|The Plato who emerges from these essays is the seminal thinker, the profound philosopher, the master of dialectic who offers, together with his insights into reality and human values, a systematically developed set of powerful devices for the articulation and defence of his ideas. In each case the discussion unfolds not as advocacy of Platonic doctrines but as critical assessment of argument, and is meant as judicious explication of the logical form of significant theses often believed, during centuries of Platonic commentary, to be cornerstones of a monumental speculative system. It demonstrates a shared and strikingly high regard for Plato as a major thinker in the western philosophical tradition, a recognition that the dialogues he wrote continue to exert influence as well as attract theoretical attention.
Taken together with the material on Plato in Volume II, Volume III displays a definite continuity in direction, scope, and quality, strengthening the conviction that Platonic scholarship has entered a new and different phase and has consolidated the approach that this new movement introduced.
John P. Anton is Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Florida. Anthony Preus is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York, Binghamton.