Free Shipping in the UK
Proud to be B-Corp

How Plato Writes Malcolm Schofield (University of Cambridge)

How Plato Writes By Malcolm Schofield (University of Cambridge)

How Plato Writes by Malcolm Schofield (University of Cambridge)

Condition - New
Only 2 left


Plato is a philosophical writer of unusual and impressive versatility. His dialogues not only engage in argument but also abound in allegory, myth and paradox, with clearly characterised participants set against a particular historical context. This engrossing book shows how Plato's literary qualities are crucial to understanding his philosophy.

How Plato Writes Summary

How Plato Writes: Perspectives and Problems by Malcolm Schofield (University of Cambridge)

Plato is a philosophical writer of unusual and ingenious versatility. His works engage in argument but are also full of allegory, imagery, myth, paradox and intertextuality. He astutely characterises the participants whom he portrays in conversation. Sometimes he composes fictive dialogues in dramatic form while at other times he does so as narratives. In this book, world-renowned scholar Malcolm Schofield illustrates the variety of the literary resources that Plato deploys to achieve his philosophical purposes. He draws key passages for discussion particularly, but not only, from Republic and the less well-known Laws and also shows how reconstructing the original historical context of a dialogue and of its assumed readership is essential to understanding Plato's approach. The book will open the eyes of readers of all levels of expertise to Plato's masterly ability as a writer and how an understanding of this is crucial if we are to appreciate his philosophy.

How Plato Writes Reviews

'This is a very welcome volume by a very distinguished scholar. The topics include Plato's epistemology and metaphysics, but most of the chapters focus on Plato's ethics, political philosophy, and psychology. In reading the dialogues, Schofield deftly combines literary and historical analysis with analytical rigor and such breadth is rare in Plato interpretation. Any student of Plato will gain much by reading and thinking deeply about the this book.' Chris Bobonich, Stanford University
'A fascinating intervention on Plato by one of his leading contemporary readers, How Plato Writes offers a nuanced and multifaceted exploration of key features of Plato's texts: image and argument, paradox, intertextuality and the literary staging of philosophical conversation. Schofield's probing analyses of thorny passages and interpretive problems are essential reading for experts yet accessible to a wide audience. The different chapters of the volume combine to form an interconnected and illuminating reflection on the challenging, puzzling and often playful nature of Plato's philosophical provocations.' Shaul Tor, King's College London

About Malcolm Schofield (University of Cambridge)

MALCOLM SCHOFIELD is an Emeritus Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of St John's College. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and an Honorary International Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is recognized as one of the major scholars in the world currently working on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. His first book was An Essay on Anaxagoras (Cambridge, 1980), he co-authored with G. S. Kirk and J. E. Raven the second edition of The Presocratic Philosophers (Cambridge, 1983), and has co-edited numerous other collaborative volumes, including in 2015 with Catherine Rowett a special Heraclitus issue of the journal Rhizomata, and with Tom Griffith a new English edition of Plato's Laws (Cambridge, 2016). He now works mostly on Greek and Roman political philosophy. He was co-editor with Christopher Rowe of The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Political Thought (Cambridge, 2000). The Stoic Idea of the City (Cambridge, 1991), Saving the City (1999), Plato: Political Philosophy (2006) and Cicero: Political Philosophy (2021) are among his major solo publications.

Table of Contents

Part I. Approaches to the Corpus: 1. Plato in his Time and Place; 2. When and Why Did Plato Write Narrated Dialogues?; 3. Against System: the Historical Plato in the Mid-Victorian Era; Part II. Argument and Dialogue Architecture: 4. Callicles' Return: Gorgias 509-22 Reconsidered; 5. Likeness and Likenesses in the Parmenides; 6. The Elusiveness of Cratylus in the Cratylus; Part III. Myth and Allegory in the Republic: 7. The Noble Lie; 8. The Cave; Part IV. Projects, Paradoxes, and Literary Registers in the Laws: 9. Religion and Philosophy in the Laws; 10. The Laws' Two Projects; 11. Plato, Xenophon, and the laws of Lycurgus; 12. Injury, Injustice, and the Involuntary in the Laws; 13. Plato's Marionette; 14. Paradoxes of Childhood and Play in Heraclitus and Plato.

Additional information

How Plato Writes: Perspectives and Problems by Malcolm Schofield (University of Cambridge)
Cambridge University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a new book - be the first to read this copy. With untouched pages and a perfect binding, your brand new copy is ready to be opened for the first time

Customer Reviews - How Plato Writes