Examining Plato Beyond the Written Text
Edited by Dmitri Nikulin
SUNY Press, $80.00, 223 pages
Plato is one of the greatest philosophers in Western thought. Thousands of years after his death we are still debating his work, his ideas, and his thoughts. Even today the ideas of Plato hold great power over people and how they think. But is there only one way to think about the ideas of Plato? Is the only way to know what Plato truly thought is through the few works that have survived from the ancient past? According to the Tubingen school of interpretation the answer would be no. The real way to understand Plato would be to examined the unknown, or in this case the unrecorded, ideas of Plato. Those ideas that he talked to students about, but did not write them down. They argue that the true ideas of Plato can be found in the works of his students, and not in Plato’s own writings; since Plato did not believe in writing down ideas permanently.
For the price of this book I wish it had a bit more in it. Instead of a collection of brand new essays on Plato, what we get instead is a reprinting of several older essays, that go back to 1969. The only new essay is the first one as an introduction. For the price I just expected something more.
Reviewed by Kevin Winter