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Soul, World, and Idea: An Interpretation of Plato's "Republic" and "Phaedo"

Overview

In its examination of two of Plato's key works, Soul, World, and Idea: An Interpretation of Plato's Republic and Phaedo reveals the key role that that images and our capacity for image-making play in the relationship among soul, world, and idea. This book begins and ends with a reading of the Republic. Daniel Sherman turns midway to the Phaedo to further analyze the nature of the soul and its relation to the nature of the Ideas, then returns to apply the conclusions to the rest of the Republic. Sherman's focus is...

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Overview

In its examination of two of Plato's key works, Soul, World, and Idea: An Interpretation of Plato's Republic and Phaedo reveals the key role that that images and our capacity for image-making play in the relationship among soul, world, and idea. This book begins and ends with a reading of the Republic. Daniel Sherman turns midway to the Phaedo to further analyze the nature of the soul and its relation to the nature of the Ideas, then returns to apply the conclusions to the rest of the Republic. Sherman's focus is on the ontological and epistemological argument, including attention to the dramatic detail. He argues that the ontology of the Ideas in the Republic and the Phaedo is inseparable from the ontology of human being, that is, from the structure and life of the soul. On this interpretation, the Ideas are seen as indeed objective but as in a sense also a product of a permanent dialectical relationship. The Ideas, though something more than concepts, do not have any real independent existence outside of this human dialectical triad of world, soul and Idea. The stability of the Ideas need not be grounded in a static otherworldliness, and the condition of meaning is not temporally prior to human existence in general. The result is a new interpretation concerning the realm of the Ideas, the immortality of the soul, and the lived in world of their interaction in the production of interpretive images.

Sherman argues that the platonic soul is immortal and the Ideas eternal wholly and solely in human (dialogical) activity—the rest is muthologia—and that the world of our experience is a product of an ongoing act of interpretation or dianoetic dialegesthai. This reinterpretation the platonic Ideas will be especially interesting to students and scholars of classics, ancient philosophy, and continental philosophy.

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Editorial Reviews

The St. John's Review
Daniel Sherman's own project is...to save the Platonic ideas by a new interpretation of the dialogues in the title of his book. This book...should be kept in mind by anyone of us who has more than a nostalgic interest in the Platonic dialogues. . . .It is surely not a book to be overlooked in any serious study of the Platonic dialogues. . . .Daniel Sherman has surely done his part to see that the "myth was saved" and is now before us to consider.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739172322
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 10/3/2013
  • Pages: 420
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Sherman has taught philosophy and humanities at York University and at the secondary school level for the International Baccalaureate Program and the Program for the Gifted in Toronto.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1: The Interlocutors’ Request
Chapter 2: Discourse
Chapter 3: The Cave – Education and the Lack of it
Chapter 4: The Divided Line and the Dynamic of Ascent
Chapter 5: Education and the Mind’s Eye
Chapter 6: The Phaedo’s Arguments for Immortality
Chapter 7: The Problem of Wrong Beginnings
Chapter 8: From Logos to Idea
Chapter 9: Closing the Circle
Conclusion
Bibliography
Notes

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