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pseudo-plato's alcibiades
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 1993
From: "Gary R. Brower"
Subject: Ps-Plato's Alcibiades I

According to the OCD, _Alcibiades I_ -- attributed to Plato -- is spurious. Does anyone have any idea as to a dating for this work?
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1993
From: Dougal Blyth
Re: Plato's Alcibiades I

Not all would consider it spurious. The main argument is from the apparent inconsistency between (a) the distinction of body and soul (and identification of the self with the soul, 130c), and (b) the stylistic evidence that it is (if Platonic) an early dialogue. But the basis for the claim that the early dialogues do not recognise the soul as the true self, separate from the body, rests upon the stylistic identification of early dialogues; so the argument that the Alc. I is spurious depends on a petitio principi. It is not in any case clear to me that any greater separation of soul and body is envisaged here than in e.g., the Apology or Crito. The relation of instrumentality between body and soul is asserted more distinctly than in other 'early' dialogues, although quite in accordance with the so called 'Socratic Proportion' also found at e.g., Crito 47b-48b, Gorgias 463e-66a, Protagoras 311b-14b. The genuineness of the dialogue has been defended by Paul Friedlander, and in English by W.R.M. Lamb (Loeb Plato vol. 10, intro. pp.96-7). See also Vink, C, *Plato's Eeerste Alcibiades: een onderzoek naar zijn authenticitiet* (Amsterdam 1939) Robinson, T., *Platonic Psychology* other refs. available on request. On the dating Lamb says 'the work is probably one of Plato's earliest sketches, composed in the years immediately following the death of is natural to suppose that the series of Plato's compositions would begin with some immature and relatively inartistic essays in dialogue-writing.' I am not sure I agree with the aesthetic judgment however: the comparison of the soul with the eye (132d-133c) does not itself suffer by comparison with any of Plato's most acclaimed images in 'later' works.
Culled from classics.log9308a and classics.log9308b.
Copyright © 2001 David Meadows
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