.
    This commentary on Plato's Philebus reconciles a close analysis of the text with a new interpretation of the dialogue. In Philebum focuses on the overarching metaphysical and cosmological coherency of the dialogue rather than its ethical import. This interpretation contrasts with the more common segmented philological analysis of this most evocative of Platonic dialogues. Plato's late ontology and theory of an immanent Good portray a very different philosophical terrain than that of the transcendental visions of the Good found in other (...)
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