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Plato's Statesman (The Being of the Beautiful, Part 3) [Paperback]

Plato , Seth Benardete
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1986 0226670333 978-0226670331 Reprint
Theaetetus, the Sophist, and the Statesman are a trilogy of Platonic dialogues that show Socrates formulating his conception of philosophy as he prepares the defense for his trial. Originally published together as The Being of the Beautiful, these translations can be read separately or as a trilogy. Each includes an introduction, extensive notes, and comprehensive commentary that examines the trilogy's motifs and relationships.

"Seth Benardete is one of the very few contemporary classicists who combine the highest philological competence with a subtlety and taste that approximate that of the ancients. At the same time, he as set himself the entirely modern hermeneutical task of uncovering what the ancients preferred to keep veiled, of making explicit what they indicated, and hence...of showing the naked ugliness of artificial beauty."—Stanley Rose, Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal

Seth Benardete (1930-2001) was professor of classics at New York University. He was the author or translator of many books, most recently The Argument of the Action, Plato's "Laws," and Plato's "Symposium," all published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Plato's Statesman (The Being of the Beautiful, Part 3) + Plato's Sophist: Part II of The Being of the Beautiful + Plato's Theaetetus: Part I of The Being of the Beautiful
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Language Notes

Text: English, Greek (translation)

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; Reprint edition (1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226670333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226670331
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plato's most disturbing political dialogue November 11, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book, the culmination of Benardete's masterful translation of what Jacob Klein was pleased to call `Plato's Trilogy,' includes not only a translation of `The Statesman' but also a superb commentary with notes. (Benardete, btw, is something of a rarity these days, a `non-political' student of Leo Strauss.' This `trilogy' (as Klein would say) in question consists of 3 dialogues; Theaetetus, Sophist, Statesman. But, as Benardete points out, the Sophist and Statesman belong together as a pair. The singular appearance of the Eleatic Stranger - some translate `Stranger' as Visitor - and the near silence of our Socrates, the inability (or unwillingness) of Plato to give us a third dialogue (as seemingly `promised' at 217a) called `The Philosopher,' all this points to the unique pairing of Sophist and Statesman. Benardete also points out that these 2 dialogues are the only ones with specific and "explicit allusions" to each other.

In turning away from the Sophist and turning towards the Statesman we are leaving the rarefied heights (and obscure depths) of theory, and its imitators, for the `lowly' everyday world of political/social life. Indeed this `turn' can perhaps be said to be foreshadowed in the Sophist (at 247e) when the Stranger makes a remarkably `Nietzschean' definition, "I'm proposing, in short, a definition (boundary mark): `The things which are' are not anything but power." Being as Power! Plato is not Nietzsche, however. Plato always hedges. The `proposal' is perhaps only made to convince some so-called `improved' materialists to leave their `artless' materialism. But later, when speaking to some `friends of the forms,' who are `idealists' like Socrates, the logic of this dialectic forces the Stranger (249a) to say, "But, by Zeus, what of this?
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