For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Plato's Political Philosophy:
The Cave
  • Roger L. Huard
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Plato's Political Philosophy:. The Cave
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Using The Cave as a key to Plato’s political thought, Huard debunks conventional interpretations, conservative and progressive, and unfolds Plato's notions about the structure of the world, his ideas about justice and human well being, challenging many of our conceptions of the cosmos and political beliefs.

About the Author

Roger L. Huard is a political philosopher who lives in Western Michigan.

About the Book

Roger Huard invites readers to explore Plato’s myth of the Cave, which is central to his magnum opus on political philosophy, The Republic. The primary goal of this exploration is to arrive at an...

Roger Huard invites readers to explore Plato’s myth of the Cave, which is central to his magnum opus on political philosophy, The Republic. The primary goal of this exploration is to arrive at an understanding of Plato’s political ideas -- an understanding that is not saddled with the misconceptions that plague contemporary interpretations of his thinking, conservative and progressive alike. The author argues further that this re-examination provides a way to look at the human condition that is significantly different from most available perspectives on the matter and that, by virtue of this difference, challenges both our conceptions of the cosmos and many of our deeply held political beliefs.

The author provides a reinterpretation of the cave myth that discusses specifically the structure of knowledge that is embedded in the myth as well as the concept of philosophy and the philosopher that it details especially in terms of the relationship of the philosopher to the greater social order.

An examination follows of the structure of the world that Plato’s myth rests upon. This is important because this structure is fundamentally different from current scientific and religious conceptions of the cosmos. It is also significant because Plato’s notions about the structure of the world are linked to his ideas about justice and human well being, a link that is forged (albeit implicitly) in his Myth of the Cave.

The author then proceeds to a discussion of four topics that separate contemporary political thinking from Plato’s:

  • freedom,
  • equality,
  • truth, and
  • art

A two-part examination of these topics demonstrates, first, that Plato’s thoughts on these matters are not as we conventionally think them to be; and second, turns a critical gaze on how contemporary political thought may be mistaken about its own ideas concerning freedom, equality, truth and art. A key feature in this re-examination is the differing conceptions we have from Plato’s on the private and public realms and how these realms are connected to our ideas about economics and politics.

The book concludes with a discussion on the importance of Plato’s political philosophy and how it is linked at a fundamental level to some of our cherished political beliefs about justice, human well-being and community.


Table of Contents
Chapter 1. The Myth of the Cave 1The Story 6The Structure of Knowledge 10Periagoge: The Turning 16The Existential Question: The Way Up 22The
Chapter 1. The Myth of the Cave 1
The Story 6
The Structure of Knowledge 10
Periagoge: The Turning 16
The Existential Question: The Way Up 22
The Social Question: The Way Down 27

Chapter 2. Structure of the World 35

hapter 3. Bad Plato 53

Freedom 62
Equality 80
Truth (and Lies) 90
Art 99
Chapter 4. Sailing Back fromSyracuse 109
Public and Private 113
Good Plato 121
Plato and Freedom 126
Plato and Equality 132
Plato and the Truth 137
Plato and Art 143

Chapter 5. Epilogue 161

Bibliography 175
Index 177


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Categories

Pages 196
Year: 2006
LC Classification: B398.C34H83
Dewey code: 320.092--dc22
BISAC: PHI019000 PHILOSOPHY / Political
BISAC: PHI002000 PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-530-0
Price: USD 22.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-531-7
Price: USD 29.95
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