Plato on the Limits of Human Life

Plato on the Limits of Human Life

Sara Brill
Distribution: World
Publication date: 06/03/2013
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-00887-9
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By focusing on the immortal character of the soul in key Platonic dialogues, Sara Brill shows how Plato thought of the soul as remarkably flexible, complex, and indicative of the inner workings of political life and institutions. As she explores the character of the soul, Brill reveals the corrective function that law and myth serve. If the soul is limitless, she claims, then the city must serve a regulatory or prosthetic function and prop up good political institutions against the threat of the soul’s excess. Brill’s sensitivity to dramatic elements and discursive strategies in Plato’s dialogues illuminates the intimate connection between city and soul.

Author Bio

Sara Brill is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Fairfield University.


“Sara Brill takes on at least two significant issues in Platonic scholarship: the nature of the soul, and especially the language of immortality in its description, and the relationship between politics and psychology. She treats each one of these topics in a fresh and nuanced way. Her writing is beautiful and fluid.”
 — Marina McCoy, Boston College

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Table of Contents

Part I. Phaedo
1 Socratic Prothumia
2 The Body-like Soul
3 Psychic Geography
Part II. Republic
4 City and Soul
5 Psychic Fragmentation
6 Philosophy in the City
7 Politics and Immortality
Part III. Laws
8 Psychology for Legislators
9 Psychology for the Legislated
10 Psychic Excess
Works Cited

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