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Plato's Political Philosophy

Overview

This comprehensive, yet compact, introduction examines Plato's understanding of law, justice, virtue, and the connection between politics and philosophy.

Focusing on three of Plato's dialogues-The Laws, The Republic, and The Statesman-Mark Blitz lays out the philosopher's principal interests in government and the strength and limit of the law, the connection between law and piety, the importance of founding, and the status and limits of political knowledge. He examines all of ...

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Plato's Political Philosophy

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Overview

This comprehensive, yet compact, introduction examines Plato's understanding of law, justice, virtue, and the connection between politics and philosophy.

Focusing on three of Plato's dialogues-The Laws, The Republic, and The Statesman-Mark Blitz lays out the philosopher's principal interests in government and the strength and limit of the law, the connection between law and piety, the importance of founding, and the status and limits of political knowledge. He examines all of Plato's discussions of politics and virtues, comments on specific dialogues, and discusses the philosopher's explorations of beauty, pleasure, good, and the relations between politics and reason. Throughout, Blitz reinforces Plato's emphasis on clear and rigorous reasoning in ethics and political life and explains in straightforward language the valuable lessons one can draw from examining Plato's writings.

The only introduction to Plato that both gathers his separate discussions of politically relevant topics and pays close attention to the context and structure of his dialogues, this volume directly contrasts the modern view of politics with that of the ancient master. It is an excellent companion to Plato's Dialogues.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

Readers of all levels can be grateful for this ambitious book, which is not limited to an account of Plato's political philosophy narrowly understood. Besides skillful chapters on Laws, Republic, and Statesman, Blitz provides accurate and instructive treatments of 11 other dialogues... Highly recommended.

Claremont Review of Books
[Blitz's] book is beautifully organized, and he succeeds in moving 'along Plato's spiraling paths.'

— Mary P. Nichols

International Journal of the Classical Tradition
Blitz's book... clearly contains the fruits of many years of thoughtful reflection on Plato's philosophy, and there is much that a discerning reader might learn from it.

— James Wood

Claremont Review of Books - Mary P. Nichols
[Blitz's] book is beautifully organized, and he succeeds in moving 'along Plato's spiraling paths.'
International Journal of the Classical Tradition - James Wood
Blitz's book... clearly contains the fruits of many years of thoughtful reflection on Plato's philosophy, and there is much that a discerning reader might learn from it.
Choice
Readers of all levels can be grateful for this ambitious book, which is not limited to an account of Plato's political philosophy narrowly understood. Besides skillful chapters on Laws, Republic, and Statesman, Blitz provides accurate and instructive treatments of 11 other dialogues... Highly recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801897658
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,091,273
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Blitz is the Fletcher Jones Professor of Political Philosophy and director of the Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom at Claremont McKenna College. He is the coeditor, along with William Kristol, of Educating the Prince and the author of Duty Bound: Responsibility and American Public Life and Heidegger's "Being and Time" and the Possibility of Political Philosophy.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1 Politics and Virtue

1 The World of the Dialogues 9

2 Virtue 34

3 Virtue and Politics: The Laws 82

Part 2 Politics and Philosophy

4 The Roots of Philosophy 115

5 Beauty and Nobility 143

6 Philosophy and Politics: The Republic 166

Part 3 Politics and Knowledge

7 Pleasure and the Soul 191

8 Knowledge and Illusion 215

9 Knowledge and Politics: The Statesman 241

Conclusion 269

Notes 275

Index 321

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