Ascent to the Good

The Reading Order of Plato's Dialogues from Symposium to Republic
Lexington Books (Verlag)
  • erschienen am 29. November 2018
  • |
  • 660 Seiten
E-Book | ePUB mit Adobe-DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-1-4985-7462-4 (ISBN)
At the crisis of his Republic, Plato asks us to imagine what could possibly motivate a philosopher to return to the Cave voluntarily for the benefit of others and at the expense of her own personal happiness. This book shows how Plato has prepared us, his students, to recognize that the sun-like Idea of the Good is an infinitely greater object of serious philosophical concern than what is merely good for me, and thus why neither Plato nor his Socrates are eudaemonists, as Aristotle unquestionably was. With the transcendent Idea of Beauty having been made manifest through Socrates and Diotima, the dialogues between Symposium and Republic-Lysis, Euthydemus, Laches, Charmides, Gorgias, Theages, Meno, and Cleitophon- prepare the reader to make the final leap into Platonism, a soul-stirring idealism that presupposes the student's inborn awareness that there is nothing just, noble, or beautiful about maximizing one's own good. While perfectly capable of making the majority of his readers believe that he endorses the harmless claim that it is advantageous to be just and thus that we will always fare well by doing well, Plato trains his best students to recognize the deliberate fallacies and shortcuts that underwrite these claims, and thus to look beyond their own happiness by the time they reach the Allegory of the Cave, the culmination of a carefully prepared Ascent to the Good.
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By William H. F. Altman

Preface: Ascent to the Good

Table of Abbreviations

Introduction: Aristotle and Plato

Chapter 1: Lysis-Euthydemus: Mental Gymnastic and ¿ρως in Symposium's Wake

§1. The Good and the Beautiful in Plato's Symposium

§2. Systematic Socratism

§3. Plato's Deliberate Use of Fallacy in Lysis-Euthydemus

§4. The Play of Character and the Argument of the Action

Chapter 2: Laches and Charmides: Fighting for Athens

§5. Between Euthydemus and Meno

§6. Socratism and the Knowledge of Good and Bad

§7. The Return to Athens in Laches and Charmides

Chapter 3: Plato and Gorgias: The Touchstone of Socrates

§8. From Gorgias to Republic

§9. Plato's Confession

§10. Gorgias and the Shorter Way

§11. Protagoras Revisited

§12. Gorgias and the Longer Way

Chapter 4. Theages and Meno: Socratic Paradoxes

§13. Divine Inspiration and its Discontents

§14. "Meno the Thessalian" and the Socratic Paradox Revisited

§15. Hypotheses and Images in Meno: Introducing the Divided Line

Chapter 5. Cleitophon and Republic

§16. Looking Forward: Answering Cleitophon's Question (408e1-2)

§17. Looking Back: Socrates as Obstacle to Socratism (410e7-8)

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