Routledge & Kaegan Paul, London/Boston, 1973. VIII,319p. Cloth. Cover partly discoloured. A few pen strikes. Small personal library marks on tail spine as well as free endpaper. Name on free endpaper.
'Mr. Gosling has written a very argumentative and densely packed book, evidently and at points confessedly provoked by ideas (...) currently canvassed by philosophical interpreters of Plato. (...) the result is a decidedly breathless, intermittently esoteric, and sometimes obscurely orchestrated display of ingenious interpretative moves and counter-moves. This is a considerable pity, for there are quite a lot of good things in 'Plato': not much, perhaps, that will strike the reader as secure, freshly penetrating insight, but a good deal of vigorous and intelligent discussion of central problems in Plato, advanced in the service of an interesting (...) view of the metaphysics of the middle-period dialogues. (...) He begins with a splendid chapter entitled 'Moral Scepticism', in which he examines the strategy Plato adopts in the 'Republic' to prove that the just life is best. This has been the topic of a considerable amount of recent work: gosling provides what seems to me the best general treatment of it available, clear, swiftly moving, full of shrewd philosophical and exegetical observations. The rest of this first part of the book is a disappointment. (...) In the second section (...), Chapter VII, a stimulating treatment of the relation of mathematics and dialectic in the 'Republic', argues convincingly that Plato does not mean to press dialectical understanding into a mathematical, deductive mould (...). Chapter VIII contradicts, with more limited success, the common opinion that Plato in his middle period treated knowledge simply as a kind of intellectual perception. (...) Gosling has aimed not to build a rigorous scholarly case for his interpretations, but to drive his colleagues in aggravation back to their texts. I think he will succeed.' (M. SCHOFIELD in The Classical Review (New Series), 1976, pp.204-05). From the library of the late Sir Kenneth James Dover.