In this international and interdisciplinary collection of critical essays, distinguished contributors examine a crucial premise of traditional readings of Plato's dialogues: that Plato's own doctrines and arguments can be read off the statements made in the dialogues by Socrates and other leading characters. The authors argue in general and with reference to specific dialogues, that no character should be taken to be Plato's mouthpiece. This is essential reading for students and scholars of Plato.
Erotic Wisdom provides a careful reading of one of Plato's most beloved dialogues, the Symposium, which explores the nature and scope of human desire (erôs). Gary Alan Scott and William A. Welton engage all of the dialogue's major themes, devoting special attention to illuminating Plato's conception of philosophy. In the Symposium, Plato situates philosophy in an intermediate (metaxu) position--between need and resource, ignorance and knowledge--showing how the very lack of what one desires can become a guiding form of contact with (...) the objects of human desire. The authors examine the concept of intermediacy in relation both to Platonic metaphysics and to Plato's moral psychology, arguing that philosophy, for Plato, is properly understood as a kind of "being in-between," as the love of wisdom (philosophia) rather than the possession of it. (shrink)
The translation itself is rather literal, striving for consistency in the rendering of Greek terms. Its style would perhaps be best appreciated by those who admire Allan Bloom’s translation of the Republic or Thomas Pangle’s translation of the Laws. Although one might quibble with some of the translators’ choices, the overall result is a text that would give a reader unschooled in Greek a fairly reliable sense of the flow of ideas in the original.