Images in Plato’s Republic

Boston College Philosophy Professor Marina Berzins McCoy writes on the important role images play in Plato’s philosophical argumentation in her new book Image and Argument in Plato’s Republic (SUNY Press, 2020). McCoy argues that “Plato’s use of images is pervasive and part of the Republic‘s main arguments, not limited only to a few well-known images such as the pilot of the ship, the myth of metals, or the cave.” She writes in the book’s introduction, “What is not often sufficiently recognized is that the main philosophical arguments of the text about central matters such as justice or the nature of the forms are highly reliant on images. Through examining the use of imagery in arguments, we can learn better how Plato philosophizes with images, and thereby something more about how Plato understands philosophical language itself.” McCoy also is the author of Wounded Heroes: Vulnerability as a Virtue in Ancient Greek Literature and Philosophy and Plato on the Rhetoric of Philosophers and Sophists.

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