Philosophical Review 112 (4):561-566 (2003)

S. Sara Monoson challenges “the canonical view of Plato as a virulent antidemocrat”. More precisely, she undertakes “to render problematic the standard view that Plato’s texts are unequivocally hostile to democracy”. “Although Plato’s dialogues are unquestionably and radically critical of elements of Athenian democracy, it is not accurate to claim further that they attack democracy unrelentingly”. Rather, “Plato’s dialogues contain explicit, albeit qualified, expressions of acceptance of the wide dispersal of political power characteristic of democracy, enlist certain celebrated Athenian democratic principles in the design of his critique of democratic politics, and depict the practice of philosophy as indebted to Athenian democratic culture”. On this basis Monoson denies that Plato “is unambiguously opposed to democratic culture.” On the contrary “the ethos and culture of democratic Athens subtly informs his presentation of the work of philosophy”.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0031-8108
DOI phr2003112439
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