This comprehensive, yet compact, introduction examines Plato's understanding of law, justice, virtue, and the connection between politics and philosophy.
Focusing on three of Plato's dialogues-- "The Laws," "The Republic," and "The Statesman"--Mark Blitz lays out the philosopher's principal interests in government and the strength and limit of the law, the connection between law and piety, the importance of founding, and the status and limits of political knowledge. He examines all of Plato's discussions of politics and virtues, comments on specific dialogues, and discusses the philosopher's explorations of beauty, pleasure, good, and the relations between politics and reason. Throughout, Blitz reinforces Plato's emphasis on clear and rigorous reasoning in ethics and political life and explains in straightforward language the valuable lessons one can draw from examining Plato's writings.
The only introduction to Plato that both gathers his separate discussions of politically relevant topics and pays close attention to the context and structure of his dialogues, this volume directly contrasts the modern view of politics with that of the ancient master. It is an excellent companion to Plato's "Dialogues."