- Pub. Date:
- Penn State University Press
Acknowledging the powerful impact that Plato's dialogues have had on readers, Jill Gordon shows how the literary techniques Plato used function philosophically to engage readers in doing philosophy and attracting them toward the philosophical life.
The picture of philosophical activity emerging from the dialogues, as thus interpreted, is a complex process involving vision, insight, and emotion basic to the human condition rather than a resort to pure reason as an escape from it. Since the literary features of Plato's writing are what draw the reader into philosophy, the book becomes an argument for the union of philosophy and literature—and against their disciplinary bifurcation—in the dialogues.
Gordon construes the relationship of Plato's text to its audience as an analogue of Socrates' relationship with his interlocutors in the dialogues, seeing both as fundamentally dialectic. On this insight she builds her detailed analysis of specific literary devices in chapters on dramatic form, character development, irony, and image-making (which includes myth, metaphor, and analogy).
In this way Gordon views Plato as not at all the enemy of the poets and image-makers that previous interpreters have depicted. Rather, Gordon concludes that Plato understands the power of words and images quite well. Since they, and not logico-deductive argumentation, are the appropriate means for engaging human beings, he uses them to great effect and with a sensitive understanding of human psychology, wary of their possible corrupting influences but ultimately willing to harness their power for philosophical ends.
|Publisher:||Penn State University Press|
|Series:||Literature and Philosophy|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.59(d)|
Table of Contents
|Acknowledgments and Note on Translations||ix|
|1.||Analysis and Argument-Focused Methods||3|
|2.||An Alternative Approach||7|
|1.||Beyond Logic: Dialectic Tools and Practices||21|
|2.||Dialectic in the Meno||33|
|3.||Dialectic and Belief: The Socratic Disposition||37|
|4.||Platonic Dialectic: A Look Ahead||42|
|2.||Dialogue and Dialectic: A Phenomenology of Reading||49|
|3.||Transformation of the Self||57|
|1.||Plato as Poet and Dramatist||64|
|2.||Plato's Works Reconsidered: Criticizing Poetry||74|
|3.||Plato's Works and Aristotle's Poetics||76|
|4.||Plato's Works: Making and Doing||86|
|1.||Introducing Meno's Character||95|
|4.||Character Transformation and Plato's Project||111|
|5.||Beyond Character Development||116|
|1.||The Definition of Socratic Irony||118|
|2.||The Function of Socratic Irony||127|
|3.||Literary Devices and Plato's Metaphysics||132|
|1.||The Evidence of the Phaedo||138|
|2.||The Evidence of Other Dialogues||148|
|3.||The Philosophical Effect of Images and Image-Making||163|