Platonic Dialogue and the Education of the Reader

Platonic Dialogue and the Education of the Reader

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In this volume, Cotton examines Plato's ideas about education and learning. With a particular focus on the experiences a learner must go through in developing philosophical understanding, the book argues that a reader's experience can be parallel in kind and value to that of the interlocutors we see conversing in the dialogues, in constituting learning.

The study suggests that, just as Socratic conversation acts as a context for the interlocutors development of dialectical virtues, so the corpus of Plato's works presents an arena for readers to progress through the different stages of learning, providing them with the stimuli appropriate to their philosophical advancement at each point and encouraging them to take increasing responsibility for their own learning. Accordingly, the study proposes that the shape of the corpus, and the changes we
observe between early, middle, and late dialogues, are best interpreted with reference to the changing needs of receivers at different stages of their philosophical development. Individual chapters focus on characterization, argumentation, structure and unity, plot, and myth as means by which the
dialogues encourage their readers to engage in this productive and distinctive way.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 147 x 223 x 26mm | 548g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199684057
  • 9780199684052
  • 1,972,380

Table of contents

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Review quote

clearly structured, lucidly written, and ... convincingly argued ... Cotton opens up many interesting new paths for further exploration. * Georgia Sermamoglou-Soulmaidi, Bryn Mawr Classical Review * This work is a highly sophisticated and subtle study, and is an important contribution to the way we read and interpret Platos dialogues today. * Zacharoula Petraki, Journal of Hellenic Studies * This well-produced book is in my opinion persuasive, clever and enjoyable. Cotton's approach can appeal to Platonists and classicists at large, and the book is recommended to both. * Andrea Capra, Hermathena *
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About A. K. Cotton

Anne K. Cotton teaches Classics at Magdalen College School in Oxford, where she is also Head of Upper School.
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