Tag Archives: Publication

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.

Philosophy in Dialogue: Plato’s Many Devices

Traditional Plato scholarship, in the English-speaking world, has assumed that Platonic dialogues are merely collections of arguments. Inevitably, the question arises: If Plato wanted to present collections of arguments, why did he write dialogues instead of treatises? Concerned about this question, some scholars have been experimenting with other, more contextualized ways of reading the dialogues. This anthology is among the first to present these new approaches as pursued by a variety of scholars. As such, it offers new perspectives on Plato as well as a suggestive view of Plato scholarship as something of a laboratory for historians of philosophy generally.The essays gathered here each examine vital aspects of Plato’s many methods, considering his dialogues in relation to Thucydides and Homer, narrative strategies and medical practice, images and metaphors. They offer surprising new research into such much-studied works as The Republic as well as revealing views of lesser-known dialogues like the Cratylus and Philebus. With reference to thinkers such as Heidegger, Gadamer, and Sartre, the authors place the Platonic dialogues in an illuminating historical context. Together, their essays should reinvigorate the scholarly examination of the way Plato’s dialogues “work”–and should prompt a reconsideration of how the form of Plato’s philosophical writing bears on the Platonic conception of philosophy.”Plato studies are now undergoing a transformation and I believe that this collection will be on the forefront of innovative scholarship.” –Robert Metcalf, University of Colorado

Aristotle and Rational Discovery: Speaking of Nature

In this lively and original book, Russell Winslow pursues a newinterpretation of logos in Aristotle. Rather than a reading ofrationality that cleaves human beings from nature, this newinterpretation suggests that, for Aristotle, consistent and dependable rational arguments reveal a deep dependency upon nature. To this end,the author shows that a rational account of a being is in fact subjectto the very same principle that governs the physical motion andgeneration of a being under inquiry. Among the many consequences of this argument is a rejection of both of the prevailing oppositionalclaims that Aristotle’s methodological procedure of discovery is one resting on either empirical or conceptual grounds: discovery reveals amore complex structure than can be grasped by either of these modern modes. Further, Winslow argues that this interpretation of rationaldiscovery also contributes to the ethical debates surrounding Aristotle’s work, insofar as an ethical claim is achieved throughreason, but is not thereby conceived as objective. Again, the demand for agreement in ethical/political decision will be disclosed assuperseding in its complexity both those accounts of ethical decision as subjective (for example, “emotivist” accounts) and those asobjective (“realist” accounts).

Cambridge Companion to Plato’s Republic

This Companion provides a fresh and comprehensive account of this outstanding work, which remains among the most frequently read works of Greek philosophy, indeed of Classical antiquity in general. The sixteen essays, by authors who represent various academic disciplines, bring a spectrum of interpretive approaches to bear in order to aid the understanding of a wide-ranging audience, from first-time readers of the Republic who require guidance, to more experienced readers who wish to explore contemporary currents in the work’s interpretation. The three initial chapters address aspects of the work as a whole. They are followed by essays that match closely the sequence in which topics are presented in the ten books of the Republic. Since the Republic returns frequently to the same topics by different routes, so do the authors of this volume, who provide the readers with divergent yet complementary perspectives by which to appreciate the Republic’s principal concerns.