Constituting the Political Age in Plato's Statesman: New Categories for an Old Question
History of Political Thought, Forthcoming
16 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2016
Date Written: July 13, 2016
The myth of the age of Kronos and Zeus in Plato’s Statesman is very ambiguous. In this paper, I propose a new set of grounds for upholding the traditional interpretation of the myth against some recent interpretations – by Luc Brisson, Gabriela Carone, and Charles Kahn – that seek to view the age of Kronos as a positive condition. To do so I argue that this myth should be understood as a constitutive myth. To explain what a constitutive myth is I propose a set of five categories (genetic myth, constitutive myth, epistemic myth, eschatological myth, psychagogic myth). In particular, the myth of Kronos and Zeus in the Statesman is a constitutive myth because, by sharply distinguishing the two ages, it highlights the need for politics and techniques in the age of Zeus.
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