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One of the reasons why one might find it worthwhile to study philosophers of late antiquity is the fact that they often have illuminating things to say about Plato and Aristotle. Plotinus, in particular, was a diligent and insightful reader of those great masters. Michael Frede was certainly of that view, and when he wrote that '[o]ne can learn much more from Plotinus about Aristotle than from most modern accounts of the Stagirite', he would not have objected, I presume, to the claim that Plotinus is also extremely helpful for the study of Plato. In this spirit I wish to discuss a problem that has occupied modern Plato scholars for a long time, and I shall present a Plotinian answer to that problem. It concerns the descent of the philosopher-kings in Plato's Republic.


Oxford University Press

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Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy

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Philosophy Commons