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Grant number: FT-229491-15

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Jacob A. Howland
University of Tulsa (Tulsa, OK 74104-9700)

Plato's Republic: Socrates, Glaucon, and the Drama of the Soul

Summer research and writing on Ancient History, History of Philosophy and Political Theory.

Plato's dialogues frequently situate historical characters in an imagined past, yet invite readers to interpret their action and argument in the light of actual subsequent events. This "historical irony," I believe, can help unlock the meaning of Plato's masterwork, the Republic--a dialogue saturated in the bloody history of the regime of the Thirty, the Spartan-backed oligarchy that governed Athens in the immediate aftermath of the Peloponnesian War. My book project uses historical and literary evidence to cast fresh light on the Republic's human drama. It is a sustained reflection on the implications of what I argue is the tragic fate of Plato's brother Glaucon, Socrates' main interlocutor in the dialogue. The project highlights the timeless moral relevance of the Republic against the backdrop of its poignant immediacy. It promises to clarify the limits of Socrates' philosophical pedagogy and to enrich our understanding of Plato's complex literary art.

Project fields:
Ancient History; History of Philosophy; Political Theory

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 7/31/2015