History of political thought, 2014-12-01, Vol.35 (4), p.595-631
The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how the divide between systematic and historical approaches in political philosophy can be overcome. To this end I use the contemporary debate on cosmopolitanism and show that Plato already gave a philosophical answer to its central beliefs. Since this is meant to be a historical claim I argue (1) that the question of how Plato reacts to the cosmopolitan challenge is not new but one already posed by Plato's contemporaries, (2) that Plato reacted to changing constitutional situations and to the cosmopolitan challenges of the early Sophists through systematic and historical political philosophy. In a more detailed interpretation of the Politeia I show (3) how Plato constructs his dialogue to silence his opponents and make room for something else, namely philosophy. Reading Plato in this way does not offer solutions but instead urges us to reconsider philosophical beliefs.
Cosmopolitanism ; Justice ; Socratic philosophy ; Soul ; Platonism ; Political philosophy ; Global justice ; Metaphysics ; Sophistry ; Liberalism
JSTOR Arts & Sciences XV
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