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Plato's Utopia Recast: His Later Ethics and Politics

Christopher Bobonich

Abstract

Argues that Plato in his middle period (roughly at the time of the Phaedo and the Republic) had a radically pessimistic view of non‐philosophers: they could not be genuinely virtuous or happy, and their lives were inevitably deeply undesirable ones to live. This pessimistic conclusion, I argue, rests on Plato's middle‐period epistemology, psychology, and metaphysics. But in the later dialogues (e.g. the Laws and the Statesman), Plato comes to a strikingly different conclusion. At least some non‐philosophers can be virtuous and lead lives that are well worth living. This book traces and explore ... More

Keywords: akrasia, ancient philosophy, Bobonich, community, goods, happiness, Laws, non‐rational motivations, non‐philosophers, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Philebus, philosophy, Plato, Republic, Statesman, Theaetetus, Timaeus, virtue

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2002 Print ISBN-13: 9780199251438
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0199251436.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christopher Bobonich, author
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Stanford University
Author Webpage