There are thirty-six appearances of the Greek word exaiphnes in Plato's dialogues. Usually translated as "all of a sudden" or "suddenly," exaiphnes emerges in several significant passages. For example, exaiphnes appears three times in the "allegory of the cave" from Republic vii and heralds the vision of the Beautiful in Symposium. Commonly translated in the Parmenides as "the instant," exaiphnes also surfaces in a crucial section of the dialogue's training exercise. The Role of Exaiphnes in Early Greek Literature: Philosophical Transformation in Plato's Dialogues and Beyond connects the thirty-six scattered appearances of exaiphnes and reveals the role it plays in linking Plato's theory of Ideas with education. Joe Cimakasky discloses how Plato's step-by-step, methodical approach to philosophical education climaxes with a dynamic conversion experience signified by the appearance of exaiphnes.
Cimakasky shows how Plato's conception of exaiphnes was transformative with respect to how the term was used in Greek literature by his predecessors and influential for ensuing philosophers. Following Plato, exaiphnes and its cognates came to represent the peak of philosophical or theological enlightenment. The Role of Exaiphnes in Early Greek Literature traces the meaning of the term in Greek literature prior to and contemporaneous with Plato, Plato's innovative use of exaiphnes, and the impact of Plato's notion of "the sudden" upon subsequent thinkers.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of philosophy, ancient philosophy, pedagogy, ethics, and hermeneutics. In addition, those working in religious studies will appreciate the focus on conversion narratives and their emergence in ancient philosophical and Biblical texts.
Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of pages: 184
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 240 x 158 x 18 mm
Joe Cimakasky provides a fascinating treatment of a truly timeless topic. The instant or the sudden (exaiphnes) appears in turning-point passages in Plato, and this fine book crucially traces the trajectory of its appearance prior to, in Plato, afterwards, and even up to the present. -- Ronald Polansky, Duquesne University
With its unique insight concerning participation, this book has changed the way I read Plato. -- William Irwin, King's College, Pennsylvania