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Philosophers in the Republic : Plato's two paradigms /
Roslyn Weiss.
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2012.
description
xi, 236 p.
ISBN
080144974X (cloth : alk. paper), 9780801449741 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
Subjects
personal subject
More Details
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2012.
isbn
080144974X (cloth : alk. paper)
9780801449741 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Introduction : two paradigms -- Philosophers by nature -- Philosophers by design I : the making of a philosopher -- Philosophers by design II : the making of a ruler -- Socratic piety : the fifth cardinal virtue -- Justice as moderation -- Conclusion : "in a healthy way."
abstract
"Roslyn Weiss offers a new interpretation of Platonic moral philosophy based on an unconventional reading of the Republic. Her basic argument begins with the point that Plato means for us to react badly to the philosopher-rulers of Book 7. She then makes the case that there are two distinct kinds of philosopher in the Republic--one that is ideal and one that is farcical--and that each represents a separate type of justice. Finally, she argues that Plato recognizes this dualism and points the way toward a resolution"--Publisher's Web site.
catalogue key
8581188
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [219]-225) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2013-03-01:
Weiss (Lehigh Univ.) presents a detailed account and critical analysis of Plato's conception of the "philosopher-rulers" of books VI and VII of the Republic. She records no fewer than four different such conceptions, two of which dominate her discussion, viz., the "philosopher by nature" of book VI and the "philosopher by design" of book VII. Through excellent arguments and strict adherence to the text of Plato's Republic, Weiss establishes her case that these two conceptions are not only very different, but also often mutually opposed. This raises the question of which type of philosopher Plato intended as ruler of Callipolis. Unfortunately, Weiss does not draw any clear conclusion on this question, except to hint in the end that within Socrates, as quintessential philosopher, one might find resolution of this and other difficulties. This is an intriguing and novel exposition of these parts of the Republic, marred only by Weiss's annoying habit of employing numerous parenthetical Stephanus pagination references and Greek terminology within her text. Often these are neither necessary nor helpful to the reader. Good bibliography, especially of related contemporary literature. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty. P. A. Streveler emeritus, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Philosophers in the 'Republic' offers a new and challenging interpretation of Platonic moral philosophy. Roslyn Weiss focuses attention on a careful reading of the Republic as a philosophical and dramatic work and also has important things to say about the history of Western moral philosophy and the structure and identity of moral philosophy generally. Weiss develops her case with extraordinary care, meticulously examining both the form of the arguments and the dramatic character of the dialogue."-Gerald M. Mara, Georgetown University, author of Socrates' Discursive Democracy
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 2013
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
In Plato's 'Republic', Socrates contends that philosophers make the best rulers because only they behold with their mind's eye the eternal and purely intelligible Forms of the Just, the Noble, and the Good. Weiss argues that the 'Republic' contains two distinct and irreconcilable portrayals of the philosopher.
Library of Congress Summary
"Roslyn Weiss offers a new interpretation of Platonic moral philosophy based on an unconventional reading of the Republic. Her basic argument begins with the point that Plato means for us to react badly to the philosopher-rulers of Book 7. She then makes the case that there are two distinct kinds of philosopher in the Republic--one that is ideal and one that is farcical--and that each represents a separate type of justice. Finally, she argues that Plato recognizes this dualism and points the way toward a resolution"--Publisher's Web site.
Main Description
In Platos Republic, Socrates contends that philosophers make the best rulers because only they behold with their minds eye the eternal and purely intelligible Forms of the Just, the Noble, and the Good. When, in addition, these men and women are endowed with a vast array of moral, intellectual, and personal virtues and are appropriately educated, surely no one could doubt the wisdom of entrusting to them the governance of cities. Although it is widely and reasonably assumed that all the Republic s philosophers are the same, Roslyn Weiss argues in this boldly original book that the Republic actually contains two distinct and irreconcilable portrayals of the philosopher.According to Weiss, Plato s two paradigms of the philosopher are the "philosopher by nature" and the "philosopher by design." Philosophers by design, as the allegory of the Cave vividly shows, must be forcibly dragged from the material world of pleasure to the sublime realm of the intellect, and from there back down again to the Cave to rule the beautiful city envisioned by Socrates and his interlocutors. Yet philosophers by nature, described earlier in the Republic, are distinguished by their natural yearning to encounter the transcendent realm of pure Forms, as well as by a willingness to serve others at least under appropriate circumstances. In contrast to both sets of philosophers stands Socrates, who represents a third paradigm, one, however, that is no more than hinted at in the Republic. As a man who not only loves what is but is also utterly devoted to the justice of others even at great personal cost Socrates surpasses both the philosophers by design and the philosophers by nature. By shedding light on an aspect of the Republic that has escaped notice, Weiss s new interpretation will challenge Plato scholars to revisit their assumptions about Plato s moral and political philosophy.
Main Description
In Plato's Republic, Socrates contends that philosophers make the best rulers because only they behold with their mind's eye the eternal and purely intelligible Forms of the Just, the Noble, and the Good. When, in addition, these men and women are endowed with a vast array of moral, intellectual, and personal virtues and are appropriately educated, surely no one could doubt the wisdom of entrusting to them the governance of cities. Although it is widely-and reasonably-assumed that all the Republic's philosophers are the same, Roslyn Weiss argues in this boldly original book that the Republic actually contains two distinct and irreconcilable portrayals of the philosopher. According to Weiss, Plato's two paradigms of the philosopher are the "philosopher by nature" and the "philosopher by design." Philosophers by design, as the allegory of the Cave vividly shows, must be forcibly dragged from the material world of pleasure to the sublime realm of the intellect, and from there back down again to the "Cave" to rule the beautiful city envisioned by Socrates and his interlocutors. Yet philosophers by nature, described earlier in the Republic, are distinguished by their natural yearning to encounter the transcendent realm of pure Forms, as well as by a willingness to serve others-at least under appropriate circumstances. In contrast to both sets of philosophers stands Socrates, who represents a third paradigm, one, however, that is no more than hinted at in the Republic. As a man who not only loves "what is" but is also utterly devoted to the justice of others-even at great personal cost-Socrates surpasses both the philosophers by design and the philosophers by nature. By shedding light on an aspect of the Republic that has escaped notice, Weiss's new interpretation will challenge Plato scholars to revisit their assumptions about Plato's moral and political philosophy.
Main Description
In Plato's Republic, Socrates contends that philosophers make the best rulers because only they behold with their mind's eye the eternal and purely intelligible Forms of the Just, the Noble, and the Good. When, in addition, these men and women are endowed with a vast array of moral, intellectual, and personal virtues and are appropriately educated, surely no one could doubt the wisdom of entrusting to them the governance of cities. Although it is widely-and reasonably-assumed that all the Republic's philosophers are the same, Roslyn Weiss argues in this boldly original book that the Republic actually contains two distinct and irreconcilable portrayals of the philosopher. According to Weiss, Plato's two paradigms of the philosopher are the "philosopher by nature" and the "philosopher by design." Philosophers by design, as the allegory of the Cave vividly shows, must be forcibly dragged from the material world of pleasure to the sublime realm of the intellect, and from there back down again to the Cave to rule the beautiful city envisioned by Socrates and his interlocutors. Yet philosophers by nature, described earlier in the Republic, are distinguished by their natural yearning to encounter the transcendent realm of pure Forms, as well as by a willingness to serve others-at least under appropriate circumstances. In contrast to both sets of philosophers stands Socrates, who represents a third paradigm, one, however, that is no more than hinted at in the Republic. As a man who not only loves what is but is also utterly devoted to the justice of others-even at great personal cost-Socrates surpasses both the philosophers by design and the philosophers by nature. By shedding light on an aspect of the Republic that has escaped notice, Weiss's new interpretation will challenge Plato scholars to revisit their assumptions about Plato's moral and political philosophy.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Two Paradigmsp. 1
Philosophers by Naturep. 11
Philosophers by Design I: The Making of a Philosopherp. 49
Philosophers by Design II: The Making of a Rulerp. 85
Socratic Piety: The Fifth Cardinal Virtuep. 129
Justice as Moderationp. 164
Conclusion: "In a Healthy Way"p. 208
Works Citedp. 219
Indexp. 227
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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