Of Myth, Life, and War in Plato's Republic

Of Myth, Life, and War in Plato's Republic

Claudia Baracchi
Distribution: World
Publication date: 01/10/2002
Format: Paperback 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21485-0
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Description

Baracchi has identified pivotal points around which the Republic operates; this allows a reading of the entire text to unfold.... a very beautifully written book." —Walter Brogan

... a work that opens new and timely vistas within the Republic.... Her approach... is thorough and rigorous." —John Sallis

Although Plato’s Republic is perhaps the most influential text in the history of Western philosophy, Claudia Baracchi finds that the work remains obscure and enigmatic. To fully understand and appreciate its meaning, she argues, we must attend to what its original language discloses. Through a close reading of the Greek text, attentive to the pervasiveness of story and myth, Baracchi investigates the dialogue’s major themes. The first part of the book addresses issues of generation, reproduction, and decay as they apply to the founding of Socrates’ just city. The second part takes up the connection between war and the cycle of life, employing a thorough analysis of Plato’s rendition of the myth of Er. Baracchi shows that the Republic is concerned throughout with the complex but intertwined issues of life and war, locating the site of this tangled web of growth and destruction in the mythical dimension of the Platonic city.

Author Bio

Claudia Baracchi is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at The New School. Her articles on philosophy, art, and literary theory have appeared in numerous journals in English and Italian.

Reviews

“"Baracchi has identified pivotal points around which the Republic operates; this allows a reading of the entire text to unfold. . . . a very beautifully written book." —Walter Brogan Claudia Baracchi finds that, although arguably the most influential text in the history of Western philosophy, Plato's Republic remains obscure and enigmatic. To fully understand and appreciate its meaning, we must attend to what its original language discloses. In Baracchi's deft interpretation, primordial issues of life and death, darkness and light, force and harmony emerge from this important Platonic text. In a larger sense, Baracchi's stimulating book illuminates the fundamental function of myth in philosophical inquiry.”

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Table of Contents

Preliminary:

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Proleptikon
First Part: "Old women telling tales"(350 e): The City in View, the City
Envisioned
I. On Regeneration
Going Down, Or: In the Degenerating City
Figures of Corruption, Or: Against the Degenerating City
Regeneration, Or: Away from the City
II. The Law of (Re)production
The Magnified Letters of Justice
The Circle of Growth
Of Life: The Dictation of the Muses
Dia-logical Necessity
Of Justice without Idea
Second Part: "A tale was saved and not lost" (621 b): Vision at the End of the Visible
III. Preliminary Remarks in a Rhapsodic Form
Giving Back
Of Poets and Distance
Healing from Oblivion
The Poet and Other Voices
Apologa: The Ethos of Poesis
IV. War
Passing Places
The Feast of War
Moving Dialogue
Socrates' Third Way
Socrates contra Socratem
War and Greatness
V. Vision
Beyond the Gateway
Metax
Souls in a Meadow
The Image of the Law
The Choice of the Daimon
Having Loved Sopha
VI. (Re)birth
Un-ending
Appendix
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index