How the Images in Plato’s Dialogues Develop a Life of Their Own

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Nominated for the London Hellenic Society 2011 Criticos Prize
An explanation of how Plato’s use of imagery in his dialogues affects his philosophy.


“Rod Jenks explores a number of Plato’s most perplexing images, and seeks to explain these both specifically, but also very generally, within Plato’s overall philosophical program.” – Prof. Nicholas D. Smith Lewis & Clark College

“… a delight to read … delivers us the Plato that gave up writing literature only to put it back in his philosophy.” – Prof. Chad Weiner Portland State University

Table of Contents

Madness in the Dialogues

The Explananda

The Crito

The Protagoras

The Phaedrus

The Theaetetus

The Republic

The Daimonion

The Meno

The Explanantia

Schisms in the Phaedrus

Metaphor in the Crito

The Complexity of Piety in the Euthyphro

Persuasion and Obedience

The Scholarship on “Persuade or Obey”

Defiance Would Amount to Rebellion

A Rationale for the Metaphor

The Meno and its Metaphors

The Context


Larissa and Daedalus

The Road to Larissa

The Statues of Daedalus

Divine People

Some Images in Republic

Going Down

Horses and Fire

Gyges’ Ring

The Myth of the Metals

Justice “Write Large”

The Cave and its Fire

Decline and Fall

The Myth of Er

Suspicious Characters in the Corpus

The Daimonion

“The Argument”


The Charioteer of the Phaedrus

The Eleatic Stranger

Conclusion: The Image and Its Place in “True Rhetoric”





General Index

Index of Proper Names

Index Locorum

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