Plato's Craft of Justice

By Richard D. Parry

Subjects: Ancient Greek Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Ancient Greek Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791427323, 268 pages, November 1995
Hardcover : 9780791427316, 268 pages, November 1995

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Table of contents


1. Craft of Ruling in Republic I and Gorgias

2. The Craft Analogy in the Early Dialogues and The Craft of Justice in Republic IV

3. The Craft of Justice and Imitation in the Republic

4. Imitation and Inspiration in the Republic and the Symposium


Index of Authors and Subjects

Index Locorum

Shows that Plato's middle dialogues develop and extend, rather than reject, philosophical positions taken in the early dialogues.


This book traces the development of Plato's analogy between craft and virtue from Euthydemus and Gorgias through the central books of the Republic. It shows that Plato's middle dialogues develop and extend, rather than reject, philosophical positions taken in the early dialogues.

Richard D. Parry is Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Philosophy at Agnes Scott College.


"Plato's Craft of Justice deals with the central concerns of Platonic ethical philosophy and brings out their coherence in an unusually rigorous way. It also adds Plato's voice to the current exploration of what has come to be called 'virtue ethics. ' Virtue ethics has recently experienced a renascence of interest among contemporary ethical philosophers and, more widely, in current discussions of American society and values. The book illuminates a wide selection of the central philosophical concerns of Plato's most popular and widely read (middle) dialogues, including his metaphysical, epistemological, political, and aesthetic notions.

"I was particularly impressed by the way the author drew connections between key dialogues and their principal ideas. It makes the reader 'think along with Plato' in a rigorous and comprehensive way, opening new insights into well-known texts and giving new twists to established interpretations.

"There is nothing that does precisely what this book does. Though the Platonic topics and texts are much discussed and the author draws on the best of contemporary scholarship, the author's reading is original in its totality. This is an excellent, persuasive book that will become a standard, must-read item in the field of Platonic interpretation. The fact that the subject is of great historical and contemporary significance appeals to me both as a reader and as a teacher. I would recommend it to any serious student of ancient philosophy. " — David E. Hahm, Ohio State University