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Plato and the Virtue of Courage

Linda R. Rabieh

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Winner of the first Delba Winthrop Mansfield Award for Excellence in Political Science

Plato and the Virtue of Courage canvasses contemporary discussions of courage and offers a new and controversial account of Plato's treatment of the concept. Linda R. Rabieh examines Plato's two main thematic discussions of courage, in the Laches and the Republic, and discovers that the two dialogues together yield a coherent, unified treatment of courage that explores a variety of vexing questions: Can courage be separated from justice, so that one can act courageously while advancing an unjust cause? Can...

Winner of the first Delba Winthrop Mansfield Award for Excellence in Political Science

Plato and the Virtue of Courage canvasses contemporary discussions of courage and offers a new and controversial account of Plato's treatment of the concept. Linda R. Rabieh examines Plato's two main thematic discussions of courage, in the Laches and the Republic, and discovers that the two dialogues together yield a coherent, unified treatment of courage that explores a variety of vexing questions: Can courage be separated from justice, so that one can act courageously while advancing an unjust cause? Can courage be legitimately called a virtue? What role does wisdom play in courage? What role does courage play in wisdom?

Based on Plato's presentation, Rabieh argues that a refined version of traditional heroic courage, notwithstanding certain excesses to which it is prone, is worth honoring and cultivating for several reasons. Chief among these is that, by facilitating the pursuit of wisdom, such courage can provide a crucial foundation for the courage most deserving of the name.

Reviews

Reviews

If you want to learn about courage, or if you merely want to be impressed with what it takes to learn about courage, or to read Plato, this is the place to go.

A thoroughly lucid guide through the labyrinth of two Platonic dialogues on an issue of enduring human interest.

Rabieh's analysis of both dialogues is characterized by sensitivity to nuances... Her illustrative examples are particularly helpful in enabling us to understand abstruse points.

An intelligent discussion of an important topic.

A text that Plato scholars and those with an interest in liberal accounts of courage should find useful and informative.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
224
ISBN
9780801889493
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Problem of Courage
The Return to Courage
A Modern Approach to Courage
The Feminist Critique of Courage
Courage and Liberalism
Approaching Plato
1. Courage and the Education

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Problem of Courage
The Return to Courage
A Modern Approach to Courage
The Feminist Critique of Courage
Courage and Liberalism
Approaching Plato
1. Courage and the Education in Virtue
Two Notions of Courage
A Paternal Perspective on Education
The Benefits of Spear-Fighting
Socrates' Rhetorical Strategy
2. Noble Courage: Socrates and Laches
Laches
Standing One's Ground
Steadfastness of Soul
The Goodness of Courage
3. Courage and Wisdom: Socrates and Nicias
Nicias' Socratism
Courage as Knowledge
Natural Strength and Prudent Forethought
The Terrible and Emboldening Things
Courageous Knowledge
4. The Nature of Spiritedness
The Role of Spiritedness in the Republic
Spiritedness, Anger, and Justice
Noble Spiritedness
5. The Guardians' Education in Courage
Spiritedness and the Problem of the Guardians
Anger's Weakness
Magnificence
The Limitations of Political Courage
6. Courage and Philosophy
An Education for Courage
Courage and the Problem of the Good
Courage in the Cave
Courage and the Path to Philosophy
Conclusion: The Promise of Courage
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio