Soul, World, and Idea

Soul, World, and Idea : An Interpretation of Plato's "Republic" and "Phaedo"

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In its examination of two of Plato's key works, Soul, World, and Idea: An Interpretation of Plato's Republic and Phaedo reveals the key role that that images and our capacity for image-making play in the relationship among soul, world, and idea. This book begins and ends with a reading of the Republic. Daniel Sherman turns midway to the Phaedo to further analyze the nature of the soul and its relation to the nature of the Ideas, then returns to apply the conclusions to the rest of the Republic. Sherman's focus is on the ontological and epistemological argument, including attention to the dramatic detail. He argues that the ontology of the Ideas in the Republic and the Phaedo is inseparable from the ontology of human being, that is, from the structure and life of the soul. On this interpretation, the Ideas are seen as indeed objective but as in a sense also a product of a permanent dialectical relationship. The Ideas, though something more than concepts, do not have any real independent existence outside of this human dialectical triad of world, soul and Idea. The stability of the Ideas need not be grounded in a static otherworldliness, and the condition of meaning is not temporally prior to human existence in general. The result is a new interpretation concerning the realm of the Ideas, the immortality of the soul, and the lived in world of their interaction in the production of interpretive images. Sherman argues that the platonic soul is immortal and the Ideas eternal wholly and solely in human (dialogical) activity--the rest is muthologia--and that the world of our experience is a product of an ongoing act of interpretation or dianoetic dialegesthai. This reinterpretation the platonic Ideas will be especially interesting to students and scholars of classics, ancient philosophy, and continental more

Product details

  • Hardback | 420 pages
  • 154.94 x 220.98 x 35.56mm | 771.1g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739172328
  • 9780739172322

About Daniel J. Sherman

Daniel Sherman has taught philosophy and humanities at York University and at the secondary school level for the International Baccalaureate Program and the Program for the Gifted in more

Table of contents

Introduction Chapter 1: The Interlocutors' Request Chapter 2: Discourse Chapter 3: The Cave - Education and the Lack of it Chapter 4: The Divided Line and the Dynamic of Ascent Chapter 5: Education and the Mind's Eye Chapter 6: The Phaedo's Arguments for Immortality Chapter 7: The Problem of Wrong Beginnings Chapter 8: From Logos to Idea Chapter 9: Closing the Circle Conclusion Bibliography Notesshow more

Review quote

S[herman]'s methodological approach concerning the philosophical importance of the dramatic content and the dialogue form is compelling and ... the book's main strength...One should recognise the undeniable merits of this book. S[herman] advances many interesting ideas, while using primary sources in an erudite way and engaging in a fruitful dialogue with contemporary scholarship...His interpretation raises important issues and is original and internally coherent. His study, presented in a quality edition, will therefore be of interest to students and scholars of both analytical and continental philosophy, as well as to anyone who has a particular interest in ancient philosophy, and in the Platonic tradition more especially. The Classical Review Daniel Sherman's own project is ... to save the Platonic ideas by a new interpretation of the dialogues in the title of his book. This book ... should be kept in mind by anyone of us who has more than a nostalgic interest in the Platonic dialogues...It is surely not a book to be overlooked in any serious study of the Platonic dialogues...Daniel Sherman has surely done his part to see that the "myth was saved" and is now before us to consider. The St. John's Reviewshow more