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THE PHILOSOPHICAL AND POLITICAL ANATOMY OF PLATO'S ALCIBIADES MAJOR

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Abstract:

Given the ominous shadow cast by Alcibiades over Socrates' trial, the scholarly assessment of Alcibiades Major deserves to be revisited. The aim of this article is to critically review the various treatments of Alcibiades Major among ancient, modern and contemporary scholars. It also seeks to highlight modern and contemporary themes the dialogue anticipates, such as feminism and, to a lesser extent, multiculturalism. The review will also show that it was in the nineteenth century that objections were first raised about the dialogue's structural features and authenticity. Such objections preoccupied most modern commentators of the dialogue, but from all reasonable evidence, commentators from the ancient world had no such qualms about the dialogue's structural features or about attributing the authorship of Alcibiades Major to Plato

Keywords: Alcibiades; Alcibiades Major; George Gilder; Plato; Socrates; Spartan and Persian Speech; and the Platonic dialogues; authenticity; authorship; feminism; male identity; men and marriage; multiculturalism; structural features; tradition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1781, USA andrarchie@ msn.com

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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