Plato stands as the fount of our philosophical tradition, being the first Western thinker to produce a body of writing that touches upon a wide range of topics still discussed by philosophers today. In a sense he invented philosophy as a distinct subject, for although many of these topics were discussed by his intellectual predecessors and contemporaries, he was the first to bring them together by giving them a unitary treatment. This volume contains fourteen essays discussing Plato's views about knowledge, reality, mathematics, politics, ethics, love, poetry, and religion. There are also analyses of the intellectual and social background of his thought, the development of his philosophy throughout his career, the range of alternative approaches to his work, and the stylometry of his writing.
The Oxford Handbook of Plato provides in-depth and up-to-date discussions of a variety of topics and dialogues in twenty-one articles. The result is a useful reference to the man many consider the most important philosophical thinker in history. Plato is the best known, and continues to be the most widely studied, of all the ancient Greek philosophers. Each article serves several functions at once: they survey the lay of the land; they express and develop the authors' own views; they situate those views within a range of alternatives. This book contains articles on metaphysics, epistemology, love, language, ethics, politics, art and education. Individual articles are devoted to each of the following dialogues: the Republic, the Parmenides, the Theaetetus, the Sophist, the Timaeus, and the Philebus. There are also articles 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
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