Plato's Statesman

Dialectic, Myth, and Politics

Edited by John Sallis

Subjects: Continental Philosophy, Ancient Greek Philosophy, Philosophy, Political Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Paperback : 9781438464084, 334 pages, January 2018
Hardcover : 9781438464091, 334 pages, January 2017

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Table of contents

John Sallis

1. Beginnings—
John Sallis

2. From Spontaneity to Automaticity: Polar (Opposite) Reversal at Statesman 269c–274d
Michael Naas

3. Autochthony, Sexual Reproduction, and Political Life in the Statesman Myth
Sara Brill

4. Where Have All the Shepherds Gone? Socratic Withdrawal in Plato’s Statesman
S. Montgomery Ewegen

5. The Politics of Time: On the Relationship between Life and Law in Plato’s Statesman
Walter A. Brogan
6. A Little Move toward Greek Philosophy: Reassessing the Statesman Myth
Nickolas Pappas

7. Noêsis and Logos in the Eleatic Trilogy, with a Focus on the Visitor’s Jokes at Statesman 266a-d
Mitchell Miller

8. Finding the Right Concepts: On Dialectics in Plato’s Statesman
Günter Figal

9. Paradigm and Dialectical Inquiry in Plato’s Statesman
Eric Sanday

10. The Art of the Example in Plato’s Statesman
James Risser

11. Reconsidering the Relations between the Statesman, the Philosopher, and the Sophist
Noburu Notomi

12. Syngrammatology in Plato’s Statesman
Robert Metcalf

13. Stranger than the Stranger: Axiothea
Drew A. Hyland

14. On Law and the Science of Politics in Plato’s Statesman 237
Robert C. Bartlett

15. Adrift on the Boundless Sea of Unlikeness: Sophistry and Law in the Statesman
Ryan Drake

16. The Philosophers in Plato’s Trilogy
Burt C. Hopkins

17. Transformations: Platonic Mythos and Plotinian Logos
Gary M. Gurtler, S. J.

English Index
Greek Index

Explores the interplay between the dramatic form of the dialogue and the basic themes it addresses.


The Statesman is among the most widely ranging of Plato's dialogues, bringing together in a single discourse disparate subjects such as politics, mathematics, ontology, dialectic, and myth. The essays in this collection consider these subjects and others, focusing in particular on the dramatic form of the dialogue. They take into account not only what is said but also how it is said, by whom and to whom it is said, and when and where it is said. In this way, the contributors approach the text in a manner that responds to the dialogue itself rather than bringing preconceived questions and scholarly debates to bear on it. The essays are especially attuned to the comedic elements that run through much of the dialogue and that are played out in a way that reveals the subject of the comedy. In the Statesman, these comedies reach their climax when the statesman becomes a participant in a comedy of animals and thereby is revealed in his true nature.

John Sallis is Frederick J. Adelmann Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. He is the author of many books, including Klee's Mirror; The Gathering of Reason: Second Edition; and Platonic Legacies, all also published by SUNY Press.


"…a valuable contribution to the clarification of the role and practice of the philosopher through comparison with key figures, e. g. the sophist and the statesman. " — Phenomenological Reviews

"Highly recommended. " — CHOICE

"Knowledgeably compiled and deftly edited … unreservedly recommended. " — Midwest Book Review