Plato's Political Philosophy

Plato's Political Philosophy

by Mark Blitz

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Overview

This comprehensive, yet compact, introduction examines Plato's understanding of law, justice, virtue, and the connection between politics and philosophy.

Focusing on three of Plato's dialogues—The Laws, The Republic, and The Statesman—Mark Blitz lays out the philosopher's principal interests in government and the strength and limit of the law, the connection between law and piety, the importance of founding, and the status and limits of political knowledge. He examines all of Plato's discussions of politics and virtues, comments on specific dialogues, and discusses the philosopher's explorations of beauty, pleasure, good, and the relations between politics and reason. Throughout, Blitz reinforces Plato's emphasis on clear and rigorous reasoning in ethics and political life and explains in straightforward language the valuable lessons one can draw from examining Plato's writings.

The only introduction to Plato that both gathers his separate discussions of politically relevant topics and pays close attention to the context and structure of his dialogues, this volume directly contrasts the modern view of politics with that of the ancient master. It is an excellent companion to Plato's Dialogues.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801897641
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 11/01/2010
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Mark Blitz is the Fletcher Jones Professor of Political Philosophy and director of the Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom at Claremont McKenna College. He is the coeditor, along with William Kristol, of Educating the Prince and the author of Duty Bound: Responsibility and American Public Life and Heidegger's "Being and Time" and the Possibility of Political Philosophy.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Part I: Politics and Virtue
1. The World of the Dialogues
2. Virtue
3. Virtue and Politics: The Laws
Part II: Politics and Philosophy
4. The Roots of Philosophy
5. Beauty and Nobility
6. Philosophy and Politics: The Republic
Part II: Politics and Knowledge
7. Pleasure and the Soul
8. Knowledge and Illusion
9. Knowledge and Politics: The Statesman
Conclusion
Notes
Index

What People are Saying About This

"An extraordinarily fresh, rich, and thought-provoking introduction to Plato's political philosophy. Blitz takes a synoptic approach, combining in-depth textual analysis of particular dialogues with illuminating thematic discussions. The result is an extremely helpful, general-but-precise analysis of virtually all of the Platonic dialogues."

Peter J. Ahrensdorf

"An extraordinarily fresh, rich, and thought-provoking introduction to Plato's political philosophy. Blitz takes a synoptic approach, combining in-depth textual analysis of particular dialogues with illuminating thematic discussions. The result is an extremely helpful, general-but-precise analysis of virtually all of the Platonic dialogues."

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