The Unity of Plato's 'Gorgias'. Rhetoric, Justice, and the Philosophic Life.
Cambridge University Press, New York (...), 2006. VII,191p. Hard bound with dust wrps. 'Scores of articles and book chapters are devoted to Plato's Gorgias, but few monographs. Devin Stauffer provides the first book-length study of the dialogue in many years.1 Although the Gorgias has been widely read and interpreted, scholars rarely articulate coherently the unifying idea which ostensibly binds together this complicated dialogue. Stauffer promises that a close reading, attentive to the twisting and turning path of the dialogue, links its diverse themes and reveals its true unity. In both detail and depth, Stauffer engages the text, and grapples with its hydra of arguments, making his book an essential and thought-provoking companion to the serious study of this dialogue in any academic discipline. (...) Stauffer has written an admirable book. The Unity of the Gorgias unfolds the polyvalent arguments and action of the dialogue with deliberate attention to dramatic setting and a sustained examination of its interlocking themes. Stauffer's most insightful comments thus emerge by reflection on transitions and shifts in particular speeches, the character of interlocutors as revealed in their speech, and the motion of the dialogue from one part to the next. The reader of his book, like the serious reader of any Platonic dialogue, must be willing to accept the task of wondering about and questioning themes as they gradually arise in context. Where one disagrees with Stauffer's reading, his goodwill and knowledge prompt further conversation and lead back to the dialogue itself.' (DUSTIN A. GISH in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2007.05.09).