Subject Area: Plato

Apuleius' Debt to Plato in the Metamorphoses
2003 0-7734-7012-3
This book argues for a Platonist approach to the novel Metamorphoses, and shows that Apuleius forms his own theory of discourse in his philosophical work. This study of Apuleius’ late Roman novel is also a response to the scholarly debate about the unity of the text. The author shows that the Metamorphoses is a perfect illustration of the very Platonic notion of an inferior discourse that is captivating, persuasive, and suited to dealing with inconsistent or ephemeral subjects.

Classical Rhetorical Thought. Selected Highlights
1991 0-7734-9914-8
Studies the development of rhetorical theory within the framework of the definitive questions: what is rhetoric; what constitutes a good speaker; how should truth be defined; what is knowledge; and what is involved in audience analysis. Examines the how these questions are treated by Plato, Isocrates, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, St. Augustine, Peter Ramus, and John Locke. Begins with the preface that man's desire to understand himself and the world in which he lives is founded in a study of history; that it is through an understanding of an era's social organizations and behaviors (which are revealed by its rhetoric and rhetorical theories) that insight can be gained into the manner in which the leaders of that time perceived two concepts: the nature of man, and the interrelationships of man and his world. Contemporary exercises and projects invite the reader to apply the concepts explored to modern issues.

Cock for Asclepios Continuing Dialogues with Socrates, In Extremis
1991 0-7734-9916-4
Explores the logic of not-knowing, dramatically presented in the middle-period dialogues of Plato. Contends that Plato first perceived such a logic of not-knowing in the person and behaviour of the man Socrates. Argues that Plato developed the same logic in the literary character Socrates in his dialogues and presented it to his contemporaries as a model of human excellence, as the new arete designed to supplant precedent and then contemporary contenders to model status. Challenges the traditional interpretation of Plato. Offers a new interpretation of Plato as the elaborator of the hypothetical method, termed "Erotic-hypothesizing", which speaks of human possibility and human limitation.

Contribution of Socratic Method and Plato’s Theory of Truth to Plato Scholarship
2001 0-7734-7361-0
In Plato’s early dialogues, Socrates typically draws from his interlocutors definitions of moral terms, then demonstrates that these positions or their consequences are inconsistent with the definitions they have offered. On numerous occasions in the early dialogues, Socrates claims that this method will yield truth. This study argues that Plato entertains a theory of truth according to which consistency is sufficient for truth, rescuing him from the charge of having confused consistency with truth, and solving the puzzle of Socratic ignorance. It also suggests a new theory of Plato’s philosophical development: Middle and Late Plato did not abandon Socratic philosophy; rather, he sought to secure its foundations. The late Plato returns to Socratic method in the penultimate work of the corpus, Philebus.

Four Elements in Plato’s Timaeus
2000 0-7734-7771-3
Plato’s treatment, in Timaeus, of the geometry of the four elements is explored. The claim that the elements are connected by a geometric proportion has been variously interpreted as either playful or obscurantist, but there has not yet been a treatment which both takes the claim seriously and grounds it in the essential structure of the elements, conceived in the Timaean manner as consisting of atoms of the same shape as four of the five regular solids.

How Plato’s Theory of Truth Explains the Socratic Method. Consistency is the Test of Truth
2010 0-7734-3701-0
This book argues that Plato’s Socrates subscribes to a coherence theory of truth, and according to that theory, there is only one fully consistent set of beliefs: the set which contains all and only true members. Thus, not only does inconsistency between two beliefs indicate that at least one of them is false, but the consistency of a belief with the other beliefs in the system suffices for its truth.

How the Images in Plato’s Dialogues Develop a Life of Their Own
2011 0-7734-3934-X
An explanation of how Plato’s use of imagery in his dialogues affects his philosophy.

Iris Murdoch’s Contemporary Retrieval of Plato. The Influence of an Ancient Philosopher on a Modern Novelist
2010 0-7734-3824-6
This book analyzes the work of Iris Murdoch as a thinker concerned with conceptions of human good in contemporary Western cultures. Until now, Murdoch’s contributions to literature and the relationship between her philosophical work and her novels have received little comprehensive examination.

Penology and Eschatology in Plato’s Myths
2002 0-7734-7249-5
This work is the first to demonstrate the differences and similarities between Plato’s myths and the traditional kind of which he was critical. It also actively demonstrates the extent to which his own myths support or undermine the philosophical ideas of the dialogues in which they are set. It offers new arguments and criticism on point of detail concerning modern interpretations.

Plato's Dialogues - The Dialogical Approach
1997 0-7734-8628-3
The essays in this volume were specially planned and solicited because of their various contributions to a dialogical reading of the Platonic dialogues. Emphasis on the dialogical is a way of advocating an approach that appreciates the dialogues in their witty humorousness, their irony, their literary richness and historical allusiveness. The work also deals ultimately with the question of the compatibility, or incompatibility of the dogmatic or doctrinal approach to the dialogues.

Plato’s Self-Corrective Development of the Concepts of Soul, Forms and Immortality in Three Arguments of the Phaedo
2000 0-7734-7950-3
Scholars agree that the proofs for immortality of the soul in Plato’s Phaedo are unconvincing. Many scholars think Plato was unaware of any flaws. This study argues both that the proofs are ultimately unconvincing and that Plato was aware of the problems. Only three of the arguments for immortality include a discussion of the forms? this study argues, first, that the view of forms, soul and immortality in each argument is internally consistent. Next, each argument contains three significantly different views of forms, soul and immortality. Third, each argument is a refinement of the previous view, rather than a radical rejection of it. Even the last argument in the Phaedo, however is inadequate. The Phaedo is shown as a truly dialectical philosophical conversation about the immortality of the soul.

Plato’s Socratic Philosophy
2002 0-7734-7138-3
This study is a radical reinterpretation of the dialogues in terms of appearance versus reality. It covers wholly or in part Gorgias, Charmides, Laches, Lysis, Meno, Symposium, Phaedrus, Protagorus, Euthydemus, Republic, Phaedo, Menexenus, and the Parmenides.

Problem of Plato's Cratylus
2007 0-7734-5425-X
This works seeks to force classical scholars to think further and differently about the Cratylus and its importance in Plato’s corpus, as well as to open the eyes of scholars working on Wittgenstein, Barthes and Derrida regarding the debt they owe to that dialogue. The study begins by assessing Plato’s role in the developing consciousness, among Greek thinkers, of “language” as an entity for study, while also exploring the more specific issue of Plato’s part in developing formal grammatical awareness and terminology. Further, the work considers Plato’s concern as exemplified by the Cratylus for the reliability of language as an instrument of philosophy. Since philosophy in Plato’s mind is centered on seeking Truth and pursuing an ethical life the Cratylus focuses on how effective words are for seeking truth and defining ethics.

Quest for Wisdom in Plato and Carl Jung. A Comparative Study of the Healers of the Soul
2008 0-7734-5177-3
This is an application of Jung to a reading of the texts of Plato and demonstrates how a psychoanalytic practice can provide a framework for textual analysis. This pursuit also reveals how the analysis of these thinkers has much to say about liberal arts education.

Tragedy and the Philosophical Life
2006 0-7734-5923-5
These books respond to Martha Nussbaum’s interpretation of Plato in The Fragility of Goodness: luck and ethics in Greek tragedy and philosophy. The author focuses her arguments on three issues: 1) Plato’s views did not change as radically as Dr. Nussbaum claims; 2) Plato is not anti-tragic; and 3) Plato’s dialogues go beyond tragedy, both in their form and in their content, without being anti-tragic. These books present a unique view of the philosophical life as a path out of tragedy and a unique understanding of how the character of Socrates exemplifies that life.

Translation of Arthur Ahlvers’ Zahl Und Klang Bei Platon.
2002 0-7734-7167-7
This work deals with interpretive issues surrounding Plato’s mathematically-based accounts, derived from Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans, of reproduction among the ruling class of the Republic, of terrestrial and celestial music, and of atomic stereometry. It indicates surprising ways in which these accounts are essentially connected. Ahlvers offers a re-analysis of Plato’s derivation of the nuptial number in Republic, and devotes much attention to the broader issues raised by Timaeus. It will be of interest not only to Plato scholars, but to scholars of medieval thought, and music.

Understanding Life and Death Through Plato and Socrates. Philosophy as a Confrontation with Eternity
2012 0-7734-2899-2
It fills in a gap by outlining the ways that Plato and Socrates talk about life and death. There is also a lengthy discussion of how Aristophanes responded with satirical exaggerations of their positions. This author focuses entirely on how death and eternity are integral thematic components of the Platonic dialogues. The contribution is in drawing on copious secondary material to make the argument that all great philosophy must serve as a confrontation with eternity. It must make the audience resolve the issue of their own mortality by confronting our precarious place in the cosmos. Eternity is a prescient theme in Plato and Socrates, which is important for bolstering their place in the Western canon.