David White’s Myth, Metaphysics and Dialectic in Plato’s Statesman is an ambitious work that aims not only to interpret the message of Plato’s Statesman, but also to situate the dialogue within Plato’s corpus as one that serves as a transition between Plato’s earlier metaphysics and his more mature views in later dialogues such as Philebus and Laws. White makes several adept observations of oddities sprinkled throughout Statesman, and he frequently connects these observations to thoughtful claims concerning possible motivations on the part of Plato as well as possible revelations concerning Platonic metaphysics and philosophy. However, justifiably made inferences are difficult for the reader to discern, as White tends to obfuscate his message with difficult and wordy prose. In addition to these flaws, White makes frequent references to many other Platonic dialogues with little explanation in the way of contextualization. While I find this aspect of White’s thinking to be impressive and indicative of both extensive knowledge and great aptitude for synthesis in thought, readers are warned that novices of Plato scholarship might get lost in the copious references to dialogues beyond those central to the book. That being said, in most respects, White’s interpretation is both sound and refreshing. In my opinion, the virtues of this work heavily outweigh any imperfections.


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