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The Philosopher in Plato's Statesman

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Table of Contents

I. The Dramatic Context.- 1. Dramatic situation: the trial of Socrates.- 2. Dramatis personae: antipathy, eagerness, silence.- a. Theodorus: geometry and philosophy.- b. Young Socrates: the `test to discover kinship'.- c. The elder Socrates: silence and unheardness.- 3. The stranger from Elea.- a. Judge and mediator.- b. Alienation and mediation, some clues.- (i) The mean.- (ii) The Homeric allusions: homecoming and disguise.- (iii) The stranger's Parmenidean heritage: education and irony.- 4. The agreement to begin.- II. The Initial Diairesis (258b-267c).- 1. Formal structure of the method; the apparent accord (258b-261e).- 2. Young Socrates' error; the value of bifurcatory diairesis (261e-264b).- a. The refutation: halving and forms (261e-263b).- Note: panhellenist partisanship.- b. The correction; the status of diairesis (263c-264b).- 3. The closing bifurcations; jokes and problems (264b-267c).- III. The Digressions on Substance and Method (267c-287b).- A. The first digression: the myth of the divine shepherd (267c-277a).- 1. The stranger's objection (267c-268d).- 2. The manifold function of the myth (268d-274e).- a. The logos of cosmic history.- b. The critique of traditions.- (1) Traditional images.- (i) The Homeric `shepherd of the people' and the Hesiodic `age of Cronus'.- (ii) Tyranny, democracy, and sophistic humanism.- (iii) Re-emergence of the `shepherd'.- (2) The stranger's critique.- (i) The initial `remembrance': the ancient despot.- (ii) `Forgetfulness': homo mensura and the new despotism.- (iii) Philosophical recollection: deus mensura and the art of statesmanship.- 3. The revisions of the initial definition (274e-277a); young Socrates and the Academy.- B. The second digression: paradigm and the mean (277a-287b).- 1. The paradigm of paradigm (277a-279a).- 2. The paradigm of the weaver (279a-283a).- 3. The stranger's preventative doctrine of essential measure (283b-287b).- a. The diairetic revelation of `essential measure' (283b-285c).- b. The purposes of the dialogue; its value as a paradigm for young Socrates (285c-286b).- c. The application of essential measure (286b-287b).- IV. The Final Diairesis (287b-311c).- a. The change in the form of diairesis (287b ff.).- (i) The `difficulty' and the new form.- (ii) The self-overcoming of bifurcation.- (iii) The stranger's - and Plato's - reticence.- b. The first phase: the indirectly responsible arts, makers of instruments (287b-289c).- c. The second phase, part one: the directly responsible arts, subaltern servants (289c-290e).- d. The digression: philosophy and ordinary opinion; statesmanship and actual political order (291a-303d).- (1) Thesole true criterion: the statesman's episteme (291a-293e).- (2) The ways of mediation (293e-301a).- (i) Statesmanship and the law: the `best' way and the `ridiculousness' of the doctrine of the many (293e-297c).- (ii) The `imitative' polities: the `second best' way and the relative justification of the doctrine of the many (297c-301a).- (3) The return to the diaireses of polity: knowledge of ignorance and the political means (301a-303d).- e. Resumption of the diairesis (second phase, part two): the true aides (303d-305e).- f. The third phase: the statesman as weaver; the virtues and the mean (305e-311c).- (i) The application of the paradigm.- (ii) The statesman's and the stranger's realizations of the mean.- Notes.- Index of Historical Persons.- Index of References to Platonic Passages.

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