Prof. Bela Egyed Publishes "Questioning the Statesman"
Abstract: There are three major themes in the dialogue thought to be Plato’s Statesman: the nature of statesmanship, the difference between perfect and less than perfect regimes and the method of division. In this paper I focus on the first two themes. I argue, first, that the dialogue makes a plausible case for what it takes to be a wise statesman. In doing so, I play down the importance of the second theme: the difference between regimes. In fact, I consider this discussion to be deeply flawed and even irrelevant to the argument of the first. My main purpose is to provide a critical analysis of the political theory articulated in the dialogue. My analysis is made plausible by abandoning the traditional view that the Statesman was written Plato in its entirety as a unified whole. In my view, a close reading of the text supports the hypothesis that it is, at best, semi-authentic; namely, that it is most likely a collage of fragments written at different times by Plato and other members of the Academy.
Bela Egyed is Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University.