The Son of Apollo: Themes of Plato

By Frederick J. E. Woodbridge | Go to book overview

VII
SOCRATES

THE recurrence of such perennially human themes as politics, education, love, and death, and a dramatic rather than a systematic treatment of them, constitute for the writer of this book the impressive thing in the dialogues of Plato. A theory in the sense of a vision of the world and not a theory in the sense of an explanation of it, is what is found; a programme for the guidance of the spectator of life's drama and not a programme for the actor in it. Seeing is exalted above both explaining and doing. Emphasis falls on this exaltation. To have that vision perfectly would be to be wholly wise and like the gods. To have it imperfectly, but as well as a man may, is to be partially so -- a lover of wisdom, a philosopher. Detachment from life by one compelled to participate in it by his humanity, is the desired thing. And this detachment cannot be gained so long as men are busily engaged in running their cities, in educating their young, in loving

-254-

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The Son of Apollo: Themes of Plato
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Note vii
  • Contents *
  • The Son of Apollo 1
  • II - The Writings of Plato 32
  • III - The Perfect City 59
  • IV - Education 104
  • V - Love 154
  • VI - Death 209
  • VII - Socrates 254
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