Plato stands as the fount of our philosophical tradition, being the first Western thinker to produce a body of writing that touches upon a wide range of topics still discussed by philosophers today. In a sense he invented philosophy as a distinct subject, for although many of these topics were discussed by his intellectual predecessors and contemporaries, he was the first to bring them together by giving them a unitary treatment. This volume contains fourteen new essays discussing Plato's views about knowledge, reality, mathematics, politics, ethics, love, poetry, and religion. There are also analyses of the intellectual and social background of his thought, the development of his philosophy throughout his career, the range of alternative approaches to his work, and the stylometry of his writing.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction to the study of Plato Richard Kraut; 2. Plato: the intellectual background T. H. Irwin; 3. Stylometry and chronology Leonard Brandwood; 4. Socrates and the early dialogues Terry Penner; 5. Mathematical method and philosophical truth Ian Mueller; 6. Inquiry in the Meno Gail Fine; 7. Plato and Greek religion Michael L. Morgan; 8. Platonic love G. R. F. Ferrari; 9. Plato's metaphysical epistemology Nicholas P. White; 10. The defence of justice in Plato's Republic Richard Kraut; 11. Plato on poetic creativity Elizabeth Asmis; 12. Good-bye to the Third Man Constance C. Meinwald; 13. Plato's Sophist on false statements Michael Frede; 14. Disintegration and restoration: pleasure and pain in Plato's Philebus Dorothea Frede; 15. Plato's later political thought Trevor J. Saunders.