Although sometimes it is difficult for me to remember, I am actually a philosopher, and not just an old retiree blogging away. Next month, I shall start teaching a course on Plato's REPUBLIC in a Duke University Learning in Retirement program [no assignments, no papers, no exams, no pay -- more or less the ideal pedagogical situation.] One old friend and one new one have sent me scholarly papers they wrote on the REPUBLIC, from both of which I learned a good deal. The first is by an old friend and UMass colleague, Bruce Aune: "The Unity of Plato's REPUBLIC", in ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY, 17, No. 2 [Fall, 1997] That one seems to be on line. It argues persuasively, against many critics, that Book One of the REPUBLIC is consistent with, and continuous with, the remainder of the work, despite the dramatic difference in the style of agumentation. The second is by a new acquaintance whom I should like to think of as a friend, though we have not met -- Stephen Menn, in the McGill Philosophy Department -- entitled "On Plato's POLITEIA [this in Greek]", a very long, deeply scholarly, but quite accessible and well-written discussion of Plato's relationship to a large literature, in his day, of writings idealizing or otherwise referencing Sparta. It can be found in PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOSTON AREA COLLOQUIUM IN ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY, Volume 21, 2005.
For those of you out there who are interested in Plato, I strongly urge you to take a look. My thanks to both Aune and Menn, who have done their bit to save me from making a fool of myself next month.