How Philosophy Became Socratic
A Study of Plato's "Protagoras," "Charmides," and "Republic"
“This is an extraordinary piece of scholarship: in the scale of its interpretive thesis, in the depth and detail of its textual analysis, and in the extent of the author’s familiarity with relevant secondary material. Lampert’s transdialogical approach allows him to explain otherwise puzzling details and features of these dialogues and establishes a special relationship among them, while at the same time the very coherence of the resulting interpretations of each dialogue offers further validation of his interpretive principle—a kind of virtuous circle. Lampert opens up a whole new dimension of interpretive possibilities to ponder—and argue about—in considering any of Plato’s dialogues, not merely those which Lampert addresses. The payoff in attending to Lampert’s superb, challenging analysis, which builds item by item, is ample.”
“Laurence Lampert is a truly distinguished scholar whose many books have deepened our understanding of the history of philosophy immeasurably. This new book offers an extraordinarily rich, illuminating, thought-provoking, and original account of Protagoras, Charmides, and the Republic in particular and of Socrates’ thought as a whole. Even—and especially—when one disagrees with this stimulating and daring work, one learns a great deal from it. It is a remarkably ambitious book, one that attempts to put forth an interpretation of Plato’s entire corpus and its role in Western civilization.”