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Hunting Plato's agalmata

Version 2 2024-06-06, 11:59
Version 1 2016-11-01, 18:44
chapter
posted on 2024-06-06, 11:59 authored by M Sharpe
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.

History

Volume

14

Chapter number

3

Pagination

25-37

ISBN-13

9781317647089

Language

eng

Publication classification

B Book chapter, B1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2016, The Author

Extent

9

Editor/Contributor(s)

Bradatan C

Publisher

Routledge

Place of publication

Abingdon, Eng.

Title of book

Philosophy as a literary art: making things up