Genres in Dialogue: Plato and the Construct of Philosophy
Cambridge University Press, Apr 13, 2000 - Literary Collections - 222 pages
This 1995 book takes as its starting point Plato's incorporation of specific genres of poetry and rhetoric into his dialogues. The author argues that Plato's 'dialogues' with traditional genres are part and parcel of his effort to define 'philosophy'. Before Plato, 'philosophy' designated 'intellectual cultivation' in the broadest sense. When Plato appropriated the term for his own intellectual project, he created a new and specialised discipline. In order to define and legitimise 'philosophy', Plato had to match it against genres of discourse that had authority and currency in democratic Athens. By incorporating the text or discourse of another genre, Plato 'defines' his new brand of wisdom in opposition to traditional modes of thinking and speaking. By targeting individual genres of discourse Plato marks the boundaries of 'philosophy' as a discursive and as a social practice.
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activity Agathon Alcibiades alien discourse Amphion Antidosis Antiope Apollodorus argue argument Aristophanes Aristotle Athenian Athenian democracy Athens attacks attempt Bakhtin banausia banausic Callicles censure citizens claims comic poets context course criticism define demos discourse of praise discussion double-voiced Dover dramatic encomia encomiastic genre encomium epideictic epitaphios Eros eulogy Eupolis Euripides example exchange explicit explicitly fact fourth century funeral oration genres of discourse Gorgias Greek Hippothales human identified ignorant indicates intellectual intertextuality invective Isocrates kind knowledge logoi logos Loraux lover Lysias Lysis Note notion offer Old Comedy Palamedes parody passage passim Pausanias person Phaedrus philosophy Plato Platonic dialogue play poetry politicians possess practice praise and blame prose Protagoras prytaneum Republic rhetoric ridiculous serious social and political Socrates says sophists soul speak speech subtext suggests Symposium Theaetetus Theuth things thinkers tragedy tragic truth virtue voices wisdom wise word writing Xenophon Zethus