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Plato's Atlantis StoryText, Translation and Commentary$
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Christopher Gill

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940162

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781786940162.001.0001

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Introduction: Plato’s Atlantis Story

Introduction: Plato’s Atlantis Story

(p.1) Introduction: Plato’s Atlantis Story
Plato's Atlantis Story

Christopher Gill

Christopher Gill

Liverpool University Press

The introduction offers an interpretative reading of the two Greek texts that make up Plato’s Atlantis story, which takes full account of recent scholarship. The introduction discusses each part of the two texts, in sequence, and discusses how far they constitute a coherent whole. The focus is on the literary presentation of the story and its philosophical significance. The overall aim is to make sense of Plato’s philosophical objectives in composing and presenting this story in the way he does, and to relate these objectives to Plato’s larger philosophical aims.The introduction also discusses Plato’s use of dialogue form, the Atlantis story as myth, and the reception of the story in antiquity and modern times. There is an appendix on the hypothesis that the story was based on a record of Minoan Crete, a hypothesis which is criticised here. Although there have been many modern attempts to ‘find’ Atlantis, as it were a real place, this introduction treats the story as a philosophical fiction, as do virtually all recent scholarly treatments.

Keywords:   introduction, interpretation, presentation, philosophy, myth

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