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In: Journal of Moral Philosophy
In: Platonism


This essay will demonstrate the nexus between philosophical dialogue and political action by analyzing the work of Leonard Nelson and his disciples Gustav Heckman and Minna Specht. The central question is: “In which sense can a dialogical education be considered as a political action?”

In the 1920s and 1930s, Nelson promoted Socratic dialogue amongst his students as a practice of freedom in opposition to the rising Nazi power. Nelson understood that to educate the new generation through a very participative model of philosophical inquiry that privileged critical thinking and autonomy was the best form of resistance. Minna Specht’s idea of education for confidence gave to this dialogical practice a very innovative dimension, which led her to be engaged with unesco’s educational programs in post-war Germany. In this way, the Socratic dialogue faced history.

In: Culture and Dialogue


The chapter analyses the famous lines about the beginning of philosophy from wonder in Plato’s Theaetetus (155d2-4), and discusses the epistemic function that wonder plays in the process of enquiry, according to Plato both in the Theaetetus and more widely. The central claim is that, for Plato, the πάθος that is philosophical wonder is a state that is not simply cognitive, but affective-cum-desiderative; and that this πάθος is epistemic, in the sense of object-directed and knowledge-directed, if, and only if, it occurs in conjunction with the articulation of a particular ἀπορία and problem, that is, the kind of ἀπορία and problem that generates philosophical enquiry. Finally, the chapter depicts the pre-reflexive beginning of philosophy as epistemic suffering and epistemic desire.

In: Emotions in Plato
In: Emotions in Plato
In: Emotions in Plato
In: Emotions in Plato
Emotions (pathè) such as anger, fear, shame, and envy, but also pity, wonder, love and friendship have long been underestimated in Plato’s philosophy. The aim of Emotions in Plato is to provide a consistent account of the role of emotions in Plato’s psychology, epistemology, ethics and political theory. The volume focuses on three main issues: taxonomy of emotions, their epistemic status, and their relevance for the ethical and political theory and practice. This volume, which is the first edited volume entirely dedicated to emotions in Plato’s philosophy, shows how Plato, in many aspects, was positively interested in these affective states in order to support the rule of reason.

"Emotions in Plato is a rich and illuminating book, which will probably make not a few readers change their view of Plato’s attitude to emotions."
-Margalit Finkelberg, Tel Aviv University, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2021.10.16