What is the relation between a whole and its parts? The metaphysics of structure and composition is much discussed in modern philosophy; now Verity Harte provides the first sustained examination of Plato's rich but neglected discussion of the topic, and shows how it can illuminate current debates. This book is an invaluable resource both for scholars of Plato and for modern metaphysicians.
My paper has two aims. The first is to challenge the widespread assumption that the personified Laws of Athens, whom Socrates gives voice to during the second half of the _Crito express Socrates' own views. I shall argue that the principles which the Laws espouse not only differ from those which Socrates sets out in his own person within the dialogue, but are in fact in conflict with Socrates' states principles. (edited).
In Plato's "Philebus" Socrates and Protarchus dispute whether pleasure, like belief, can be false. Their dispute illustrates a broader pattern of disagreement between them about how to evaluate pleasure. Of two contrasting conceptions of false pleasure-derived from work by Bernard Williams and by Sabina Lovibond respectively-false pleasure of the Lovibond type best answers the challenge to which Protarchus' resistance gives rise. Socrates' own example of false pleasure may be read in this way, in contrast to its prevailing interpretation, and this (...) alternative reading seems better suited to the argument's context, both immediate and distant. (shrink)
In modern epistemology, one ‘value of knowledge’ problem concerns the question why knowledge should be valued more highly than mere true belief. Though this problem has a background in Plato, the present paper, focused on Philebus 55–9, is concerned with a different question: what questions might one ask about the value of knowledge, and what question does Plato ask here? The paper aims to articulate the kind of value Plato here attributes to ‘useless’ knowledge, knowledge pursued without practical object; and (...) why, according to him, there is value in being a knower. Though his answer to this question requires commitments we may resist, it has a structure of general philosophical interest. (shrink)
Plato's Euthyrphro, Apology, andCrito portray Socrates' words and deeds during his trial for disbelieving in the Gods of Athens and corrupting the Athenian youth, and constitute a defense of the man Socrates and of his way of life, the philosophic life. The twelve essays in the volume, written by leading classical philosophers, investigate various aspects of these works of Plato, including the significance of Plato's characters, Socrates's revolutionary religious ideas, and the relationship between historical events and Plato's texts.
Prima facie, the sceptical procedure described in Sextus Empiricus' Outlines of Pyrrhonism I is committed to a gap between appearance and reality, that is, to the possibility that reality is other than it appears. But the Pyrrhonist is keen to avoid having commitments. In this paper, we consider whether the Pyrrhonist is indeed so committed; what, more precisely, the commitment might be; and whether it is the kind of commitment which can be dislodged in the way the Pyrrhonist advertises as (...) the way to get rid of commitments, be they his own or others'. The Protagorean is our foil. It is the Protagorean's alternative approach to conflicting appearances which reveals, by contrast, the implications of the sceptical procedure, implications which prove difficult to dislodge by Pyrrhonist means. (shrink)
This is the first exploration of how ideas of politeia structure both political and extra-political relations throughout the entirety of Greek and Roman philosophy, ranging from Presocratic to classical, Hellenistic, and Neoplatonic thought. A highly distinguished international team of scholars investigate topics such as the Athenian, Spartan and Platonic visions of politeia, the reshaping of Greek and Latin vocabularies of politics, the practice of politics in Plato and Proclus, the politics of value in Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics, and the (...) extension of constitutional order to discussions of animals, gods and the cosmos. The volume is dedicated to Professor Malcolm Schofield, one of the world's leading scholars of ancient philosophy. (shrink)
This book revisits, and sheds fresh light on, some key texts and debates in ancient philosophy. Its twin targets are 'Old Chestnuts' – well-known passages in the works of ancient philosophers about which one might have thought everything there is to say has already been said – and 'Sacred Cows' – views about what ancient philosophers thought, on issues of philosophical importance, that have attained the status of near-unquestioned orthodoxy. Thirteen leading scholars respond to these challenges by offering new perspectives (...) on familiar material and challenging some prevailing orthodoxies. On authors ranging from the Presocratics to Plotinus, the book represents a snapshot of contemporary scholarship in ancient philosophy, and a vigorous and illuminating affirmation of its continuing interest and power. The volume is dedicated to Professor M. M. McCabe, an inspiring scholar and teacher, colleague and friend to both the editors and the contributors. (shrink)
Tradition has it that ‘deuteros plous’, an idiomatic expression used by Plato most famously at Phaedo 99c–d, refers to the use of oars to get to one’s destination in the absence of suitable wind for sailing. The nautical motif is a gesture towards the seafaring credentials of Holger Thesleff, the scholar to whom the volume pays tribute, the author, most notably for this occasion, of three books and several articles on the style, chronology and metaphysical outlook of Plato’s dialogues, now (...) conveniently gathered together in a single volume, Platonic Patterns: A Collection of Studies by Holger Thesleff. But the expression also points towards the... (shrink)