The Roots of Political Philosophy: Ten Forgotten Socratic Dialogues: Translated, with Interpretive Studies / Edition 1

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This book consists of literal English translations of ten Socratic dialogues that have been largely neglected for the last century. Although everyone of these dialogues belongs to the classical canon of Platonic writings and was accepted as genuine in antiquity, most were condemned as forgeries in the early nineteenth century—and have remained under a shadow ever since. In his long introductory essay, Thomas L. Pangle offers a spirited criticism of arguments that have been adduced to support the view that some of the dialogues are counterfeit and shows in scrupulous detail why he believes in their authenticity.

Each dialogue is accompanied by an interpretive essay that demonstrates how a close reading of the dialogue sheds revealing light on the Platonic understanding of political theory, ethics, aesthetics, and the philosophic way of life as exemplified by Socrates. The essays include previously published pieces, some of classic stature, as well as studies written especially for this volume.

Opening an entirely new dimension of Platonic studies, The Roots of Political Philosophy addresses, in a fresh or unfamiliar perspective, major themes and puzzles such as: the nature of law, of property, and of acquisitiveness; the meaning of Socrates' famous "demonic voice"; what is at stake in the poetic claim to inspiration; and the psychology of the tyrannic as opposed to the statesmanlike or political personality.

Political scientists, philosophers, classicists, and students who are familiar with the textual approach associated with Leo Strauss will welcome this book, as will other readers with an interest in ancient Greek philosophy and political thought.

Contributors and translators: Allan Bloom, Christopher Bruell, Steven Forde, James Leake, Carnes Lord, James H. Nichols, Clifford Orwin, Thomas L. Pangle, Leo Strauss, and David Sweet.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The [commentaries] are not line-by-line explanations of the text, but essays which explain the dialogues, closely following the development of arguments and comparing similar ideas found elsewhere in the Platonic corpus. They are insightful and thought-provoking…The editorial purpose is clearly to present a modern translation for readers with no Greek and a dependable translation for scholars unwilling or unable to deal always with the original text. Footnotes explain significant text variants and provide helpful historical information. An especially good introduction by the editor deals with the authenticity of the opuscula. Roots is a valuable document for both serious and casual students of Platonic philosophy. —Religious Studies Review (October, 1988)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801494659
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1987
  • Series: Agora Editions Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 424
  • Sales rank: 587,223
  • Lexile: 1270L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas L. Pangle is Joe R. Long Chair in Democratic Studies in the Department of Government and Co-Director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of many books, most recently Aristotle's Teaching in The Politics, and editor of books including The Roots of Political Philosophy: Ten Forgotten Socratic Dialogues, also from Cornell.

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Table of Contents

Editor's Introduction

HIPPARCHUS (translated by Steven Forde)
The Political Philosopher in Democratic Society: The Socratic View, by Allan Bloom

MINOS (translated by Thomas L. Pangle)
On the Minos, by Leo Strauss

LOVERS (translated by James Leake)
On the Original Meaning of Political Philosophy: An Interpretation of Plato's Lovers, by Christopher Bruell

CLEITOPHON (translated by Clifford Orwin)
On the Cleitophon, by Clifford Orwin

THEAGES (translated by Thomas L. Pangle)
On the Theages, by Thomas L. Pangle

ALCIBIADES I (translated by Carnes Lord)
On the Alcibiades I, by Steven Forde

LACHES (translated by James H. Nichols, Jr.)
Introduction to the Laches, by James H. Nichols, Jr.

LESSER HIPPIAS (translated by James Leake)
Introduction to the Lesser Hippias, by James Leake

GREATER HIPPIAS (translated by David R. Sweet)
Introduction to the Greater Hippias, by David R. Sweet

ION (translated by Allan Bloom)
An Interpretation of Plato's Ion, by Allan Bloom

Index of Names
Index of Discussions of Other Platonic Dialogues
Index of Subjects

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