Plato's Democratic Entanglements : Athenian Politics and the Practice of Philosophy.

Monoson, S. Sara.
Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2000.
1 online resource (251 pages)

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Plato -- Views on democracy.
Democracy -- Greece -- Athens -- History.
Electronic books.
In this book, Sara Monoson challenges the longstanding and widely held view that Plato is a virulent opponent of all things democratic. She does not, however, offer in its place the equally mistaken idea that he is somehow a partisan of democracy. Instead, she argues that we should attend more closely to Plato's suggestion that democracy is horrifying and exciting, and she seeks to explain why he found it morally and politically intriguing. Monoson focuses on Plato's engagement with democracy as he knew it: a cluster of cultural practices that reach into private and public life, as well as a set of governing institutions. She proposes that while Plato charts tensions between the claims of democratic legitimacy and philosophical truth, he also exhibits a striking attraction to four practices central to Athenian democratic politics: intense antityrantism, frank speaking, public funeral oratory, and theater-going. By juxtaposing detailed examination of these aspects of Athenian democracy with analysis of the figurative language, dramatic structure, and arguments of the dialogues, she shows that Plato systematically links democratic ideals and activities to philosophic labor. Monoson finds that Plato's political thought exposes intimate connections between Athenian democratic politics and the practice of philosophy. Situating Plato's political thought in the context of the Athenian democratic imaginary, Monoson develops a new, textured way of thinking of the relationship between Plato's thought and the politics of his city.
Cover Page
Title Page
Copyright Page
Dedication Page
Introduction Siting Plato
Part One: Aspects of the Athenian Civic Self-Image
Chapter One The Allure of Harmodius and Aristogeiton: Public/Private Relations in the Athenian Democratic Imaginary
Telling the Tale
Embracing the Simplified Tale
Thinking with the Tale
Thucydides' Critique
Aristotle's Critique
Chapter Two Citizen as Parrhēsiastēs (Frank Speaker)
Truth-Telling and Risk-Taking
Frank Speaking and Freedom
Frank Speaking and the Integrity of Assembly Debate
Chapter Three Citizen as Erastēs (Lover): Erotic Imagery and the Idea of Reciprocity in the Periclean Funeral Oration
Citizen as Erastēs
Citizenship as Reciprocity between Lover and Beloved
Chapter Four Citizen as Theatēs (Theater-Goer): Performing Unity, Reciprocity, and Strong-Mindedness in the City Dionysia
The Event
Representing the Unity of the Democratic Polis
Enacting Democratic Norms
Part Two: Plato's Democratic Entanglements
Chapter Five Unsettling the Orthodoxy
Philosopher as Tyrant-Slayer
The Matter of Bias
Dismay over the Fate of Socrates
Disdain for the Common Man
The "Doctrine" of the Republic
The Work of the Academy
Personal Involvement in Syracusan Politics
Chapter Six Philosopher as Parrhēsiastēs (Frank Speaker)
The Laches: Recognizing Parrhēsia
The Gorgias: Embracing Parrhēsia
The Republic: Practicing Parrhēsia
The Laws: Practicing Parrhēsia
Chapter Seven Remembering Pericles: The Political and Theoretical Import of Plato's Menexenus
Plato's Opposition to the Veneration of Pericles
Plato's Rejection of Pericles' Model of Democratic Citizenship
Plato's Theoretical Interest in Funeral Oratory
Chapter Eight Theory and Theatricality
A Puzzle
Four Patterns.
Preliminary Thoughts on Theory and Theater-going
Philosopher as Theatēs in the Republic
Theorist as Theōros in the Laws
Why Is Socrates Absent from the Laws?
Concluding Remarks
Citation Index
General Index.
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Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, Michigan : ProQuest Ebook Central, 2021. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest Ebook Central affiliated libraries.
Monoson, S. Sara Sara.
Other format:
Print version: Monoson, S. Sara Plato's Democratic Entanglements