Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Comparative Literature

First Advisor

Allen Miller

Abstract

This Master’s Thesis, entitled “Resurrectio Mortuorum: Plato’s Use of Ἀνάγκη in the Dialogues,” features an extended consideration of Plato’s usage of the word ἀνάγκη as a dialogical response in the writings of Plato. Hopefully, it will highlight the uniqueness of this particular response in the context of many other affirmative responses used in the dialogues. The first section of the thesis (I) will lay out what I take to be Plato’s conception of his philosophical project and where ἀνάγκη fits into this picture. The texts there considered will be mainly “The Seventh Letter” and the Phaedrus. With this interpretive framework in mind, section two (II) will feature a consideration of ἀνάγκη in a particular Platonic dialogue, viz., the Lysis. Here will be established the two-faced nature of ἀνάγκη as both looking backwards to (i.e., dependent on) previously agreed upon premises and as looking forward to (i.e., leading to/anticipating) ἀπορία. Finally, section three of the thesis (III), will feature an examination of the places in the Platonic dialogues where ἀνάγκη is “writ large,” so to speak, either in terms of quality or quantity. The main texts in this section will be the Republic and the Parmenides.

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