Of Myth and Life. On the Question of "Genesis" in Plato's "Republic"

Dissertation, Vanderbilt University (1996)

Abstract
This dissertation is a propaedeutic to the study of the myth of Er concluding Plato's dialogue on the politeia. This work would have to be understood, therefore, as a set of remarks having a merely preparatory function with respect to the analysis of the myth proper. ;A number of crucial issues had to be elucidated before setting out to encounter Socrates' mythical narration in a meaningful way. It seemed important, above all, to consider the general issue of the role of myth in the Platonic discourse. The question concerning the manifoldness of discursive modes and, in particular, the unique, ubiquitous, and unavoidable register of myth preserves its provocative force--especially if the body of texts under consideration is the Platonic corpus. Indeed, raising the question of the discursive comportment characterizing Plato's texts means to wonder about the status of what goes under the heading of western philosophy as a whole, namely, the complex of variously intertwined lineages in whose context the Platonic reflection has been systematically elaborated
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