In engaging five of Plato's dialogues_Theaetetus, Euthyphro, Cratylus, Sophist, and Statesman_and by paying particular attention to Socrates' intellectual defense in the 'philosophic trial' by the Stranger from Elea, Jacob Howland illuminates Plato's understanding of the proper relationship between philosophy and politics. This insightful and innovative study illustrates the Plato's understanding of the difference between sophistry and philosophy, and it identifies the innate contradictions of political philosophy that Plato observed and remain entrenched within the field to this day. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the past, present, and future of political philosophy.
This is an admirable book, thoughtful and impressively wide-ranging study of Platos's dialogues, but a sharply focused and quite accessible one as well. It will be valuable to both experienced and relatively new readers.