Title

Character, Time, and Place in the Dialogues of Plato

Author

John H. Fritz

Defense Date

7-5-2013

Graduation Date

Summer 1-1-2013

Availability

Immediate Access

Submission Type

dissertation

Degree Name

PhD

Department

Philosophy

School

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Ronald Polansky

Committee Member

Bernard Freydberg

Committee Member

Michael Harrington

Keywords

Character, Dialogue, Place, Plato, Structure, Time

Abstract

This dissertation investigates Plato's use of character, time, and place in his dialogues. After an introduction where it is argued that all dialogues represented as spoken rely in some fashion on the three formal elements listed above, Plato's use of characters is taken up in detail in Chapter One. The Symposium, Republic, and Cratylus are analyzed to come to an understanding of how characters relate to what they do and say. Next, the phenomenon of displacement is taken up in a number of dialogues, in particular the Hippias Major. This strange and frequent occurrence in the dialogues is eventually related to the treatments of thinking in the Theaetetus and the Sophist. Chapter Two takes up Plato's employment of definite times in his dialogues, dwelling on the time of the Parmenides. Chapter Three takes up Plato's use of definite places in his dialogues, dwelling on the place of the Lysis. Chapter Four analyzes Plato's use of indefinite time and place in the Philebus. Chapter Five deals with Plato's use of frames, analyzing the frame of the Phaedo in detail. After a brief conclusion, the `critique of writing' that closes the Phaedrus is considered in light of the distinction between the dialogues' dual status as somehow both written and spoken. This is added as an appendix.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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