Plato's Sophist

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252 pages, 6" x 9", notes, bibliography, indexes

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Plato's Sophist

The Drama of Original and Image

Rosen, Stanley

Plato’s great attempt to define the nature of the sophist – the false image of the philosopher – has perplexed readers from classical times to the present. The dialogue has been central in the ongoing debate about the theory of forms, and it remains a crucial text for Plato scholars in both the analytical and the phenomenological traditions.

Stanley Rosen follows the stages of the dialogue in sequence and offers an exhaustive analysis of the philosophical questions that come to light as Theaetetus and the Eleatic Stranger pursue the sophist through philosophical debate. He finds the central problem of the dialogue in the relation between original and image; he shows how this distinction underlies all subsequent technical themes and analyzes in detail such problems as non-being or negation and false statement.

Arguing that the dialogue must be treated as a dramatic unity, “This work is the most complete study of the Sophist in any language and the most original account of this dialogue to appear in many years. – Donald C. Lindenmuth, The Review of Metaphysics

“Rosen is a sophisticated and learned philosopher. . . . [His] construction is ingenious, and his commentary is often perceptive.” – Julia Annas, Times Literary Supplement

“[Rosen] brings to his analyses and argumentations much profundity and erudition. . . . Here is a work that will become an obligatory reference.” – P.-Ph. Druet, Les Etudes Classiques