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Of Art and Wisdom: Plato's Understanding of Techne

by David Roochnik

Buy the book: David Roochnik. Of Art and Wisdom: Plato's Understanding of Techne

Release Date: October, 1996

Edition: Hardcover


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Buy the book: David Roochnik. Of Art and Wisdom: Plato's Understanding of Techne

Platonic hubris

If Roochnik's thesis is correct, great injustice has been done to Plato. You would think, after 2,500 years we would have this right, but, unfortunately Roochnik thinks we are teaching Plato all wrong. Roochnik does battle with a thing he calls the SAT (standard application of techne) which is a scholarly consensus that Plato had an art (techne) of virtue and it was teachable. The problem with this thesis is, as Dr. Roochnik points out, that it makes Plato a Sophist and not a philosopher. This is a welcome exercise in philosophical and interpretive hubris. It has a quality that Kierkegaard called angst, a sympathetic antipathy. One can imagine scholars attracted to the book for it's lively and fascinating discussion of pre-socratic techne, at the same time, put off by the thesis that everyday the world over paid professional academics are misrepresenting the thought of one of the foundational figures of western culture. Can you not imagine such a one holding his nose as he footnotes a reference? It is to laugh!

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clear but shallow

Roochnik's 20 years of study has revealed a clear but shallow book on Plato; he forges his "techne" glasses on everything he touches leaving the reader with no clear understanding of what Socratic wisdom consists of. His Plato becomes boring and uninsightful. Readers should skip this book and go directly to Strauss or Bloom for a clear and meaningful understanding of PLatonic wisdom.

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