Xanthippic Dialoques: Comprising Xanthippe's Republic: Perictione's Parmenides, and Xanthippe Laws; Together with a Version, Probably Spurious of Phryne's Symposium

Overview

In Plato's dialogues, an idealized Socrates expounds the ideas for which Plato will,until the end of history, be famous. The world of Forms; the ideal Republic with its totalitarian masterplan; the tribute to Eros, god of love (or at least of homosexual love); the promise of the soul's salvation B all this has come down to us in the distinctive tone of voice of Plato's teacher. But how much of it did Socrates believe? Were Plato's contemporaries really taken in? And what lay behind his philosophy, from which the ...
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Overview

In Plato's dialogues, an idealized Socrates expounds the ideas for which Plato will,until the end of history, be famous. The world of Forms; the ideal Republic with its totalitarian masterplan; the tribute to Eros, god of love (or at least of homosexual love); the promise of the soul's salvation B all this has come down to us in the distinctive tone of voice of Plato's teacher. But how much of it did Socrates believe? Were Plato's contemporaries really taken in? And what lay behind his philosophy, from which the real world of men and women was so rigorously excluded? Until the discovery of the Xanthippic Inquiries, we had no answer to those questions. Now at last the real Plato is revealed to us, by the women whom he banished from his arguments. In this brilliant and witty exposJ, the mask of abstraction is lifted, to reveal the truth that lies beneath. And the truth is Xanthippe: wife of Socrates, teacher of Aristotle, and Founding Mother of the Western world. This is a book that no feminist can afford to ignore.

AWhat is original is the working of it into a richly complex, compelling, fluent and natural-seeming fiction, in which each theme and topic seems spontaneously to arise out of its predecessor, and the whole to be woven together into a convincing vision, unified but not unitary, of the nature and ends of life. (If that sounds Wagnerian, it is because it is.) It is a celebration of the only meaningful freedom, a thing which we learn exclusively by immersion in a society which values it, and only by accepting and internalizing that society's constraints.
—Robert Grant, Philosophical Quarterly

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Scruton has created a witty work that operates on several levels: as a gentle satire on the long-lost-manuscript genre, a parody of certain Platonic dialogs, and a tool for teaching some fairly difficult concepts. The preface, which outlines the discovery of the "manuscript," sounds like the plot of one too many novels as it is intended to, but the "dialogs" have very definite links with ideas present in the "real" dialogs they parody. Those familiar with the Symposium, the Laws, the Parmenides, and the Republic will find Scruton's versions delightful and reasonably faithful to the ideas of the originals. Two of the dialogs presented here are ostensibly written by Socrates' wife Xanthippe--not the shrewish, nagging Xanthippe of the original but rather a bright, articulate, and creative woman. Scruton's characters have a three-dimensional quality that makes his intelligently written satire of the "lost" dialogs work. Recommended for all libraries.--Terry C. Skeats, Bishop's Univ. Lib., Lennoxville, Quebec
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781890318949
  • Publisher: St. Augustine's Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/1998
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 270
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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