Identifier

etd-06242010-172854

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Political Science

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

It is traditionally understood that there is a gap, which spans well over one thousand years, between Plato’s own political philosophy and its successor in medieval Islamic philosophy. A most likely bridge between Plato and these later philosophers is Neoplatonism. However, scholars argue that this philosophic school abandoned its predecessor’s emphasis on political philosophy. This dissertation challenges the traditional interpretation by reconstructing a political philosophy based on a Neoplatonic commentary on Plato’s Gorgias. The first two chapters place this commentary within its historical context, as well as its place within the larger Neoplatonic pedagogy. The remainder of the dissertation reconstructs the commentator’s political philosophy. The third chapter discusses his understanding of the best regime and the art of statesmanship, which in many ways is the centerpiece of his political philosophy. Chapters four and five discuss myth and rhetoric, the tools needed by the statesman to bring about the best regime. The following chapter revisits the theme of statesmanship, particularly the notion of the philosopher as statesman.

Date

2010

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Stoner, James R., Jr.

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