By Adi Ophir
This publication bargains an unique and specified interpreting of Plato's Republic, probably the most influential philosophical works within the emergence of Western philosophy. the writer discusses the Republic by way of discursive occasions and political acts. Plato's act is positioned within the context of a politico-discursive obstacle in Athens on the finish of the 5th and the start of the fourth century B.C that gave upward push to the dialogue's basic query, that of justice. The originality of Dr. Ophir lies within the means he reconstructs the Republic's varied spatial settings - utopian, legendary, dramatic and discursive - utilizing them because the major thread of his interpretation. opposed to the historical past of Plato's critique of the supplier of civic-space within the Greek polis, the writer relates the spatial settings within the Plato textual content to one another. this gives a foundation for a re-evaluation of the connection among philosophy and politics, which Plato's paintings advocates, and which it really enacted.
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Additional info for Plato's Invisible Cities: Discourse and Power in the Republic
Birds are animals that occupy a space beyond human reach; this same space is the one gods traverse in order to interfere with human affairs and enjoy human gifts. An ambitious man and his friend grow feathers and wings and learn to fly; they become birds without losing the rest of their human features. g. Birds 450–60) and persuades the birds (his name is Pisthetairos, 'the persuader’) to cooperate with him and take advantage of their strategic position. Free of the constraints of civic space he is able to control it without taking part in it, since he is able to influence the apolitical space upon which humans depend for their survival (Birds 572–80).
The tyrant, as Thrasymachus describes him, is one who does not 'appropriate other people’s property little by little . . but all at once’ (Rep. 344b). g. 565d–e, 569d, 588–9). We may recall at this point that the story of Gyges, a story of a human transformation, started with a violent transformation in nature: 'There came to pass a great thunderstorm and an earthquake; the earth cracked and a chasm opened’ (359d). 21 PLATO’S INVISIBLE CITIES One is reminded here of another transformation of nature with disastrous consequences, the drowning of Atlantis: 'But at a later time there occurred portentous earthquakes and floods’ ‘(Tim.
As the analogical organization of the text (between soul and city) may suggest, the same conflict appears in the city. When the turmoils of the real city are referred to, the mob is compared to dangerous, wild animals (493c, 496d); the Sophist is accused of 28 GREEK, ALL TOO GREEK not trying to tame the 'big animal’ and of being controlled by its whims (493b); the genuine philosopher, perhaps the only really civilized inhabitant of the city, is saved from the savages around him by some 'god’s dispensation’ (493a).
Plato's Invisible Cities: Discourse and Power in the Republic by Adi Ophir