Plato's Four Muses reconstructs Plato's authorial self-portrait through a fresh reading of the Phaedrus , with an Introduction and Conclusion that contextualize the construction more broadly. The Phaedrus , it is argued, is Plato's most self-referential dialogue, and Plato's reference to four Muses in Phaedrus 259c-d is read as a hint at the "ingredients" of philosophical discourse, which turns out to be a form of provocatively old-fashioned mousike . Andrea Capra maintains that Socrates's conversion to "demotic"-as opposed to metaphorical-music in the Phaedo closely parallels the Phaedrus and is apologetic in character, since Socrates was held responsible for dismissing traditional mousike . This parallelism reveals three surprising features that define Plato's works: first, a measure of anti-intellectualism (Plato counters the rationalistic excesses of other forms of discourse, thus distinguishing it from both prose and poetry); second, a new beginning for philosophy (Plato conceptualizes the birth of Socratic dialogue in, and against, the Pythagorean tradition, with an emphasis on the new role of writing); and finally, a self-consciously ambivalent attitude with respect to the social function of the dialogues, which are conceived both as a kind of "resistance literature" and as a preliminary move toward the new poetry of the Kallipolis.
Soft illustrated covers in good condition and only slightly creased at edges and corners. Pages inside are bright, clean and unmarked.