Plato's Utopia Recast is an illuminating reappraisal of Plato's later works, which reveals radical changes in his ethical and political theory.
Christopher Bobonich argues that in these works Plato both rethinks and revises important positions which he held in his better-known earlier works such as the Republic and the Phaedo. Bobonich analyses Plato's shift from a deeply pessimistic view of non-philosophers in the Republic, where he held that only philosophers were capable of virtue and happiness, to his far more optimistic position in the Laws, where he holds that the constitution and laws of his
ideal city of Magnesia would allow all citizens to achieve a truly good life. Bobonich sheds light on how this and other highly significant changes in Plato's views are grounded in changes in his psychology and epistemology.
This book will change our understanding of Plato. His controversial moral and political theory, so influential in Western thought, will henceforth be seen in a new light.
`Bobonich's study of the Laws (along with related aspects of other post-Republic dialogues, such as Phaedrus and Statesman) is truly brilliant and extraordinarily innovative. There is no doubt but that it will be seen on publication to have revolutionized our understanding of this sprawling, difficult work.... The result is a challenging new view of Platonic politics, based upon the most complete, most insightful account of Plato's moral psychology - and
its development - that anyone has yet provided.'
John Cooper, Princeton University
1: Philosophers and non-philosophers in the Phaedo and Republic
2: Virtue , good, and happiness in the Laws
3: Parts of the soul and the psychology of virtue
4: Parts of the soul and non-rational motivations
5: The Citizens of Magnesia