Why Plato Wrote

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John Wiley & Sons, Nov 15, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 232 pages
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Why Plato Wrote is the first book to be published in the prestigious Blackwell Bristol Lecture Series in Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition. In this thought-provoking text Danielle Allen eloquently argues that Plato wrote to change Athenian culture and thereby transform Athenian politics. She makes the case that Plato was not only the world’s first systematic political philosopher, but also the western world’s first think-tank activist and message man.

Allen contends that the roles of philosopher and message man were not mutually exclusive, and that Plato’s pursuit of language as a vehicle for affecting cultural norms was grounded in his philosophy of language. Why Plato Wrote is a lucid and engaging commentary on Plato’s philosophy of language and its relation to his political theory.
  

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Contents

Who Was Plato?
11
The Importance of Symbols in Human Life
24
The Philosopher as ModelMaker
38
The Philosopher as ShadowMaker
55
What Plato Wrote
70
The Case for Influence
89
Culture War Emergent
108
Culture War Concluded
122
And to My Colleagues
143
Miso Compounds in Greek Literature
158
References
206
Index
219
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Danielle S. Allen is UPS Foundation Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. She is the author of The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens (2000) and Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship Since Brown vs. the Board of Education (2004).