Platonic Ethics, Old and New

Platonic Ethics, Old and New

Platonic Ethics, Old and New

Platonic Ethics, Old and New

Synopsis

Offers a fundamental reexamination of Plato's ethical thought, highlighting the differences between ancient & modern assumptions & stressing the need to be critical about our own.

Excerpt

I was greatly honored by the invitation to give the Townsend Lectures in spring 1997, but understandably daunted by the prospect of producing rather unorthodox views on Plato at an institution famous for its rigor and scholarship. The experience, it turned out, was as intellectually stimulating and challenging as I expected, and also very enjoyable. For this I have to thank the warm hospitality of Cornell's Classics Department, especially Jeffrey and Caroline Rusten, Pietro Pucci and Jeannine Routier-Pucci, Charles and Harriet Brittain, Danuta Shanzer, John Coleman, and Laura Purdy. I am also very grateful to members of the Philosophy Department, just up the stairs, who also made me welcome, especially Norman and Barbara Kretzmann, Jason Stanley, Scott and Jane MacDonald, Carl Ginet and Sally McConnell Ginet, and Zoltan Szabo. I owe special thanks to Terry Irwin and Gail Fine and to Charles and Harriet Brittain for all their help and friendship, and for making my time in. Ithaca so enjoyable.

Nancy Sokol and Miriam Zubal helped me find my way around a new institution and cope with computer problems and the like with great patience, good humor, and extensive knowledge. Nancy organized the actual giving of the Townsend Lectures and the initial reception with amazing equanimity, for which I feel gratitude and admiration.

The audience at the Townsend Lectures gave me many points to think about, and so did the members of the Townsend seminar. Terry Irwin and Charles Brittain came faithfully and gave me many probing and thoughtful responses. I am sure that I have not met these to their satisfaction, but they have greatly deepened my understanding of the material and the issues. Among the other seminar members, I would like to mention Travis Butler, Todd Ganson, Stephen Gardiner, Keith McPartland, Lisa Rivera, and Kate Woolfitt, who contributed . . .

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