Hunting Plato's Agalmata

Sharpe, Matthew 2009, Hunting Plato's Agalmata, European legacy, toward new paradigms, vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 535-547.

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Title Hunting Plato's Agalmata
Formatted title Hunting Plato's Agalmata
Author(s) Sharpe, Matthew
Journal name European legacy, toward new paradigms
Volume number 14
Issue number 5
Start page 535
End page 547
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2009-08
ISSN 1084-8770
1470-1316
Summary In this essay I argue that to understand Plato's philosophy, we must understand why Plato presented this philosophy as dialogues: namely, works of literature. Plato's writing of philosophy corresponds to his understanding of philosophy as a transformative way of life, which must nevertheless present itself politically, to different types of people. As a model, I examine Lacan's famous reading of Plato's Symposium in his seminar of transference love in psychoanalysis. Unlike many other readings, Lacan focuses on Alcibiades' famous description of what caused his desire for Socrates: the supposition that beneath Socrates' Silenus-like language and appearance, there were agalmata, treasures, hidden in his belly. I argue that this image of Socrates can also stand as an image for how we ought to read and to teach Plato's philosophy: as harbouring different levels of insight, couched in Plato's philosophy as literature.
Language eng
Field of Research 220301 Aesthetics
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, International Society for the Study of European Ideas
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30020096

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Faculty of Arts and Education
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