In the Gorgias, Socrates claims to practice the true art of politics, but the peculiar politics he practices involves cultivating in each individual he encounters an erotic desire to live a life animated by the ideals of justice, beauty and the good. Socratic and Platonic Political Philosophy demonstrates that what Socrates sought to do with those he encountered, Platonic writing attempts to do with readers.
Christopher P. Long’s attentive readings of the Protagoras, Gorgias, Phaedo, Apology, and Phaedrus invite us to cultivate the habits of thinking and responding that mark the practices of both Socratic and Platonic politics. Platonic political writing is here experienced in a new way as the contours of a politics of reading emerges in which the community of readers is called to consider how a commitment to speaking the truth and acting toward justice can enrich our lives together.
The most innovative aspect of this book, however, is the digital platform on which it is published. The enhanced digital book allows readers to make annotations on the book and, when desired, to share notes easily to the author’s blog for comment and discussion. The book is published in a way consistent with the position for which it argues.