OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Philosophos: Plato's Missing Dialogue

ISBN : 9780199606184

Price(incl.tax): 
¥7,480
Author: 
Mary Louise Gill
Pages
304 Pages
Format
Hardcover
Size
171 x 240 mm
Pub date
Sep 2012
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Plato famously promised to complement the Sophist and the Statesman with another work on a third sort of expert, the philosopher-but we do not have this final dialogue. Mary Louise Gill argues that Plato promised the Philosopher, but did not write it, in order to stimulate his audience and encourage his readers to work out, for themselves, the portrait it would have contained. The Sophist and Statesman are themselves members of a larger series starting with the Theaetetus, Plato's investigation of knowledge, and the whole series relies on the Parmenides, the second part of which presents a philosophical exercise, introduced as the first step in a larger philosophical program. Gill contends that the dialogues leading up to the missing Philosopher, though they reach some substantive conclusions, are philosophical exercises of various sorts designed to train students in dialectic, the philosopher's method; and that a second version of the Parmenides exercise, closely patterned on it, spans parts of the Theaetetus and Sophist and brings the philosopher into view. This is the exercise about being, the subject-matter studied by Plato's philosopher. Plato hides the pieces of the puzzle and its solution in plain sight, forcing his students (and modern readers) to dig out the pieces and reconstruct the project. Gill reveals how, in finding the philosopher through the exercise, the student becomes a philosopher by mastering his methods. She shows that the target of Plato's exercise is internally related to its pedagogical purpose.

Index: 

Acknowledgements
Introduction
1. Forms in Question
2. A Philosophical Exercise
3. The Contest between Heraclitus and Parmenides
4. Knowledge as Expertise
5. Appearances of the Sophist
6. Refining the Statesman
7. The Philosopher's Object
Works Cited
Index Locorum
Index of Names
General Index

About the author: 

Mary Louise Gill is Professor of Philosophy and Classics at Brown University. She is the author of Aristotle on Substance: The Paradox of Unity (Princeton, 1989) and of many articles and several co-edited books on Plato and Aristotle.

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