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Fordham University Press

Plato and the Invention of Life

Plato and the Invention of Life

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The question of life, Michael Naas argues, though rarely foregrounded by Plato, runs through and structures his thought. By characterizing being in terms of life, Plato in many of his later dialogues, including the Statesman, begins to discover--or, better, to invent--a notion of true or real life that would be opposed to all merely biological or animal life, a form of life that would be more valuable than everything we call life and every life that can actually be lived.

This emphasis on life in the Platonic dialogues illuminates the structural relationship between many of Plato's most time-honored distinctions, such as being and becoming, soul and body. At the same time, it helps to explain the enormous power and authority that Plato's thought has exercised, for good or ill, over our entire philosophical and religious tradition.

Lucid yet sophisticated, Naas's account offers a fundamental rereading of what the concept of life entails, one that inflects a range of contemporary conversations, from biopolitics, to the new materialisms, to the place of the human within the living world.

Author: Michael Naas
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Published: 04/03/2018
Pages: 288
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.80lbs
Size: 8.90h x 5.90w x 0.80d
ISBN: 9780823279685

Review Citation(s):
Choice 12/01/2018

About the Author
Michael Naas is Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago. His books include The End of the World and Other Teachable Moments: Jacques Derrida's Final Seminar and Miracle and Machine: Jacques Derrida and the Two Sources of Religion, Science, and the Media (both Fordham).

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