Knowing Persons: A Study in Plato

Knowing Persons: A Study in Plato by Lloyd P. Gerson

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Knowing Persons is an original study of Plato's account of personhood. For Plato, embodied persons are images of a disembodied ideal. The ideal person is a knower. Hence, the lives of embodied persons need to be understood according to Plato's metaphysics of imagery. For Gerson, Plato's account of embodied personhood is not accurately conflated with Cartesian dualism. Plato's dualism is more appropriately seen in the contrast between the ideal disembodied person and the embodied one than in the contrast between mind or soul and body. This study argues that Plato's analysis of personhood is intended to cohere with his two-world metaphysics as well as a radical separation of knowledge and belief. Gerson demonstrates that Plato's account of persons plays a key role not just in his theory of mind, but in his theory of knowledge, his metaphysics, and his ethics. A proper understanding of Plato's account of persons must therefore place it in the context of his doctrines in these areas. Knowing Persons fills a significantgap by showing the way to such an understanding.
Publication Date:
16 / 01 / 2003

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