Encounters and Reflections: Conversations with Seth Benardete

Encounters and Reflections: Conversations with Seth Benardete

by Seth Benardete, Ronna Burger
3.5 2

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Encounters and Reflections: Conversations with Seth Benardete 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is that the shrillness of a grinding axe I hear coming from Mr. Aristocles direction? This book is both a memoir of perhaps the greatest classicist of his time and a very subtle and wide-ranging discussion of ancient philosophy in general and Plato in particular with various excursions along the way. Having said that this book is not going to be for everyone. I think it's single greatest benefit might be to awaken more conventional students of Platonism from their dogmatic slumbers. I can't imagine a "developmentalist" or Irwin style "analytical" student of Plato responding to this work with anything less than angry denunciation or a most painful discovery of ignorance. More likely the former.
Aristocles More than 1 year ago
The real usefulness of this book (apart from the opening tale of Nasreddin Hoja at the Turkish bath) is the light it shines on Benardete's teacher Leo Strauss; neither Benardete's comments on others nor the flattering questions posed by his interlocutors are particularly valuable. But even where Strauss is concerned, the book's value is limited for most readers since revealing issues are ignored (e.g. 81-4). Only those scholars intent on getting to the bottom of the Straussian movement will know how to get their money's worth from this immoralist hagiography. As far as Benardete's version of Straussianism goes, it might be summarized as follows: the nihilist philosopher who has achieved "liberation from shame" (98-100) combined with "knowledge of ignorance" (160-1) propagates through pederasty (158) a private or politic response to any external standard of morality (174-5) and restores an Aristophanic "proud thought" (173-4) of absolute autonomy.