Scholars of Plato are divided between those who emphasize the
literature of the dialogues and those who emphasize the argument of
the dialogues, and between those who see a development in the
thought of the dialogues and those who do not. In this important
book Russell Dancy focuses on the arguments and defends a
developmental picture. He explains the Theory of Forms of the
Phaedo and Symposium as an outgrowth of the quest for definitions
canvassed in the Socratic dialogues, by constructing a Theory of
Definition for the Socratic dialogues based on the refutations of
definitions in those dialogues, and showing how that theory is
mirrored in the Theory of Forms. His discussion, notable for both
its clarity and its meticulous scholarship, ranges in detail over a
number of Plato's early and middle dialogues, and will be of
interest to readers in Plato studies and in ancient philosophy more
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