|About the Book|
On his deathbed, Plato envisioned his dialogues becoming sophistic texts open to a variety of interpretations, none by itself true to the original. Contemporary histories of rhetoric largely dismiss Platos anxiety, portraying the dialogues as successful in asserting a constant meaning through all of rhetorics history. In Platos Dream of Sophistry, Richard Marback shows that Platos vision was remarkably accurate. Against histories of rhetoric that described Platos influence mainly in terms of his overarching dominance, Marback argues that Platos lasting influence results not from the force of the dialogues themselves but from continued investments in arguing about the dialogues. Having documented the many uses to which Plato has been put in the Western rhetorical tradition, Marback concludes Platos Dream of Sophistry with a discussion of how a more nuanced history of Platos influence on rhetoric helps transcend current debates that pit the Platonic against the sophistic.