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Plato and the Hero
Courage, Manliness and the Impersonal Good


  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521028974

£ 31.99

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About the Authors
  • Plato's thinking on courage, manliness and heroism is both profound and central to his work, but these areas of his thought remain under-explored. This book examines his developing critique of both the notions and embodiments of manliness prevalent in his culture (particularly those in Homer), and his attempt to redefine them in accordance with his own ethical, psychological and metaphysical principles. It further seeks to locate the discussion within the framework of his general approach to ethics, an approach which focuses on concepts of flourishing and virtue, rather than on consequences or duty. The question of why courage is necessary in the flourishing life in its turn leads to Plato's bid to unify the noble and the beneficial and the tensions this unification creates between human and divine ideals. The issue of manliness also raises problems of gender: does Plato conceive of the ethical subject as human or male?

    • An original study of Plato's ethics and psychology
    • Explores 'manliness', courage and heroism in ancient Greece
    • A new reading of Plato and his response to Homer
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Hobbs provides a stimulating interpretation of … all Plato's dialogues … in the time-honoured phrase she 'brings Plato to life' and enables us to see what was at stake for him in the discussions of thumos and andreia … Hobbs' book makes fascinating reading both for the classical scholar and for the specialist in modern political philosophy. … a book which is worthy of emulation and which will be hard to better in terms of scholarship, imagination or insight.' Polis

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521028974
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The puzzle of Plato's thumos
    2. Thumos, andreia and the ethics of flourishing
    3. Arms and the man: andreia in the Laches
    4. Odd virtue out: courage and goodness in the Protagoras
    5. Why should I be good? Callicles, Thrasymachus and the egoist challenge
    6. Heroes and role models: the Apology, Hippias Major and Hippias Minor
    7. The threat of Achilles
    8. Plato's response: the valuable as one
    9. Alcibiades' revenge: thumos in the Symposium
    Epilogue: The weaver's art: andreia in the Politicus and Laws

  • Author

    Angela Hobbs, University of Sheffield

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