Plato on the Rhetoric of Philosophers and Sophists

Congratulations to Marina McCoy on the publication of her book, Plato on the Rhetoric of Philosophers and Sophists, with Cambridge University Press.

From the catalogue entry on the Cambridge site, the description reads: n this book, Marina McCoy explores Plato’s treatment of the rhetoric of philosophers and sophists through a thematic treatment of six different Platonic dialogues, including Apology, Protagoras, Gorgias, Republic, Sophist, and Phaedrus. She argues that Plato presents the philosophers and the sophists as difficult to distinguish insofar as both use rhetoric as part of their arguments. Plato does not present philosophy as rhetoric-free but rather shows that rhetoric is an integral part of the practice of philosophy. However, the philosopher and the sophist are distinguished by the philosopher’s love of the forms as the ultimate objects of desire. It is this love of the forms that informs the philosopher’s rhetoric, which he uses to lead his partner to better understand his deepest desires. McCoy’s work is of interest to philosophers, classicists, and communications specialists alike in its careful yet comprehensive treatment of philosophy, sophistry, and rhetoric as portrayed through the drama of the dialogues.

Marina McCoy is assistant professor of philosophy at Boston College. A former National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, she has published articles in several journals, including Ancient Philosophy and Philosophy and Rhetoric.