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Plato and the Post-Socratic Dialogue
The Return to the Philosophy of Nature

  • Date Published: April 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107576421

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  • Plato's late dialogues have often been neglected because they lack the literary charm of his earlier masterpieces. Charles Kahn proposes a unified view of these diverse and difficult works, from the Parmenides and Theaetetus to the Sophist and Timaeus, showing how they gradually develop the framework for Plato's late metaphysics and cosmology. The Parmenides, with its attack on the theory of Forms and its baffling series of antinomies, has generally been treated apart from the rest of Plato's late work. Kahn shows that this perplexing dialogue is the curtain-raiser on Plato's last metaphysical enterprise: the step-by-step construction of a wider theory of Being that provides the background for the creation story of the Timaeus. This rich study, the natural successor to Kahn's earlier Plato and the Socratic Dialogue, will interest a wide range of readers in ancient philosophy and science.

    • Presents a unified view of Plato's late dialogues from the Parmenides to the Timaeus
    • Illustrates how Plato revised his metaphysics to include the world of nature and change
    • Six dialogues that present a new, more challenging treatment of the theory of Forms are brought together in one volume
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107576421
    • length: 266 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    1. The Parmenides
    2. The Theaetetus in the context of later dialogues
    3. Being and not-being in the Sophist
    4. The new dialectic: from the Phaedrus to the Philebus
    5. Philebus and the movement to cosmology
    6. Timaeus and the completion of the project: the recovery of the natural world
    Epilogue: Plato as a political philosopher.

  • Author

    Charles H. Kahn, University of Pennsylvania
    Charles H. Kahn is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. His publications include Anaximander and the Origins of Greek Cosmology, 3rd edition (1994), The Art and Thought of Heraclitus: A New Arrangement and Translation of the Fragments with Literary and Philosophical Commentary (1979), Plato and the Socratic Dialogue: The Philosophical Use of a Literary Form (1997) and Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans: A Brief History (2001).

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