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A Study of Critical Reason and Democracy
In this first comprehensive treatment of Plato’s political thought in a long time, John Wallach offers a "critical historicist" interpretation of Plato. Wallach shows how Plato’s theory, while a radical critique of the conventional ethical and political practice of his own era, can be seen as having the potential for contributing to democratic discourse about ethics and politics today. The author argues that Plato articulates and "solves" his Socratic Problem in his various dialogues in different but potentially complementary ways. The book effectively extracts Plato from the straightjacket of Platonism and from the interpretive perspectives of the past fifty years—principally those of Karl Popper, Leo Strauss, Hannah Arendt, M. I. Finley, Jacques Derrida, and Gregory Vlastos. The author’s distinctive approach for understanding Plato—and, he argues, for the history of political theory in general—can inform contemporary theorizing about democracy, opening pathways for criticizing democracy on behalf of virtue, justice, and democracy itself.
The Dialogue between Platonism and Stoicism in Antiquity
This book examines the important but largely neglected issue of the interrelation between Platonism and Stoicism in Ancient Philosophy. Several renowned specialists in the fields of Stoic and Platonic analyse the intricate mutual influences between Stoic and Platonic philosophers in the Hellenistic period, the Imperial Age, and after. Although it has been repeatedly claimed that the phenomenon addressed in this book could best be labelled eclecticism, it emerges from the various articles collected here that the situation is much more complicated. Far from being eclectics, most Stoics and Platonists consciously appropriated their material in order to integrate it into their own philosophical system. The dialogue between Platonists and Stoics testifies to active debate and controversy on central topics such as psychology, epistemology, physics, and ethics. This book will deepen our understanding of the dialogue between different philosophical schools in Antiquity. The results presented here teach one clear lesson: Platonism and Stoicism were by no means monolithic blocks, but were continuously moulded by mutual influence and interaction.
Of all Plato’s dialogues, the Parmenides is notoriously the most difficult to interpret. Scholars of all periods have disagreed about its aims and subject matter. The interpretations have ranged from reading the dialogue as an introduction to the whole of Platonic metaphysics to seeing it as a collection of sophisticated tricks, or even as an elaborate joke. This work presents an illuminating new translation of the dialogue together with an extensive introduction and running commentary, giving a unified explanation of the Parmenides and integrating it firmly within the context of Plato's metaphysics and methodology.
Scolnicov shows that in the Parmenides Plato addresses the most serious challenge to his own philosophy: the monism of Parmenides and the Eleatics. In addition to providing a serious rebuttal to Parmenides, Plato here re-formulates his own theory of forms and participation, arguments that are central to the whole of Platonic thought, and provides these concepts with a rigorous logical and philosophical foundation. In Scolnicov's analysis, the Parmenides emerges as an extension of ideas from Plato's middle dialogues and as an opening to the later dialogues.
Scolnicov’s analysis is crisp and lucid, offering a persuasive approach to a complicated dialogue. This translation follows the Greek closely, and the commentary affords the Greekless reader a clear understanding of how Scolnicov’s interpretation emerges from the text. This volume will provide a valuable introduction and framework for understanding a dialogue that continues to generate lively discussion today.
Force and Truth in Politics
Readers of Plato have often neglected the Laws because of its length and density. In this set of interpretive essays, notable scholars of the Laws from the fields of classics, history, philosophy, and political science offer a collective close reading of the dialogue "book by book" and reflect on the work as a whole. In their introduction, editors Gregory Recco and Eric Sanday explore the connections among the essays and the dramatic and productive exchanges between the contributors. This volume fills a major gap in studies on Plato's dialogues by addressing the cultural and historical context of the Laws and highlighting their importance to contemporary scholarship.
The Discovery of the Presuppositions of Ethics
Surveying many of Plato's dialogues from the early, middle, and late periods, prominent philosopher John M. Rist shows how Plato gradually came to realize the need for metaphysics to support his ethical position and that a rigorous ethics required a secure metaphysics grounded in universal values.
The Philosophy of Love
The Pbaedrus lies at the heart of Plato's work, and the topics it discusses are central to his thought. In its treatment of the topics of the soul, the ideas and love, it is closely tied to the other dialogues of Plato's "middle period," the Pbaedo, the Symposium, and the Republic
Henrico de Gandavo adscriptae
In the process of completing his critical edition of Marcus of Orvieto’s Liber de Moralitatibus, Dr. Girard J. Etzkorn happened upon a set of questions attributed to Henry of Ghent at the end of Rome’s Bibliotheca Angelica codex 750. These questions are edited in this volume under the proviso ‘attributed to’ so that scholars may compare the texts with other works of the Ghentian master known to be authentic. Based upon some intitial comparisons Etzkorn concludes that the ten questions appear to be of two literary genres. The first six are best fitted into the category of Disputed Questions while Questions seven to ten are better characterized as Quodlibetal questions given their relative brevity and small number of objections ‘pro’ and ‘contra’. Moreover, the ten questions seem to be ‘selected’ questions and were not likely disputed at the same time. Future investigations are essential to find out if the questions may indeed be attributed to Henry himself or whether they have been written by one of Henry’s disciples who was ‘copying’ the thoughts and words of the master.
An oracle was reported to have said, "No one is wiser than Socrates." And in fact it was Socrates’ life’s work to interpret these words, which demanded and defined the practice of philosophy. Each of these original essays attends carefully to the specifics of the Apology, looking to its dramatic details, its philosophic teaching, and its complexity as a work of writing to bring into focus the "Socrates" of the Apology.
The Commentary Tradition on Aristotle's De anima, c. 1260-c. 1360
The transformation of the science of the soul between 1260 and 1360 Aristotle's highly influential work on the soul, entitled De anima, formed part of the core curriculum of medieval universities and was discussed intensively. It covers a range of topics in philosophical psychology, such as the relationship between mind and body and the nature of abstract thought. However, there is a key difference in scope between the socalled ‘science of the soul', based on Aristotle, and modern philosophical psychology. This book starts from a basic premise accepted by all medieval commentators, namely that the science of the soul studies not just human beings but all living beings. As such, its methodology and approach must also apply to plants and animals. The Science of the Soul discusses how philosophers, from Thomas Aquinas to Pierre d'Ailly, dealt with the difficult task of giving a unified account of life and traces the various stages in the transformation of the science of the soul between 1260 and 1360. The emerging picture is that of a gradual disruption of the unified approach to the soul, which will ultimately lead to the emergence of psychology as a separate discipline.