The Argument of the Action

Essays on Greek Poetry and Philosophy

Seth Benardete

The Argument of the Action
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Seth Benardete

456 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2000
Cloth $60.00 ISBN: 9780226042510 Published August 2000
This volume brings together Seth Benardete's studies of Hesiod's Theogony, Homer's Iliad, and Greek tragedy, of eleven Platonic dialogues, and Aristotle's Metaphysics. These essays, some never before published, others difficult to find, span four decades of his work and document its impressive range. Benardete's philosophic reading of the poets and his poetic reading of the philosophers share a common ground that makes this collection a whole. The key, suggested by his reflections on Leo Strauss in the last piece, lies in the question of how to read Plato. Benardete's way is characterized not just by careful attention to the literary form that separates doctrine from dialogue, and speeches from deed; rather, by following the dynamic of these differences, he uncovers the argument that belongs to the dialogue as a whole. The "turnaround" such an argument undergoes bears consequences for understanding the dialogue as radical as the conversion of the philosopher in Plato's image of the cave.

Benardete's original interpretations are the fruits of this discovery of the "argument of the action."
1. The First Crisis in First Philosophy
2. Achilles and the Iliad
3. The Aristeia of Diomedes and the Plot of the Iliad
4. The Furies of Aeschylus
5. Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus
6. Euripides' Hippolytus
7. On Greek Tragedy
8. Physics and Tragedy: On Plato's Cratylus
9. On Plato's Symposium
10. Protagoras's Myth and Logos
11. On Plato's Lysis
12. On Interpreting Plato's Charmides
13. Plato's Laches: A Question of Definition
14. On Plato's Phaedo
15. Plato's Theaetetus: On the Way of the Logos
16. On Plato's Sophist
17. The Plan of Plato's Statesman
18. On the Timaeus
19. On Wisdom and Philosophy: The First Two Chapters of Aristotle's Metaphysics A
20. Strauss on Plato
Selected Works by Seth Benardete
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