A Companion to Plato

A Companion to Plato

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This broad-ranging Companion comprises original contributions from leading Platonic scholars and reflects the different ways in which they are dealing with Plato's legacy. Covers an exceptionally broad range of subjects from diverse perspectives Contributions are devoted to topics, ranging from perception and knowledge to politics and cosmology Allows readers to see how a position advocated in one of Plato's dialogues compares with positions advocated in others Permits readers to engage the debate concerning Plato's philosophical development on particular topics Also includes overviews of Plato's life, works and philosophical method
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Product details

  • Paperback | 496 pages
  • 180 x 245 x 26mm | 844g
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1405191112
  • 9781405191111
  • 611,715

Back cover copy

Plato and Platonism remain fundamental to the practice of philosophy. This broad-ranging Companion comprises original contributions from some of the best Platonic scholars in the world today and reflects the various ways in which they are dealing with Plato's legacy.


The Companion is ordered on three principles. First, the contributions are devoted to topics in Platonic philosophy, ranging from perception and knowledge to politics and cosmology. This allows readers to see how a position advocated in one of Plato's dialogues compares with positions advocated in others. Second, reading Plato in this way raises issues concerning the chronological order of the composition of the dialogues and Plato's philosophical development; various sides of the debate on these subjects are argued. Finally, topics have been selected for their philosophical rather than their historical significance.




The volume will be welcomed for the wide range of topics and the multiplicity of perspectives it presents. As an aid to fuller understanding, it also includes overviews of Plato's life, works, and philosophical method.
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Table of contents

Notes on Contributors. Preface. Abbreviations. 1. The Life of Plato of Athens: Debra Nails (Michigan State University). 2. Interpreting Plato: Christopher Rowe (University of Durham). 3. The Socratic Problem: William J. Prior (Santa Clara University). Part I: Platonic Method and the Dialogue Form:. 4. Form and the Platonic Dialogues: Mary Margaret McCabe (King's College London). 5. The Socratic Elenchus: Charles M. Young (Claremont Graduate University). 6. Platonic Definitions and Forms: R. M. Dancy (Florida State University). 7. Plato's Method of Dialectic: Hugh H. Benson (University of Oklahoma). Part II: Platonic Epistemology:. 8. Socratic Ignorance: Gareth B. Matthews (University of Massachusetts at Amherst). 9. Plato on Recollection: Charles Kahn (University of Pennsylvania). 10. Plato: A Theory of Perception or a Nod to Sensation?: Deborah K. W. Modrak (University of Rochester). 11. Knowledge and the Forms in Plato: Michael Ferejohn (Duke University). Part III: Platonic Metaphysics:. 12. The Forms and the Sciences in Socrates and Plato: Terry Penner (Professor Emeritus). 13. Problems for Forms: Mary Louise Gill (Brown University). 14. The Role of Cosmology in Plato's Philosophy: Cynthia Freeland (University of Houston). 15. Plato on Language: David Sedley (University of Cambridge). 16. Plato and Mathematics: Michael J. White (Arizona State University). 17. Platonic Religion: Mark L. McPherran (University of Maine at Farmington). Part IV: Platonic Psychology:. 18. The Socratic Paradoxes: Thomas C. Brickhouse (Lynchburg College) and Nicholas D. Smith (Lewis and Clark College, Portland). 19. The Platonic Soul: Fred D. Miller, Jr. (Bowling Green State University). 20. Plato on Eros and Friendship: C. D. C. Reeve (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). 21. Plato on Pleasure as the Human Good: Gerasimos Santas (University of California, Irvine). Part V: Platonic Ethics, Politics, And Aesthetics:. 22. The Unity of the Virtues: Daniel Devereux (University of Virginia). 23. Plato on Justice: David Keyt (University of Washington, Seattle). 24. Plato's Concept of Goodness: Nicholas White (University of California at Irvine). 25. Plato on the Law: Susan Sauve Meyer (University of Pennsylvania). 26. Plato and the Arts: Christopher Janaway (University of Southampton). Part VI: Platonic Legacy:. 27. Learning about Plato from Aristotle: Christopher Shields (University of Oxford). 28. Plato and Hellenistic Philosophy: A. A. Long (University of California, Berkeley). 29. Plato's Influence on Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Philosophy: Sara Ahbel-Rappe (University of Michigan). Index
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Review Text

"This compendium of 29 essays by leading scholars, on every aspect of Plato from his biography and literary style to his metaphysics and politics to his reception by later philosophical and religious traditions, is a welcome addition to the resources available to students of Plato. A number of essays distill cutting-edge research developed in greater detail in the authors' monographs. The result is a book every student of Plato will want to consult."
Rachana Kamtekar, University of Arizona"This is a valuable collection of essays from a distinguished cast of contributors. It should prove useful to a wide variety of readers."
Chris Bobonich, Stanford University"This hefty volume differs from many anthologies on Plato in its comprehensiveness...The essays represent recent scholarship on Plato, with bibliographical references at the end of each essay to literature almost exclusively within the last 50 years...To a lover of Plato, another volume of essays on his thought is always welcome."
Choice"A work avowedly for the philosopher and the student philosopher, but accessible too by other students, this will be a welcome addition in a wide range of libraries from undergraduate level upwards."
Reference Reviews
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Review quote

"This compendium of 29 essays by leading scholars, on every aspect of Plato from his biography and literary style to his metaphysics and politics to his reception by later philosophical and religious traditions, is a welcome addition to the resources available to students of Plato. A number of essays distill cutting-edge research developed in greater detail in the authors' monographs. The result is a book every student of Plato will want to consult." Rachana Kamtekar, University of Arizona "This is a valuable collection of essays from a distinguished cast of contributors. It should prove useful to a wide variety of readers." Chris Bobonich, Stanford University "This hefty volume differs from many anthologies on Plato in its comprehensiveness...The essays represent recent scholarship on Plato, with bibliographical references at the end of each essay to literature almost exclusively within the last 50 years...To a lover of Plato, another volume of essays on his thought is always welcome." Choice "A work avowedly for the philosopher and the student philosopher, but accessible too by other students, this will be a welcome addition in a wide range of libraries from undergraduate level upwards." Reference Reviews
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About Hugh H. Benson

Hugh H. Benson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Oklahoma. He is the editor of Essays on the Philosophy of Socrates (1992) and author of Socratic Wisdom (2000) as well as various articles on the philosophy of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
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