Platonic Questions

Dialogues with the Silent Philosopher

By (author) Diskin Clay

Paperback - £28.95

Publication date:

15 November 2000

Length of book:

336 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271020440

The dialogue has disappeared as a mode of writing philosophy, and philosophers who study Plato today often ignore the form in which Plato’s work appears in favor of reconstructing and analyzing arguments thought to be conveyed by the content of the dialogues. A distinguished classicist here offers an approach to understanding Plato that tries to do full justice to the form of Platonic philosophy, appreciated against the background of Greek literature and history, while also giving proper due to the important philosophic content of the dialogues.

The book deals in turn with Plato’s relation to and portraits of Socrates, the literary and philosophical character of the dialogues (including the problems of interpreting a philosopher who never speaks in his own name), and the modes of argumentation employed in the dialogues as well as some of their major themes.

“There are many books on Plato, but very few that deal in a sensitive way with the dialogues as literary works, while at the same time respecting the philosophical content.”

—Charles H. Kahn, University of Pennsylvania