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The Philosopher in Plato's Statesman
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others in his discipline tend not to bring their studies to bear on the substance of the dialogues. Conversely, philosophical interpreters have generally felt free to approach the extensive logical and ontological, cosmological, and political doctrines of the later dialogues without concern for questions of literary style s and form. Given, moreover, the equally sharp distinction between the diSCiplines of philosophy and cultural history, it has been too easy to treat this bulk of doctrine without a pointed sense of the specific historical audience to which it is addressed. As a result, the pervasive tendency has been the reverse of that which has dominated the reading of the early dialogues: here we tend to neglect drama and pedagogy and to focus exclusively on philosophical substance. Both in general and particularly in regard to the later dialogues, the difficulty is that our predispositions have the force of self-fulfilling prophecy. Are we sure that the later Plato's apparent loss of interest in the dramatic is not, on the contrary, a reflection of our limited sense of the integrity of drama and sub- stance, form and content? What we lack eyes for, of course, we will not see. The basic purpose of this essay is to develop eyes, as it were, for that integrity. The best way to do this, I think, is to take a later dialogue and to try to read it as a whole of form, content, and communicative function.
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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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