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Plato and the Socratic Dialogue
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  • Page extent: 456 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.61 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521648301 | ISBN-10: 0521648300)

  • There was also a Hardback of this title but it is no longer available | Adobe eBook
  • Published June 1998

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$62.99 (C)

This book offers a new interpretation of Plato's early and middle dialogues as the expression of a unified philosophical vision. Whereas the traditional view sees the dialogues as marking successive stages in Plato's philosophical development, we may more legitimately read them as reflecting an artistic plan for the gradual, indirect and partial exposition of Platonic philosophy. The magnificent literary achievement of the dialogues can be fully appreciated only from the viewpoint of a unitarian reading of the philosophical content.


1. Sokratikoi logoi: the literary and intellectual background of Plato's work; 2. The interpretation of Plato; 3. Socrates; 4. Plato as a minor Socratic: Ion and Hippias Minor; 5. Gorgias: Plato's manifesto for philosophy; 6. The priority of definition: from Laches to Meno; 7. Charmides and the search for beneficial knowledge; 8. Protagoras: virtue as knowledge; 9. The object of love; 10. The emergence of dialectic; 11. The presentation of the Forms; 12. Phaedrus and the limits of writing; Appendix; Bibliography.


"This outstanding work of scholarship issues serious challenges to many of the reigning orthodoxies of Platonic studies....Strongly recommended for its originality and imaginative scholarship." J. Bussanich, Choice

"...Kahn's book has a great deal to offer besides this central argument. His account of the theory of Forms is subtle and profound. He does full justice to the role of love in Plato's thought." Jasper Griffin, New York Review of Books

"...quite rewarding." David Sider, American Journal of Philology

"The fact is that Plato and the Socratic Dialogue is a very interesting book. Its interest lies not in the analysis of methodology but in the nuanced reading of a set of ancient texts that Kahn "offer[s]...[as] a comprehensive interpretation, at once literary, historical, and philosophical, the fruit of a lifetime of reading and teaching Plato" (p. xiii). Kahn does offer a nearly comprehensive interpretation of the early and middle dialpgues. His interpretation is literary, historical, and philosophical. Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, his interpretation brings out some of what is truly awe inspiring about the ancient Greek period and about Plato's contribution to this period of human development." Review of Metaphysics

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