Xanthippic Dialoques: Comprising Xanthippe's Republic: Perictione's Parmenides, and Xanthippe Laws; Together with a Version, Probably Spurious of Phryne's Symposiumby Roger Scruton (Editor)
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
- St. Augustine's Press
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- 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)
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