Tag Archives: Books

Schultz Publishes Plato’s Socrates as Narrator

Plato's Socrates as Narrator: A Philosophical Muse

The APS is very pleased to announce the appearance of Anne-Marie Schultz’s new book, Plato at Narrator: A Philosophical Muse, published by Lexington Books.

Jill Gordon writes of the book:

In this original work, Schultz draws our attention to the dialogues in which Plato has Socrates serve as narrator, and she opens a new window onto his role and function in the dialogues. Schultz provides rich interpretations of the individual dialogues she examines, while at the same time revealing a powerful lens through which to view Plato’s project and his use of Socratic narrative to further particular philosophical ends. In the process, she offers new insights that enhance scholars’ understanding of Socratic intellectualism, the role of the emotions in philosophical endeavors, various models of virtue portrayed in the dialogues, and Socrates’ relation to Homeric and other foundational narratives in Greek culture. In the end, Schultz offers a provocative and persuasive account of how Socrates as narrator of certain Platonic dialogues entices and exhorts his auditors—and Plato’s readers—to good philosophical practices.

Ryan Drake writes:

In Plato’s Socrates as Narrator, Dr Schultz provides an invaluable entry into reflections on the interrelations between the practice of philosophy, on the one hand, and its transmission, on the other, arguing in effect that the retelling of Socrates’ philosophical encounters as we find them in the Platonic corpus belongs to the work of philosophy itself. While Plato scholarship in recent years has become increasingly attuned to the ways in which the literary and dramatic aspects of the dialogues operate as integral to their philosophical content, Prof. Schultz takes such scholarship a step further to demonstrate how the status of particular dialogues as narrated contributes as well to a fuller understanding of Plato’s conception of philosophy. From the vantage point achieved through mediation on particular dialogues in their status as narrated encounters Prof. Schultz brings to light the character of philosophy not simply as an intellectual pursuit composed of explicit propositions, but also as a basic human comportment involving the motives, affects, and social position of specific character types. Both accessibly written and rigorously developed, Prof. Schultz’ investigations into the narrative and literary aspects of the Platonic corpus speak to the interests of advanced Plato scholars and beginning students alike.

To hear a discussion of the book with the author, listen to Digital Dialogue 60: Socratic Narrative.

Congratulations to Anne-Marie for the publication of this important book.

Brill Publishes Plato on the Limits of Human Life

The APS is thrilled to call your attention to the appearance of Sara Brill’s book, Plato on the Limits of Human Life, published by Indiana University Press.

“Sara Brill takes on at least two significant issues in Platonic scholarship: the nature of the soul, and especially the language of immortality in its description, and the relationship between politics and psychology. She treats each one of these topics in a fresh and nuanced way. Her writing is beautiful and fluid.” —Marina McCoy, Boston College

Sara has been a long time member of the Society, serving as co-director from 2011-2013.

Here is the description from the Indiana University Press:

By focusing on the immortal character of the soul in key Platonic dialogues, Sara Brill shows how Plato thought of the soul as remarkably flexible, complex, and indicative of the inner workings of political life and institutions. As she explores the character of the soul, Brill reveals the corrective function that law and myth serve. If the soul is limitless, she claims, then the city must serve a regulatory or prosthetic function and prop up good political institutions against the threat of the soul’s excess. Brill’s sensitivity to dramatic elements and discursive strategies in Plato’s dialogues illuminates the intimate connection between city and soul.