In one volume, this book brings together a new English translation of Plato's Meno, a selection of illuminating articles on themes in the dialogue published between 1965 and 1985 and an introduction setting the Meno in its historical context and opening up the key philosophical issues which the various articles discuss. A glossary is provided which briefly introduces some of the key terms and indicates how they are translated. The Meno is an excellent introduction to Plato and philosophy.
The book is designed to serve as a handy starter-kit for the study of this work. In one volume it provides: a new English translation of the text; a selection of illuminating articles on themes in the dialogue published between 1965 and 1985; an introduction setting the Meno in its historical context, opening up the key philosophical issues which the various articles discuss; and a glossary which introduces some of the key terms and indicates how they are translated. All the articles are clearly focused on the text and have proven their value for undergraduates studying the Meno. The interests of readers with little or no knowledge of Greek are borne in mind throughout the volume. Jane Day's translation is particularly designed to be useful to such readers by preserving more consistency in its Greek terms than is found in the English translations, thus providing a more reliable reflection of the details in the original. Within the articles, too, Greek words and phrases at various points in the original printing are accompanied or replaced in this reprinting by a translation. The Meno offers an introduction to Plato and to philosophy.
The end of Plato's 'Clitophon' can be seen to raise something like the following challenge: How is one to acquire (learn) the knowledge Socrates has so persuasively shown to be essential to virtue and apparently absent from us all. 'Clitophon's Challenge' explores Plato's response to this challenge from the 'Apology', 'Laches', 'Euthyphro', and 'Protagoras' to the 'Meno', 'Phaedo', and 'Republic'
Given its brevity, Plato's Meno covers an astonishingly wide array of topics: politics, education, virtue, definition, philosophical method, mathematics, the nature and acquisition of knowledge and immortality. Its treatment of these, though profound, is tantalisingly short, leaving the reader with many unresolved questions. This book confronts the dialogue's many enigmas and attempts to solve them in a way that is both lucid and sympathetic to Plato's philosophy. Reading the dialogue as a whole, it explains how different arguments are related to one another and how the interplay between characters is connected to the philosophical content of the work. In a new departure, this book's exploration focuses primarily on the content and coherence of the dialogue in its own right and not merely in the context of other dialogues, making it required reading for all students of Plato, be they from the world of classics or philosophy.
The Meno, one of the most widely read of the Platonic dialogues, is seen afresh in this original interpretation that explores the dialogue as a theatrical presentation. Just as Socrates's listeners would have questioned and examined their own thinking in response to the presentation, so, Klein shows, should modern readers become involved in the drama of the dialogue. Klein offers a line-by-line commentary on the text of the Meno itself that animates the characters and conversation and carefully probes each significant turn of the argument. "A major addition to the literature on the Meno and necessary reading for every student of the dialogue."—Alexander Seasonske, Philosophical Review "There exists no other commentary on Meno which is so thorough, sound, and enlightening."—Choice Jacob Klein (1899-1978) was a student of Martin Heidegger and a tutor at St. John's College from 1937 until his death. His other works include Plato's Trilogy: Theaetetus, the Sophist, and the Statesman, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
Plato's Meno and Phaedo are two of the most important works of ancient western philosophy and continue to be studied around the world. The Meno is a seminal work of epistemology. The Phaedo is a key source for Platonic metaphysics and for Plato's conception of the human soul. Together they illustrate the birth of Platonic philosophy from Plato's reflections on Socrates' life and doctrines. This edition offers new and accessible translations of both works, together with a thorough introduction that explains the arguments of the two dialogues and their place in Plato's thought.
The Oxford Handbooks series is a major new initiative in academic publishing. Each volume offers an authoritative and state-of-the-art survey of current thinking and research in a particular area. Specially commissioned essays from leading international figures in the discipline give critical examinations of the progress and direction of debates. Oxford Handbooks provide scholars and graduate students with compelling new perspectives upon a wide range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences. Plato is the best known, and continues to be the most widely studied, of all the ancient Greek philosophers. The twenty-one newly commissioned articles in the Oxford Handbook of Plato provide in-depth and up-to-date discussions of a variety of topics and dialogues. The result is a useful state-of-the-art reference to the man many consider the most important philosophical thinker in history. Each article is an original contribution from a leading scholar, and they all serve several functions at once: they survey the lay of the land; express and develop the authors' own views; and situate those views within a range of alternatives. This Handbook contains chapters on metaphysics, epistemology, love, language, ethics, politics, art and education. Individual chapters are are devoted to each of the following dialogues: the Republic, Parmenides, Theaetetus, Sophist, Timaeus, and Philebus. There are also chapters on Plato and the dialogue form; on Plato in his time and place; on the history of the Platonic corpus; on Aristotle's criticism of Plato, and on Plato and Platonism.
Through a careful, and provocative, reading of Plato's Meno, Weiss identifies serious problems in its orthodox interpretations, offering an alternative that is responsive to the dialogue's drama. This book will appeal to both students of ancient philosophy and anyone who is interested in how to live in a world of moral uncertainty.
In Plato's Republic, Socrates contends that philosophers make the best rulers because only they behold with their mind's eye the eternal and purely intelligible Forms of the Just, the Noble, and the Good. When, in addition, these men and women are endowed with a vast array of moral, intellectual, and personal virtues and are appropriately educated, surely no one could doubt the wisdom of entrusting to them the governance of cities. Although it is widely-and reasonably-assumed that all the Republic's philosophers are the same, Roslyn Weiss argues in this boldly original book that the Republic actually contains two distinct and irreconcilable portrayals of the philosopher. According to Weiss, Plato's two paradigms of the philosopher are the "philosopher by nature" and the "philosopher by design." Philosophers by design, as the allegory of the Cave vividly shows, must be forcibly dragged from the material world of pleasure to the sublime realm of the intellect, and from there back down again to the "Cave" to rule the beautiful city envisioned by Socrates and his interlocutors. Yet philosophers by nature, described earlier in the Republic, are distinguished by their natural yearning to encounter the transcendent realm of pure Forms, as well as by a willingness to serve others-at least under appropriate circumstances. In contrast to both sets of philosophers stands Socrates, who represents a third paradigm, one, however, that is no more than hinted at in the Republic. As a man who not only loves "what is" but is also utterly devoted to the justice of others-even at great personal cost-Socrates surpasses both the philosophers by design and the philosophers by nature. By shedding light on an aspect of the Republic that has escaped notice, Weiss's new interpretation will challenge Plato scholars to revisit their assumptions about Plato's moral and political philosophy.
The issues surrounding civil disobedience have been discussed since at least 399 BC and, in the wake of such recent events as the protest at Tiananmen Square, are still of great relevance. By presenting classic and current philosophical reflections on the issues, this book presents all the basic materials needed for a philosophical assessment of the nature and justification of civil disobedience. The pieces included range from classic essays by leading contemporary thinkers such as Rawls, Raz and Singer. Hugo Adam Bedau's introduction sets out the issues and shows how the various authors shed light on each aspect of them.
Gail Fine presents the first full-length study of Meno's Paradox, a challenge to the possibility of inquiry that was first formulated in Plato's Meno. She compares the responses of Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans, the Stoics, and Sextus to the paradox, and considers a series of key questions concerning the nature of knowledge and inquiry.
The Theaetetus, the Academy, and Philosophy’s Turn against Fashion
Author: Nickolas Pappas
This book takes a new approach to the question, "Is the philosopher to be seen as universal human being or as eccentric?". Through a reading of the Theaetetus, Pappas first considers how we identify philosophers – how do they appear, in particular how do they dress? The book moves to modern philosophical treatments of fashion, and of "anti-fashion". He argues that aspects of the fashion/anti-fashion debate apply to antiquity, indeed that nudity at the gymnasia was an anti-fashion. Thus anti-fashion provides a way of viewing ancient philosophy’s orientation toward a social world in which, for all its true existence elsewhere, philosophy also has to live.
This new edition of Plato's Symposium provides beginning readers and scholars alike with a solid, reliable translation that is both faithful to the original text and accessible to contemporary readers. In addition, the volume offers a number of aids to help the reader make his or her way through this remarkable work: A concise introduction sets the scene, conveys the tenor of the dialogue, and introduces the reader to the main characters with a gloss on their backgrounds and a comment on their roles in the dialogue. It also provides a list of basic points for readers to keep in mind as they read the work. A thought-provoking interpretive essay offers reflections on the themes of the dialogue, focusing especially on the dialogue as drama. A select bibliography points to works, both classic and contemporary, that are especially relevant to readers of the Symposium. Two appendices consist of a line drawing that depicts the spacial layout and positioning of characters in the Symposium, and a chart that shows the relation of the first six speeches to number, age, parentage and the function of Eros.
This book develops for the readers Plato’s Socrates’ non-formalized “philosophical practice” of learning-through-questioning in the company of others. In doing so, the writer confronts Plato’s Socrates, in the words of John Dewey, as the “dramatic, restless, cooperatively inquiring philosopher" of the dialogues, whose view of education and learning is unique: (1) It is focused on actively pursuing a form of philosophical understanding irreducible to truth of a propositional nature, which defies “transfer” from practitioner to pupil; (2) It embraces the perennial “on-the-wayness” of education and learning in that to interrogate the virtues, or the “good life,” through the practice of the dialectic, is to continually renew the quest for a deeper understanding of things by returning to, reevaluating and modifying the questions originally posed regarding the “good life.” Indeed Socratic philosophy is a life of questioning those aspects of existence that are most question-worthy; and (3) It accepts that learning is a process guided and structured by dialectic inquiry, and is already immanent within and possible only because of the unfolding of the process itself, i.e., learning is not a goal that somehow stands outside the dialectic as its end product, which indicates erroneously that the method or practice is disposable. For learning occurs only through continued, sustained communal dialogue.
Gareth Matthews suggests that we can better understand the nature of philosophical inquiry if we recognize the central role played by perplexity. The seminal representation of philosophical perplexity is in Plato's dialogues; Matthews invites us to view this as a response to somethinginherently problematic in the basic notions that philosophy deals with. He examines the intriguing shifts in Plato's attitude to perplexity and suggests that this development may be seen as an archetypal pattern that philosophers follow even today. So it is that one may be won over to philosophy inthe first place by the example of a Socratic teacher who displays an uncanny gift at getting one perplexed about something one thought one understood perfectly well. Later, however, wanting like Plato to move beyond perplexity to produce philosophical 'results', one may be chagrined to discover thatone's very best attempt to develop a philosophical theory induces its own perplexity. Then, like late Plato and like Aristotle, the philosopher may seek to 'normalize' perplexity in a way that both allows for progress and yet respects the peculiarly baffling character of philosophicalquestions.
OF all the writings of Plato the Timaeus is the most obscure and repulsive to the modern reader, and has nevertheless had the greatest influence over the ancient and mediaeval world. The obscurity arises in the infancy of physical science, out of the confusion of theological, mathematical, and physiological notions, out of the desire to conceive the whole of nature without any adequate knowledge of the parts, and from a greater perception of similarities which lie on the surface than of differences which are hidden from view. Aeterna Press
The Allegory of the Cave is a dialogue between Plato's brother Glaucon and his mentor Socrates, narrated by the latter, in which Plato elucidates his Theory of Forms. Plato's Allegory is considered one of Western philosophy's most important metaphors.