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This is a book about the relationship of the two traditions of Platonic interpretation -- the indirect and the direct traditions, the written dialogues and the unwritten doctrines. Kramer, who is the foremost proponent of the Tubingen School of interpretation, presents the unwritten doctrines as the crown of Plato's system and the key revealing it.
Kramer unfolds the philosophical significance of the unwritten doctrines in their fullness. He demonstrates the hermeneutic fruitfulness of the unwritten doctrines when applied to the dialogues. He shows that the doctrines are a revival of the presocratic theory renovated and brought to a new plane through Socrates. In this way, Plato emerges as the creator of classical metaphysics.
In the Third Part, Kramer compares the structure of Platonism, as construed by the Tubingen School, with current philosophical structures such as analytic philosophy, Hegel, phenomenology, and Heidegger.
Of the five appendices, the most important presents English translations of the ancient testimonies on the unwritten doctrines. These include the "self-testimonies of Plato." There is also a bibliography on the problem of the unwritten doctrines.
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Hans Joachim Kramer is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tubingen. Co-founder, with Conrad Gaiser, and Director of the Platon-Archiv of the Philological Institute of the University of Tubingen, he has been actively publishing in the field of Platonic research for over 30 years. John R. Catan is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York, College at Brockport.
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