Socrates and the politics of music: Preludes of the republic

Polis 24 (1):70-90 (2007)

Abstract
At least since the appearance of Aristotle's Politics, Plato's Republic has been read as arguing for a politics of unity in which difference is understood as a threat to the polis. By focusing on the musical imagery of the Republic, and specifically on its compositional organization around three 'preludes', this essay seeks an understanding of Socratic politics that moves beyond the hypothesis of unity. In the first 'prelude', Thrasymachus and his insistence that justice is the self-interest of the stronger threatens to subject the harmony of the community to the tyrannical whims of the individual. In the second, the perfected justice of Adeimantus's city threatens to destroy the erotic rhythm of difference that is the very condition for the possibility of the polis. It is only in the song of dialectic, which itself is called a 'prelude', that the tension between the rhythm of plurality and the rational homophony of unity is dynamically tuned in such a way that both the anarchic politics of self-interest and the totalitarian politics of rationalized oppression are equally muted. This conception of politics is embodied in the relationship that emerges between Glaucon and Socrates. Ultimately, the true political community is established here, between rational, erotic individuals seeking justice in concrete, living dialogue
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,677
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

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Plato's Ethics and Politics in the Republic.Eric Brown - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Identity and Difference in Aristotle's Treatment of Property.Jill Sari Frank - 1993 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
Prudence in Plato's Political Philosophy.Zdravko Planinc - 1989 - Dissertation, Harvard University

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-02-01

Total views
0

Recent downloads (6 months)
0

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes