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Title: Craftsmanship, teleology, and politics in Plato's 'Statesman'
Author: Sorensen, Anders Dahl
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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In this thesis I attempt to bring out some interesting implications of Plato’s political thought as it is presented in the Politicus. In particular, I will show how this dialogue provides a new picture of the relation between ruler and ruled; a picture that stresses the importance and responsibility of every citizen, not just of the statesman himself. This is achieved by an analysis of the notion of political craftsmanship envisaged by the main speaker of the dialogue, the Eleatic Stranger. However, before I turn to consider the Politicus itself, I provide a brief presentation of another Platonic craftsman, the demiurge of the Timaeus. As will be clear, the teleological structure, and the accompanying terminology, of his craftsmanship will mirror that of the true statesman and thus help us understand the latter’s political rule. My choice to focus on this aspect of the Politicus is motivated by the text itself. For the question of the kind of craftsmanship involved in political rule is picturesquely, yet effectively, brought to the fore by the myth in the early parts of the dialogue, which distinguishes between two rival conceptions and associates the statesman with one of them. I conclude by reflecting on the significance of my findings for Plato’s political thought as a whole.
Supervisor: Johansen, Thomas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Hellenic (Classical Greek) literature ; Plato ; 'Statesman' (dialogue) ; Ancient philosophy