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A Conversation with Plato: An Enquiry into the Philosophical and Dramatic Role of the Respondents and Socrates in Plato's Republic

Nolan, Marguerite (2010). A Conversation with Plato: An Enquiry into the Philosophical and Dramatic Role of the Respondents and Socrates in Plato's Republic. PhD thesis The Open University.

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Abstract

Plato appears to have used the genre of the philosophical dialogue in a unique way. It could be interpreted as philosophy with dramatic elements, or drama with philosophical arguments, or possibly a mixture of both. This has made it difficult for scholars to gain a clear understanding of Plato and his dialogues.

To date, little attention has been paid by commentators to the dramatic and literary aspects of Republic Books II to X. This study has been inspired by the recent debates concerning the dramatic and literary aspects of Plato's dialogues and especially the debates concerning the connections between the philosophical, dramatic and literary aspects of these works. It attempts to add to the scholarship to date by carrying out a detailed investigation of the Republic as a whole, rather than focusing primarily on Book I.

This enquiry considers the philosophical and dramatic role of the respondents and Socrates in the Republic. Particular attention is paid to the theme of uncertainty and problematising which runs through the dialogue in the different methods of enquiry adopted by Socrates and the respondents.

The examples considered of the input from the respondents, especially Thrasymachus, Glaucon and Adeimantus, together with Socrates' reaction to these, alert the reader to some important connections between the philosophical and dramatic aspects of the Republic. These connections would not become evident from a study of the work from a purely philosophical or literary perspective. They help the reader to gain a broader understanding of the work as a whole and what message or messages Plato may have been trying to convey. They also suggest the need for caution in selecting a particular interpretation of the dialogue as a whole.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Copyright Holders: 2010 The Author
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Cultures > Classical Studies
Item ID: 60227
Depositing User: ORO Import
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2019 02:55
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/60227
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