Plato's Literary Garden: How to Read a Platonic Dialogue

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9780268038762: Plato's Literary Garden: How to Read a Platonic Dialogue

Plato's dialogues are universally acknowledged as standing among the masterworks of the Western philosophic tradition. What most readers do not know, however, is that Plato also authored a public letter in which he unequivocally denies ever having written a work of philosophy. If Plato did not view his written dialogues as works of philosophy, how did he conceive them, and how should readers view them? In Plato's Literary Garden, Kenneth M. Sayre brings over thirty years of Platonic scholarship to bear on these questions, arguing that Plato did not intend the dialogues to serve as repositories of philosophic doctrine, but instead composed them as teaching instruments.

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About the Author:

Kenneth M. Sayre is professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and the author of many books and articles, including Parmenides’ Lesson, also published by the University of Notre Dame Press.
 

Review:

“An extremely well written, accessible, but demanding introduction to Plato.” (Choice)

“Kenneth Sayre's book addresses students who are undertaking the serious study of Plato for the first time . . . . Sayre promises students a method for engaging with the dialogues as actively as the actual participants are engaged, and he promises scholars a much needed account of the significance of the dramatic and literary form of the dialogues.” (Ancient Philosophy)

“Sayre examines with admirable scholarly precision and thoroughness fundamental Platonic themes—the story of recollection, the method of collection and division, the use of paradigms, eros, and dialectic." (International Studies in Philosophy)

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