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Plato's Fable : On the Mortal Condition in Shadowy Times - Joshua Mitchell

Plato's Fable

On the Mortal Condition in Shadowy Times

Hardcover Published: 26th March 2006
ISBN: 9780691124384
Number Of Pages: 224

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This book is an exploration of Plato's "Republic" that bypasses arcane scholarly debates. "Plato's Fable" provides refreshing insight into what, in Plato's view, is the central problem of life: the mortal propensity to adopt defective ways of answering the question of how to live well.

How, in light of these tendencies, can humankind be saved? Joshua Mitchell discusses the question in unprecedented depth by examining one of the great books of Western civilization.

He draws us beyond the ancients/moderns debate, and beyond the notion that Plato's "Republic" is best understood as shedding light on the promise of discursive democracy. Instead, Mitchell argues, the question that ought to preoccupy us today is neither "reason" nor "discourse," but rather "imitation." To what extent is man first and foremost an "imitative" being? This, Mitchell asserts, is the subtext of the great political and foreign policy debates of our times.

"Plato's Fable" is not simply a work of textual exegesis. It is an attempt to move debates within political theory beyond their current location. Mitchell recovers insights about the depth of the problem of mortal imitation from Plato's magnificent work, and seeks to explicate the meaning of Plato's central claim--that "only philosophy can save us."

"Plato's Fable is ... a well researched and eloquently expressed work of scholarship, and as such would be a valuable tool for any student of ancient philosophy in particular along with moral, metaphysical and political philosophy in general."--Kenneth Royce Moore, The Philosophical Quarterly

Prefacep. ix
A Note on the Translationp. xv
Introductionp. 1
Imitation in Mortal Lifep. 1
The Disappointments of Reasonp. 3
Hegel and the Origins of "Identity Politics"p. 5
Rousseau's Gentler Form of Imitationp. 7
Beyond the Reformation Categories of "Identity Politics" and Socializationp. 11
Reason Revisited: Plato's Critique of "Rationality"p. 12
Honor's Placep. 14
(Divine) Reasonp. 16
The Mortal Condition in Shadowy Timesp. 18
Plato's Fablep. 21
Rendering Each Its Duep. 22
The Origin of the Cityp. 27
Fables, Lies, and Medicinep. 34
Fool's Goldp. 47
Noble Education-and Beyondp. 51
From the City to the Soulp. 56
The Philosopherp. 59
The Hunt for the Goodp. 68
The Decline toward Tyrannyp. 75
Timocracyp. 79
Oligarchyp. 82
Democracyp. 89
Tyrannyp. 99
The Prisoner's Dilemmap. 111
Envyp. 113
Sadomasochismp. 114
Rights and the Relativity of All Thingsp. 115
Averting Rupturesp. 119
The Pathos of Measurement, and Powerp. 122
Triviap. 126
Medical Crises, Legal Gridlockp. 133
Ethics as First Sciencep. 137
Beyond Debtp. 139
The Misplaced Search for Originsp. 146
The Opinings of the Divided Soulp. 152
The Inaction of the Divided Soulp. 156
Conclusionp. 167
The Fable of Liberalismp. 167
The Tocquevillean Wager: Mimesis and the Mediational Site of Renewalp. 175
The Socratic Wager: Mimesis and the Philosophical Practice of Deathp. 189
Bibliographyp. 195
Indexp. 203
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691124384
ISBN-10: 0691124388
Series: New Forum Books
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 224
Published: 26th March 2006
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 1.88
Weight (kg): 0.45