Plato

Edited by Hugh Benson (University of Oklahoma)
Assistant editor: Mark Hallap (University of Toronto, St. George Campus)
About this topic
Summary Plato (ca. 427-347 B.C.E.) was an Athenian philosopher who is widely recognized among the most important philosophers of the Western world.  Plato can be plausibly credited with the invention of philosophy as we understand it today – the rational, rigorous, and systematic study of fundamental questions concerning ethics, politics, psychology, theology, epistemology, and metaphysics.  He wrote primarily in dialogue form.  Among his most influential views are a commitment to the distinction between changeless, eternal forms and changeable, observable ordinary objects, the immortality of the soul, the distinction between knowledge and true belief and the view that knowledge is in some way recollection, that philosophers should be rulers and rulers philosophers, and that justice is in some way welcomed for its own sake.  He was a follower of Socrates, significantly influenced Aristotle, the Stoics, the Academic skeptics, Plotinus, among others, and founded the Academy, perhaps the first institution of higher learning in the west.
Key works Among the most well-known of Plato’s works (26 generally acknowledged dialogues and 13 more doubtful letters) are the Apology, Crito, Euthyphro, Protagoras, Gorgias, Meno, Phaedo, Republic, Symposium, Theaetetus, and Timaeus.  The standard English translations of the complete works can be found in Cooper 1997.
Introductions A good place to start studying Plato in general is the entry in Stanford Encyclopedia, Kraut 2008, Hare 1982, and Annas 2003.  Important collections of essays include Vlastos 1973, Kraut 1992, Fine 1999, Fine 1999, Fine 2008, and Benson 2006.
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Subcategories
Plato, Misc (835)
History/traditions: Plato

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  1. Nietzsche’s Wrestling with Plato and Platonism.Thomas Brobjer - 2004 - In Paul Bishop (ed.), Nietzsche and antiquity: his reaction and response to the classical tradition. Camden House. pp. 241-259.
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  2. Nietzsche and Plato.Laurence Lampert - 2004 - In Paul Bishop (ed.), Nietzsche and antiquity: his reaction and response to the classical tradition. Camden House. pp. 204-219.
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  3. Plato on Suicide (Phaedo 60C-63C).Murray Miles - 2001 - Phoenix 55 (3/4):244-258.
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  4. Daniel A. Dombrowski, "Pre-Liberal Political Philosophy: Rawls and Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas.". [REVIEW]Travis Hreno - 2024 - Philosophy in Review 44 (1):9-13.
    A book review of Daniel A. Dombrowski's, "Pre-Liberal Political Philosophy: Rawls and Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas.".
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  5. Platons Ideenlehre.Gottfried Martin - 1973 - New York,: de Gruyter.
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  6. Time of Change in Plato and Aristotle.Ondřej Krása - 2024 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 26 (2):232-252.
    When do things change? When do things have some characteristics? I try to answer these questions by looking at different solutions Plato and Aristotle presented in their works. The famous analysis of change from the second half of Plato’s Parmenides claims that change happens outside of time, at an “instant”. On the contrary, Aristotle in the Physics explicitly argues that all change occurs only in time. However, both Plato and Aristotle also provide other analyses of change. How to deal with (...)
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  7. Diagloghi: Eutifrone, Apologia di Socrate, Critone, Fedone, Assioco, Jone, Menone, Alcibiade, Convito, Parmenide, Timeo, Fedro. Plato - 1976 - Torino: Einaudi. Edited by Francesco Acri & Carlo Carena.
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  8. Plato.Karl Jaspers - 1976 - München: Piper.
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  9. Sobre las ciudades ideales de Platón: discurso.Luis Cervera Vera - 1976 - Madrid: Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando.
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  10. The Epistemology of Rhetoric : Plato, Doxa and Post-Truth.Erik Bengtson - unknown
    In The Epistemology of Rhetoric: Plato, Doxa, and Post-Truth, Erik Bengtson sets out to formulate a contemporary epistemology of rhetoric considering the prevailing post-truth condition. In pursuit of this objective, Bengtson challenges dominant myths surrounding Plato's influence on rhetoric and examines the contemporary scholarly discourse on doxa, shedding light on its various facets. He also introduces the concepts of sedimentation and erosion as tools for comprehending the protracted nature of argumentation on foundational issues. This work not only advances our comprehension (...)
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  11. Mocht Plato zien wat er van de universiteit geworden is, dan zou hij stomverbaasd en bezorgd zijn.Michael S. Merry & Bart Van Leeuwen - 2024 - Https://Www.Knack.Be/Nieuws/Belgie/Onderwijs/Mocht-Plato-Zien-Wat-Er-van-de-Universiteit-Geworden-is -Dan-Zou-Hij-Stomverbaasd-En-Bezorgd-Zijn/.
    Als Plato de hedendaagse academie zou aanschouwen, zou hij niet alleen stomverbaasd zijn over de massificatie en de byzantijnse bureaucratie, maar gezien het ethische doel van de universiteit zou hij ook reden hebben om bezorgd te zijn.
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  12. Force and Persuasion: The Musical Two-Tiered Structure of Plato’s Cosmology.Noam Cohen - forthcoming - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy.
    Most scholars have not assigned much interpretive importance to the specific use of the term ‘persuasion’ in the cosmology of Plato’s Timaeus. This paper suggests understanding cosmological ‘persuasion’ in conjunction with ‘force,’ another trait of divine agency in the Timaeus. It analyses the nature of intelligent causation in the cosmology of the Timaeus, particularly in the construction of the cosmic body and soul. Then, it gives a detailed characterization of the causation of necessity, appearing in the Timaeus in three different (...)
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  13. Der Platonismus in der Antike: Grundlagen, System, Entwicklung.Heinrich Dörrie - 1987 - Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog. Edited by Matthias Baltes & Friedhelm Mann.
    Bd. 1. Die geschichtlichen Wurzeln des Platonismus (Bausteine 1-35) -- Bd. 2. Der hellenistische Rahmen des kaiserzeitlichen Platonismus (Bausteine 36-72) -- Bd. 3. Der Platonismus im 2. und 3. Jahrhundert nach Christus (Bausteine 73-100) -- Bd. 4. Die philosophische Lehre des Platonismus (Bausteine 101-124) -- Bd. 5. Die philosophische Lehre des Platonismus (Bausteine 125-150) -- Bd. 6. Die philosophische Lehre des Platonismus (2 v.; Bausteine 151-181) -- Index zu den Bänden 1-4.
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  14. Plato’s Parmenides: Selected Papers from the Twelfth Symposium Platonicum.Luc Brisson, Macé Arnaud & Olivier Renaut (eds.) - 2022 - Academia Verlag.
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  15. Two Portraits of Protagoras in Plato: Theaetetus vs. Protagoras.Mateo Duque - 2023 - Illinois Classical Studies 47 (2):359-382.
    This article will contrast two portrayals of Protagoras: one in the "Theaetetus," where Socrates discusses Protagorean theory and even comes to his defense by imitating the deceased sophist; and another in the "Protagoras," where Socrates recounts his encounter with the sophist. I suggest that Plato wants listeners and readers of the dialogues to hear the dissonance between the two portraits and to wonder why Socrates so distorts Protagoras in the "Theaetetus." Protagoras in the "Protagoras" behaves and speaks in ways that (...)
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  16. Performing Philosophy: The Pedagogy of Plato’s Academy Reimagined.Mateo Duque - 2023 - In Heather L. Reid, Mark Ralkowski & Henry C. Curcio (eds.), Paideia and Performance: Selected Essays from the 7th Interdisciplinary Symposium on the Hellenic Heritage of Sicily and Southern Italy. Siracusa: Parnassos Press. pp. 87-106.
    In this paper, drawing on evidence internal to the Platonic dialogues (supplemented with some ancient testimonia), I answer the question, “How did Plato teach in the Academy?” My reconstruction of Plato’s pedagogy in the Academy is that there was a single person who read the dialogue aloud like a rhapsode (this is in contrast to the dramatic theatrical hypothesis, in which several speakers function as actors in the performance of a dialogue). After the rhapsodic reading, students were allowed to ask (...)
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  17. Entry on "Metatheatre" in Section 4 "Concepts, Themes and Topics Treated in the Dialogues" in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Plato (2nd edition).Mateo Duque - 2022 - In Gerald Press & Mateo Duque (eds.), The Bloomsbury Handbook of Plato. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 287-289.
    This is a short entry on "Metatheatre" in Section 4, "Concepts, Themes and Topics Treated in the Dialogues," in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Plato, edited by Gerald Press and Mateo Duque.
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  18. Entry on "Comedy" in Section 3 "Important Features of the Dialogues" in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Plato (2nd edition).Mateo Duque - 2022 - In Gerald Press & Mateo Duque (eds.), The Bloomsbury Handbook of Plato. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 140-143.
    This is a short entry on "Comedy" in Section 3, "Important Features of the Dialogues," in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Plato, edited by Gerald Press and Mateo Duque.
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  19. The Bloomsbury Handbook of Plato (2nd edition).Gerald Press & Mateo Duque (eds.) - 2022 - London: Bloomsbury.
    This essential reference text on the life, thought and writings of Plato uses over 160 short, accessible articles to cover a complete range of topics for both the first-time student and seasoned scholar of Plato and ancient philosophy. It is organized into five parts illuminating Plato’s life, the whole of the Dialogues attributed to him, the Dialogues’ literary features, the concepts and themes explored within them and Plato’s reception via his influence on subsequent philosophers and the various interpretations of his (...)
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  20. In and Out of Character: Socratic Mimēsis.Mateo Duque - 2020 - Dissertation, Cuny Graduate Center
    In the "Republic," Plato has Socrates attack poetry’s use of mimēsis, often translated as ‘imitation’ or ‘representation.’ Various scholars (e.g. Blondell 2002; Frank 2018; Halliwell 2009; K. Morgan 2004) have noticed the tension between Socrates’ theory critical of mimēsis and Plato’s literary practice of speaking through various characters in his dialogues. However, none of these scholars have addressed that it is not only Plato the writer who uses mimēsis but also his own character, Socrates. At crucial moments in several dialogues, (...)
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  21. Traditional and Cosmic Gods in Later Plato and the Early Academy. By Vilius Bartninkas.Lewis Meek Trelawny-Cassity - 2024 - Ancient Philosophy 44 (1):258-266.
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  22. Plato’s Phaedo: Forms, Death, and the Philosophical Life. By David Ebrey.Doug Al-Maini - 2024 - Ancient Philosophy 44 (1):251-255.
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  23. Plato of Athens: A Life in Philosophy. By Robin Waterfield.William Prior - 2024 - Ancient Philosophy 44 (1):247-251.
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  24. Justice and Piety in Plato’s Euthyphro.Georgia Sermamoglou-Soulmaidin - 2024 - Ancient Philosophy 44 (1):17-32.
    In Plato’s Euthyphro, Socrates raises the question whether piety is coextensive with justice, or a part of it (11e4-12a2; cf. 12c10-d3). Euthyphro chooses the latter option, and seeks to determine the part of justice that piety happens to be. Scholars have debated fiercely about whether Socrates shares this view (Calef 1995a; McPherran 1995; Calef 1995b). This paper argues that, if Euthyphro is to remain consistent throughout the dialogue, coextensiveness must be favored over the part-of-justice view. If this is so, then (...)
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  25. Nocturnal Vision in Plato’s Timaeus.Sean M. Costello - 2024 - Ancient Philosophy 44 (1):59-81.
    This article examines whether vision in Plato’s Timaeus can realize its primary function of permitting humans to stabilize their misaligned orbits of intelligence by getting to know the universe’s orbits as revealed through the heavenly bodies’ movements. I consider a concern that Timaeus, while seemingly requiring nocturnal vision for this purpose, appears to preclude its possibility, thereby threatening the dialogue’s internal coherence. I then argue that Timaeus has the resources to overcome this worry and to provide a philosophically cogent account (...)
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  26. τὸ ἐξαίφνης and Time in Plato's Parmenides.Asadullah Khan - 2023 - Dialogue 62 (3):553-567.
    RésuméJe soutiens, à travers Heidegger, que la notion de τὸ ἐξαίφνης dans le Parménide ne signifie pas l’éternité, ou une trace d’éternité dans le temps, mais implique plutôt une conception primordiale du temps. Dans la déduction numéro deux, la relation entre la stasis et la kinesis devient problématique à cause de la notion de τὸ νῦν. Cela conduit Parménide, dans la déduction numéro trois, à poser la notion de τὸ ἐξαίφνης pour résoudre cette relation problématique, ce qui implique une conception (...)
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  27. Lezioni sul "Cratilo" di Platone. Proclus - 1989 - Roma: Distribuzione esclusiva, L'Erma di Bretschneider. Edited by Francesco Romano.
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  28. “Educating Children for Wisdom”: Reflecting on the Philosophy for Children Community of Inquiry Approach Through Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.Cathlyne Abarejo - 2024 - Childhood and Philosophy 20:01-28.
    There is a widespread belief in Philosophy for Children that Plato, the famed Greek thinker who introduced philosophizing to the world as a form of dialogue, was averse to teaching philosophy to young children. Decades of the implementation of P4C program’s inquiry pedagogy have shown conclusively that children are not, in fact, incapable of receiving philosophical training and education. But was Plato wrong? Or has he been largely misunderstood? Does his theory of education show the value of cultivating virtues in (...)
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  29. Marina Marren’s Plato and Aristophanes.Deborah Achtenberg - 2023 - Peitho 14 (1):141-144.
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  30. Another Handbook on Plato’s philosophy.Artur Pacewicz - 2023 - Peitho 14 (1):145-152.
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  31. Plato's Prisoners by Silvia Paddock and Thomas J. Buerveni. [REVIEW]Jo Edwards - 2024 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 31 (1-2):235-241.
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  32. Numbers, Ontologically Speaking: Plato on Numerosity.Calian Florin George - 2021 - In Numbers and Numeracy in the Greek Polis. Brill.
    The conceptualisation of numbers is culturally bound. This may seem like a counterintuitive claim, but one illustration thereof is the limitations of the resemblance of the ancient Greek concept of number to that in modern mathematics.
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  33. Contre Platon.Monique Dixsaut (ed.) - 1900 - Paris: J. Vrin.
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  34. The Archaeology of Urban Conflict: From Plato to Henri Lefebvre.Evgeny Karchagin - 2023 - Sociology of Power 35 (1):51-70.
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  35. “Accepted the October Revolution through Plato…”: Plato as a Forerunner of Socialism in Russian Thought in the 1900s-1920s. [REVIEW]Evgeniy Abdullaev - 2022 - Sociology of Power 34 (2):125-137.
  36. On the Aporetic Nature of Plato’s Lysis.Al Vincent St - 2022 - Philosophy International Journal 5 (4):1-4.
    Centering on the early Platonic dialogues, this paper delineates the importance of considering Plato’s Lysis’ as rightful inclusion to Jan Szaif’s proposal of “core group” of aporetic dialogue. This paper highlights a synoptic presentation of the development of Lysis’s reception by modern scholars of Plato (Platonic scholars) at the beginning of this discourse to establish a compelling argument for its aporetic nature. It then proceeds with a revisit to Szaif’s article Socrates and the Benefits of Puzzlement. The first section, considering (...)
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  37. Separation in Plato's Phaedo.Johannes Wilhelmsson - unknown
    An investigation into whether Plato was committed to separate Forms in the Phaedo. Two accounts of separation are distinguished: Gail Fine's modal account where separation is a capacity to exist independendently from sensible particulars, and Daniel D. Devereux' non-modal account where separation is equivalent with non-immanence. I analyse multiple key passages of the Phaedo using these accounts of separation, to see whether any passage commits Plato to separation understood in either modal or non-modal terms. I argue and conclude that there (...)
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  38. The idea of the Good in Plato’s Republic as an ontological principle.Wiesława Sajdek - 2022 - Philosophical Discourses 4:109-125.
    Plato gradually reaches the concept of the “Good itself” in the most extensive dialogue (apart from The Laws). The dramaturgy of Republic was included in the pedagogical idea. Plato’s own brothers, Glaucon and Adeimantus, representatives of the aristoia, want to hear from Socrates logically based instruction on what is really good and why, regardless of the prevailing public opinion in Athenian society. They both know that the most valued asset is the wealth and political influence that the use of force (...)
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  39. A Homeric Lesson in Plato's Sophist.Evan Rodriguez - forthcoming - Classical Quarterly:1-9.
    Plato's closing reference to the Iliad in the Sophist has been largely overlooked in contemporary scholarship. The reference, a quotation from the confrontation between Glaucus and Diomedes in Book 6, forms part of a broader frame to the dialogue. The frame, with its recurring themes of identification and misidentification, helps us make better sense of the dialogue's final description of the sophist and its central concerns about the relationship between philosophy and sophistry. It also provides a revealing case study of (...)
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  40. Plato on Correcting Philosophical Corruption.Marta Heckel - forthcoming - Classical Quarterly:1-14.
    Plato's Republic VII suggests that if we ask someone to philosophize when they are too young, they can become corrupted (537e–539d). Republic VII also suggests that to avoid this corruption, we must not expose youth to argument (539a–b). This is not a reasonable option outside of Kallipolis, so a question arises: does Plato describe how to correct corruption if we do not manage to prevent it? This paper shows that a parallel between this passage from Republic VII and a passage (...)
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  41. The reality of the not-true in Plato’s Sophist.Nestor-Luis Cordero - 2023 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 33:03316-03316.
    The definition of the sophist as "image-maker" allows Plato to add to the novelties he presents in the _Sophist_ two topics he hadn't deepened in his previous dialogues: (a) a "definition" of being (247e) and (b) the influence this position will have on the relationship between image and truth. From a first definition of the image proposed by Theaetetus in 240a we deduce that, even if it is not true, it is "really" (_óntos_) an image, which does not coincide with (...)
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  42. Thought, Memory, and Being in Plato’s Sophist.Anthony Pasqualoni - 2023 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 33:03323-03323.
    Thinking as described in Plato’s Sophist undergoes two basic changes: it progresses by shifting from one to many and it regresses by shifting from many to one. The change from one to many is generative; the change from many to one is reductive. These opposing changes provide a tension for thinking, and like Heraclitus’ bow string, this tension gives thinking its efficacy. Thinking would wander and accumulate endlessly unless it regresses from many to one. Yet, thinking would stagnate if it (...)
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  43. The plane tree and the singing cicadas in Plato’s Phaedrus: the environment of dialogue.Henrique Gomes Guimarães - 2023 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 33:03317-03317.
    This article aims to rethink the meaning of “nature” and the human in Plato, more specifically through some examples contained in the _Phaedrus_, a rare dialogue further away from the city. Phaedrus and Socrates leave Athens on a path outside the walls, past the Ilisus stream and the breeze of the woods, and end up sitting in the shadows of trees full of singing cicadas. What is the meaning of this scenario in the construction o the text? Is it possible (...)
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  44. Plato's Critique of Scientific Management in Charmides.Kenneth Knies - 2023 - Schole 17 (1):7-28.
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  45. Soul Matters: Plato and Platonists on the Nature of the Soul.Sara Ahbel-Rappe, Danielle A. Layne & Crystal Addey (eds.) - 2023 - Society for Biblical Literature.
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  46. Proclus on Plato's Dialectic: Argument by Performance.Dirk Baltzly - 2023 - In Ancient Greek Dialectic and Its Reception. Berlin: De Gruyter. pp. 413-26.
    Neoplatonist commentators generally regarded Plato as having a unified account of a method called 'dialectic'. This paper looks at the manner in which they reconciled the idea of dialectic from the Republic (with its ascent to an unhypothetical first principle) with the method of collection and division described in dialogues like Phaedrus and Philebus and seemingly illustrated in dialogues like the Statesman.
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  47. Cosmopsychology around 1900: Paul Scheerbart in the context of Plato, Cusanus, Kant, Fechner, and Lovelock.Detlef Thiel - 2024 - Intellectual History Review 34 (1):213-229.
    Paul Scheerbart (1863–1915) is rarely referred to as a philosopher. He is known as the author of Glasarchitektur (1914), and of numerous books, essays, and stories of “fantasy” and anti-militarism. As a follower of Berkeley’s skepticism, he proposed an aesthetic of the fantastic, an art program in contrast to current realism and impressionism. Studying technical and scientific progress, he developed alternative ideas, in a unique blend of fiction and science. His “astro-” or “cosmopsychology” is a variant of ancient panpsychism or, (...)
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  48. Die Kontingenz der Ewigkeit? Paradoxe der Sprache der Beschreibung der Dauer in antiken Modellen der Zeitlichkeit.Tatiana Litvin - 2020 - Platonic Investigations 12.
    The article undertakes a phenomenological interpretation of the description of contingency in two late-antique models of the relationship of time and eternity — in the theory of Plotinus, and in the eschatology of Paul on the basis of the First Epistle to the Thessalonians. Contingency as a possible property not of time, but of eternity, the presence of the supertemporal in the physical world — this hypothesis promotes a new view of the relationship between time and eternity and a new (...)
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  49. Harmony between Plato and Aristotle. 안승훈 - 2023 - Journal of the Daedong Philosophical Association 105:155-192.
    이 글은 『존재자와 일자』에서의 피코가 플라톤과 아리스토텔레스를 조화시키는 방법 에 대해 분석한다. 『존재자와 일자』의 전체 구도는 플라톤의 ‘오름길과 내림길’, 아리스 토텔레스의 ‘존재의 여러 진술’로 이루어진다. 이 저작은 그 내용의 구성 자체가 플라톤과 아리스토텔레스적 요소의 결합으로 이루어지는 것이다. 한편으로 피코는 플라톤과 아리 스토텔레스 모두 존재자(ens)와 일자(unum)의 일치를 주장했다고 분석한다. 이 때 그는 『파르메니데스』를 분석함으로써 그것이 ‘변증술적 연습’에 불과함을 주장하고, 그 저작을 일자 형이상학의 학설로 받아들이지 말 것을 요구한다. 다른 한편으로 피코는 존재자에 대한 하나의 우월성에 대해서도 플라톤과 아리스토텔레스의 견해가 일치했다고 주장한다. 이때 (...)
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  50. Virtue and Change in Plato's Laws.Mariana Noé - 2022 - Dissertation, Columbia University
    The aim of my dissertation is to show that Plato’s metaphysics in the Laws (Chapter 1) commits him to particular accounts of virtues (Chapter 2) and political leadership (Chapter 3). In the first chapter, I show that Laws X contains a metaphysical-cosmological theory that is directly relevant to Plato’s discussion of virtue. With this proposal, I reject the assumption that Plato’s Laws does not contain any extended discussion of metaphysics. I develop this argument by attending to a puzzling passage that, (...)
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