Book

Plato's caves (2020)

the liberating sting of cultural diversity

in: Oxford scholarship online

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Abstract

From student protests over the teaching of canonical texts such as Plato's Republic to the use of images of classical Greek statues in white supremacist propaganda, the world of the ancient Greeks is deeply implicated in a heated contemporary debate about identity and diversity. In 'Plato's Caves', Rebecca LeMoine defends the bold thesis that Plato was a friend of cultural diversity, contrary to many contemporary perceptions. Through close readings of four Platonic dialogues - Republic, Menexenus, Laws, and Phaedrus - LeMoine shows that, across Plato's dialogues, foreigners play a role similar to that of Socrates: liberating citizens from intellectual bondage.