The Republic is widely recognized to be Plato’s masterpiece, but for centuries it has been the subject of much debate: is it about the ideal state, or the soul, or art, or education, or something else altogether? Interpretations have been many and various, for three main reasons: 1. studies have tended to concentrate on parts of this very long dialogue to the exclusion of other parts; 2. some of the opinions expressed in the dialogue are routinely regarded as being those of Plato himself; 3. the manifestly problematic inconsistencies and faulty argumentation are discussed and occasionally corrected as philosophical problems in their own right, and not as an organic part of the conversation. This book analyses the dialogue as a dialogue, a conversation between the characters presented in it, and examines the dialogue in its entirety. The result is a holistic interpretation making sense not only of the dialogue as a whole, but also of its parts, including the peculiarities. Each character is a paradigm representing an aspect of the central theme of the dialogue (apparent good), and it is because of what they represent that the conversation takes the overtly rambling and unstructured course that it does, while actually having a tight and well structured dynamic. Embracing the peculiarities rather than ignoring them, explaining them away, or correcting them piecemeal, is the first step on the way to understanding a Platonic text. Indeed, in general it is counter to philosophical thinking to impose on a text what one considers should be its meaning, rather than to examine and explain what is actually there.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Beware Phishing Sites!

My book is finally out!

To celebrate, I must warn potential readers of a phenomenon confirming one of the main theses of the book, that some people think they are doing the right thing when they are gaining at someone else's expense. Days ago, before the book was out, sites began appearing all over the blogosphere claiming to allow free download of the book (as an eBook), describing the book as "fabulous", "incredible" and other such epithets lacking substance. The blurb varies only in these descriptions and the name of the poster.

Here's one site if you're interested, but you can take my word for it.

I recommend that you do not click on anything on such sites. The publisher has been made aware of the phenomenon.

Here's where you can order the book, albeit not for free:

Lexington Books


I'll be posting on aspects of the book, and certainly on reviews of the book as they appear.

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