E-mail Archives :
This set of pages constitutes the "e-mail archives" section of a site, Plato and his dialogues, dedicated to developing a new interpretation of Plato's dialogues.
They include HTML edited versions of posts that I submitted
on various e-mail discussion lists about Plato and ancient philosophy.
As the site grows, the material often cursorily mentioned in these posts
should be included and developed in appropriate pages. In the meantime,
these archives may provide the reader with insights into yet undeveloped
theses on this or that dialogue. Direct access to relevant posts is also
provided in the home page of referenced dialogues until the time where
the material included in the post is duly integrated in the pages dealing
with that dialogue.
Most of these posts should be understandable outside the context of
the discussion they were a part of. When needed for understanding, I included
before my posts quotations in italics from other posts on the list to which mine answer.
Quotations in italic within the text of a post were part
of the original post. In general, the posts have been reproduced as originally
posted, except for spelling, typo and other kinds of mistakes, but they
have been formatted for HTML, and references to dialogues have been transformed
into links as in all other pages of this site. A few notes have been added
when needed to point at theses that I would no longer state in the same
In the following list, posts are referenced in chronological order.
- Order of Plato's dialogues:
a new hypothesis (February 8, 1995) : the first presentation
of my theses and organisation of the dialogues in tetralogies when I joined
the sophia and plato lists.
- Symbolic roles and names in
Plato's Republic (February 12, 1995) : a general
presentation of the "part" each character plays in the Republic
in relationship with the purpose of the dialogue. The post also develops
similar considerations about the Apology and the Gorgias .
- The order of Plato's dialogues
(February 19, 1995) : a reply to a comment on my post "Order
of Plato's dialogues : a new hypothesis", dated 02/08/95, dealing
with the central place of Socrates' death in the overall scheme of the
dialogues, the "theory of forms", and the four "forms"
of man in the Timæus.
- Platonism: a fresh look (parts
1 to 4) (February 26, 1995) : a more developed presentation
of the tetralogies, in four parts, that provides hints about various hypotheses
on individual dialogues or groups of dialogues, that will be developed
later in these pages :
- Part1 starts with general assumptions on
my approach of Plato's dialogues, and introduces the "map" of
the dialogues in seven tetralogies. It then relates this structure to the
structure of the trilogy Theætetus, Sophist, Statesman and
to the structure of the seven speeches in the Symposium.
- Part 2 introduces the political goal of
the dialogues as a whole and goes into some details about tetralogies 1
- Part 3 presents a parallel between tetralogies
5 and 6 and tetralogies 2 and 3. It then goes on commenting on the 6th
and 7th tetralogy, especially the Sophist, Philebus, Timæus
and Critias. Commenting on the Timæus, it shows
how this dialogue presents us with four "forms" of man. And it
finally introduces the "test" implied by the deliberately unfinished
- Part 4 and last proposes a parallel between
the Laws and the Timæus through a comparison of the
plan of both dialogues that gives the meaning of the last trilogy and the
whole set of the dialogues. It includes a section on the so-called "unwritten
doctrines" and considerations on Aristotles' (mis)understanding of
- One beyond being
(March 4 & 5, 1995) : a discussion about the one beyond being
and the third man's argument dealing with the Sophist, the Parmenides,
the Timæus and Aristotle.
- Keys to Republic's prolog
(March 12, 1995) : an interpretation of the setting of the Republic
unfolding in the firts two pages of the dialog.
- Pursuing goodness
(March 28, 1995) : a discussion of what is the good of man for Plato.
- How to read Plato
(April 4, 1995) : some recommendations on how to read the dialogues
for a newcomer.
- Phædrus, Boreas'
myth and politics (August 3, 1995) : a discussion about
the place of history in the dialogues, and about the overall structure
and meaning of the Phædrus.
- Fiction in the Platonic dialogues
(August 26, 1995) : comments on the role of facts in Platonic dialogues,
and especially the Apology, the kind of truth Plato is looking for
and hypotheses of interpretation, with a section criticizing a position
of G. Vlastos in his epilogue to Socratic Studies called "Socrates
- Tragedy in the Gorgias
(September 3 & 6, 1995) : a close analysis of some of the Gorgias'
vocabulary strengthening the analogy between characters and parts of the
- Greek bias against the Indeterminate
(September 7, 1995) : form and matter in Plato's dialogues and especially
in the Timæus.
- Plato's middle dialogues (about
stylometry) (October 25, 1995) : some comments on stylometry
as a tool to study Plato's dialogues.
- Why bother studying Plato, anyway?
(October 27, 1995) : a summary of my understanding of Plato's dialogues
in answer to a question about the relevancy of Plato and his supposed "theory
of forms" for us today.
- The symbolic structure of Plato's
Parmenides (February 4, 1996) : a "decoding"
of the Parmenides' prolog and structure in comparison with those of
the ensuing trilogy starting with the Theætetus.
- Plato and the existence of God
(February 8, 1996) : a short introduction to the place of god(s) and
religion in Plato's thought.
- The city and the soul in Plato's
Republic (June 4-8, 1996) : some comments on the
analogy of soul and city in the Republic.
- History in Plato's staging of his
dialogues (June 5-17, 1996) : some examples of the choice
of historical characters whose name suits Plato's purpose to play a part in
the dialogues and the ensuing discussion on the role of history in Plato's
- Plato's dialogues and Socrates'
chronology (June 7-14, 1996) : from a question about the
role of Socrates' chronology in ordering the dialogues, some more considerations
about the Parmenides and the ensuing trilogy Theætetus, Sophist,
- Mathematical entities in Plato's
Republic (August 13-15, 1996) : some developments
on the role of mathematics in Plato's teaching, starting from an explanation
of the analogy of the line.
- Non-Euclidian geometries and theories
about Plato's dialogues (November 12, 1996) : my approach
to Plato's dialogues as compared to "scientific" theories.
- The portrait of the philosopher
in the Theætetus (Novembre 20-23, 1996) :
is this portrait the real goal of Plato, or a caricature of philosopher, and,
if the later, why?
- Plato and Aristotle
(November 20-23, 1996) : about the possible origin of the four causes'
theory in Plato's Timæus.
- How to read Plato ?
(February 9, 1997) : a post on how to read Plato as a non-dogmatic teacher
between history and fiction.
- The discussion with Cephalus (Republic,
I) (February 9-17, 1997) :
a set of posts on the interpretation of the prolog of the Republic,
and especially the discussion with Cephalus.
- Warlords or Perfect Guardians
(the conversation with Polemarchus, Republic I) (February 23,
1997) : a comment of the discussion with Polemarchus at the beginning
of the Republic, followed by some considerations about the "craft
- Cephalus and the Timæus
(June 15-21, 1998) : a few considerations on the relationship between
the Republic and the Timæus, the structuring role of the
three parts of the soul in both dialogues and also in the Theætetus,
the reliability of Timæus as a speaker and the unreachability of the
ultimate logos of all things.
- Why did Plato destroy Athens along
with Atlantis ? (about Timæus,
25b-d) (August 8-9, 1998) : from a very specific question
on the anounced end of the tale of Atlantis in the Timæus, a
broader answer about the interpretation of the Critias and what lies
behind the whole tale.
Plato and his dialogues : Home
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Last updated November 21, 1998
© 1996, 1997 Bernard SUZANNE
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