Pursuing the Good: Ethics and Metaphysics in Plato's Republic

Pursuing the Good: Ethics and Metaphysics in Plato's Republic

Pursuing the Good: Ethics and Metaphysics in Plato's Republic

Pursuing the Good: Ethics and Metaphysics in Plato's Republic

Synopsis

This volume brings together contributions from leading Plato scholars from Britain, Europe and North America on a closely defined topic central to Plato's thought and to Ancient Philosophy -Plato's Form of the Good. The importance of the collection lies in the combination and presentation in one place of a range of different approaches to the good in Plato's Republic, and different solutions to the problems posed and proposed by these approaches. The two central issues, which form an underlying thread throughout the collection, are: first whether Plato's Republic is centred on what is good for individual humans, or on some quasi-moral good; and secondly, what the Form of the Good is. Pursuing the Good goes beyond recent studies in the field, and will appeal to classicists and philosophers alike. To the advanced student, it represents a wide-ranging introduction to central issues of Plato's philosophy; for the academic it will provide stimulus through antithetical and controversial solutions to questions old and new.

Excerpt

Thanks to a generous endowment from the A. G. Leventis Foundation, the School of History and Classics in the University of Edinburgh has the honour to welcome, every two years, a Visiting Research Professor in Greek, chief among whose duties is the organisation of a major international conference on a theme of his or her own choosing within the wide field of Hellenic studies. There have been four incumbents to date, and four such conferences. From each, a selection of papers has been revised and presented for publication as Edinburgh Leventis Studies, volumes 1–4.

The fourth Leventis Professor was Terry Penner, Professor of Philosophy (Emeritus) and former Affiliate Professor of Classics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Having spent almost all of his teaching career in philosophy departments, Terry very much welcomed his three months as a fully fledged member of a classics department distinguished especially for its contribution to Plato studies. For him, the outstanding collegiality and intellectual power that he encountered among the students, staff and former staff in Edinburgh was ample confirmation of the suggestion that analytical philosophers cannot do without the contributions of, and constant conversation with, their colleagues in classics. For their part, Edinburgh classicists and philosophers, at all levels, found in Terry a welcome reminder of what a university is for: during his tenure of the Leventis Chair Terry assiduously made himself available to students and colleagues, not only as an informal interlocutor and mentor, but also in a series of challenging and fascinating Friday seminars in which the rigour and originality of his thought were a constant source of inspiration.

In March 2005 Terry presided over a conference entitled 'The Good and the Form of the Good in Plato's Republic', from which the current volume derives. The editors would like to thank the A. G. Leventis Foundation for its generous support of the Chair, the . . .

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