Greek Roman

A stranger's knowledge : statesmanship, philosophy, & law in by Xavier Márquez

By Xavier Márquez

The Statesman is a tough and confusing Platonic discussion. In A Stranger's Knowledge Marquez argues that Plato abandons the following the vintage thought, popular in the Republic, that the philosopher, qua philosopher, is certified to rule. in its place, the discussion offers the statesman as different from the thinker, the possessor of a expert services that can't be decreased to philosophy. The expertise is of the way to make a urban resilient opposed to inner and exterior clash in mild of the imperfect sociality of people and the poverty in their cause. This services, even if, can't be produced on call for: one can't educate statesmen like one may well educate carpenters. Worse, it can't be made applicable to the voters, or function in ways in which should not deeply harmful to the city’s balance. whilst the political neighborhood calls for his wisdom for its renovation, the real statesman needs to stay a stranger to the city.

Marquez indicates how this deadlock is the main to figuring out the ambiguous reevaluation of the guideline of legislation that's the such a lot outstanding function of the political philosophy of the Statesman. The legislations seems the following as a trifling approximation of the services of the necessarily absent statesman, dim pictures and static snapshots of the transparent and dynamic services required to guide the send of nation around the storms of the political international. but such legislation, even if they aren't created by way of real statesmen, can frequently give you the urban with a constrained kind of cognitive capital that permits it to maintain itself ultimately, as long as electorate, and particularly leaders, maintain a “philosophical” perspective in the direction of them. it is just while rulers understand that they don't know greater than the legislation what's simply or solid (and but need to know what's simply and solid) that the town may be preserved. The discussion is hence, in a feeling, the vindication of the philosopher-king within the absence of actual political knowledge. 

 

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Additional resources for A stranger's knowledge : statesmanship, philosophy, & law in Plato's Statesman

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In chapter 3, I present a full interpretation of the memorable myth of the “reversed cosmos” (268e–274d). I argue that the myth serves three basic purposes within the overall economy of the dialogue. First, the myth describes those essential features of the cosmos that affect the way in which we should conceive of the knowledge of the statesman and its ability to shape the city. These features include a lack of direct divine guidance, the hostility of nature and the scarcity of the means of life, the division of human rationality among a number of different arts, and the “entropy” of the cosmos in its present age (its partial tendency towards disorder).

The argument, briefly, is this. Weaving is a paradigm of statesmanship: it reflects its formal structure to a significant degree. But weaving is not only a paradigm of statesmanship; the discussion of weaving is also a paradigm of the discussion of statesmanship. The discussion of weaving, like the discussion of statesmanship, proceeds in two parts, interrupted by a methodological interlude: one part that identifies weaving as the art that is concerned with woolen cloaks, that is, the art that produces an artifact that protects human beings from the harshness of winter, and another part that articulates the relationships between weaving so conceived and all the other arts that contribute to the production of cloaks.

The reactions of these minor characters reveal much about the deep meaning and limits of the arguments presented by the main philosophical spokesmen in each work. The Statesman is no exception, insofar as it depicts a peculiar pedagogical encounter between a philosopher and a young mathematician whose pliant responses and occasional 37 A Stranger’s Knowledge confusions and enthusiasms provide important indications about the proper way of interpreting the Eleatic Stranger’s account of statesmanship.

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