Of Myth, Life and War in Plato's

Of Myth, Life and War in Plato's "Republic"

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A sensitive and original reading of Plato's Republic that foregrounds the power of myth in the shaping of history., Although Plato's Republic is perhaps the most influential text in the history of Western philosophy, Claudia Baracchi finds that the work remains obscure and enigmatic. To fully understand and appreciate its meaning, Baracchi argues, we must attend to what its original language discloses. Through a close reading of the Greek text, attentive to the pervasiveness of story and myth, Baracchi investigates the dialogue's major themes. The first part of the book addresses issues of generation, reproduction, and decay as they apply to the founding of Socrates' just city. The second part takes up the connection between war and the cycle of life, through a thorough analysis of Plato's rendition of the myth of Er. In beautifully crafted prose, Baracchi shows that the Republic is concerned throughout with the complex but intertwined issues of life and war, locating the site of this tangled web of growth and destruction in the mythical dimension of the Platonic city. What is the relation of war to the cycle of life, death, and rebirth? Is war to be seen as a uniquely traumatic event shattering the order of the living, or does it simply reflect the natural disasters that throw the world off balance? In Baracchi's deft interpretation, primordial issues of life and death, darkness and light, force and harmony emerge from this important Platonic text. In a larger sense, Baracchi's stimulating book illuminates the fundamental function of myth in philosophical inquiry., Introduction Proleptikon "First Part: "Old women telling tales"(350 e): The City in View, the City Envisioned " On Regeneration The Law of (Re)production "Second Part: "A tale was saved and not lost" (621 b): Vision at the End of the Visible " Preliminary Remarks in a Rhapsodic Form War Vision (Re)birth Un-ending, "Baracchi has identified pivotal points around which the Republic operates; this allows a reading of the entire text to unfold... a very beautifully written book." --Walter Brogan, Villanova University " "Dr. Baracchi has produced a work that opens new and timely vistas within the Republic, probably the single most influential text in the history of Western thought. Her approach ... is thorough and rigorous. --John" "Sallis, Pennsylvania State University, Claudia Baracchi is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at The New School. Her articles on philosophy, art, and literary theory have appeared in numerous journals in English and Italian.

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