The Eccentic Core: the Thought of Seth Benardete

The Eccentic Core: the Thought of Seth Benardete, Edited by Ronna Burger and Patrick Goodin. South Bend: St. Augustine’s Press, forthcoming 2016.
This forthcoming volume includes reprints of many of the pieces listed on this website, along with other reviews and essays on or inspired by Benardete’s work. The title of this volume comes from Seth Benardete’s statement, “Political philosophy is the… More

The Benardete Archive

The Benardete Archive was founded in 2002 as a not-for-profit corporation for the purpose of preserving the scholarly and philosophical work of Seth Benardete and encouraging serious reflection on it. With this general end in mind our website will provide… More

The New School’s Benardete Paper Collection

The Seth Benardete Papers preserve the original contents of Benardete’s files in his New York University office, a total of about 15,000 manuscript pages. The Papers are available in three formats: (1) the archival print version; (2) the public digital… More

Being and Politics by Richard Velkley

– Richard Velkley, "Being and Politics: Seth Benardete on Aristotle's MetaphysicsThe Political Science Reviewer, vol. 34 (2005): 7-21.
Although he will not be remembered principally as an interpreter of Aristotle, Seth Benardete was much engaged with this philosopher throughout his life of teaching and writing. He taught seven graduate seminars on texts of Aristotle between 1968 and 1993,… More

How Benardete Read the Last Stage of Socrates’ Philosophic Education

– Laurence Lampert, "How Benardete Read the Last Stage of Socrates' Philosophic Education," Political Philosophy Cross-Examined, ed. by Thomas Pangle and Harvey Lomax (Palgrave Macmillan 2013): 189-204.
Seth Benardete, like Leo Strauss, judged that the Symposium occupies the privileged place in the Platonic kosmos. A chief reason both give is that the Symposium is the third of three dialogues in which Plato tracks a young Socrates becoming the mature… More

Review of The Archaeology of the Soul

– Steven Berg, Review of The Archaeology of the SoulPolis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought, Vol. 30, no. 2 (2013): 340-343.

Review of: Achilles and Hector – The Homeric Hero

– Steven Berg, Achilles and Hector: The Homeric Hero, Review of Metaphysics, Vol 60:2 (Dec. 2006), 387-389
Excerpt: “At the age of twenty-five, Seth Benardete presented his PhD dissertation on Homer’s Iliad to his committee at the University of Chicago. That dissertation has now been published posthumously as a book under its original title —… More

Seth Benardete’s Second Sailing by Michael Davis

– Michael Davis, "Seth Benardete's Second Sailing: On the Spirit of Ideas" The Political Science Reviewer, vol. 34 (2005): 7-21.
In twelve books, six translations, and over fifty scholarly articles Seth Benardete wrote with unsurpassed breadth and depth on Homer, Hesiod, Pindar, Herodotus, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Heracleitus, Parmenides, Aristotle, Cicero, Horace, Apuleius,… More

The Thumotic and the Erotic Soul by Ronna Burger

– Ronna Burger, "The Thumotic and the Erotic Soul: Seth Benardete on Platonic Psychology," Interpretation, Vol. 32, no. 1 (2004): 57-76.
In the poem, “Ode to Aphrodite,” Sappho gives expression to her “raging heart,” suffering from the experience of unrequited love. Summoned by the poet, Aphrodite comes down from heaven and asks, “Who has committed an injustice… More

Review of Encounters and Reflections

– Vincent Renzi, Review of Encounters and ReflectionsBryn Mawr Classical Review, Nov. 31, 2003.
As editor Ronna Burger notes in her preface (p. x), the present volume is “a project that falls outside the usual categories” of scholarship. While listing him as author, it is in fact an edited transcript of interviews with Seth Benardete, late… More

At Homer’s Diner by Mark Blitz

– Mark Blitz, "At Homer's Diner" (Review of Encounters and ReflectionsThe Weekly Standard, Vol. 28, no. 29, April 7, 2003.
There’s a joke that goes: “‘Do you know where we’re supposed to go?’ I said, ‘No.’ So he said, ‘Well let’s go together.’ That’s how we met.” This joke—an all-purpose metaphor for youth,… More

Prelude to First Philosophy: Seth Benardete on De Anima

– Richard Velkley, "Prelude to First Philosophy: Seth Benardete on De Anima," Epoche, vol. 7, no. 2 (2003): 189-98.
Benardete reads Aristotle as Socratic dialectician writing in treatise form. The sciences of various subject matters appear at first separate (like Platonic eide) but they contain diverging accounts of being, nature, and the soul, which demand to be put… More

In Memoriam: Seth Benardete (1930-2001)

– Ronna Burger, “In Memoriam: Seth Benardete (1930-2001),” Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 56:4 (June 2003) 939-941.
Excerpt: Seth Benardete was born in Brooklyn, where he grew up with his older brother Jose. His father, Mair Jose, born in Istanbul, was a professor of Sephardic studies and Spanish at Brooklyn College; he mother Doris taught in the English department.… More

Shelf Life; A Classicist’s Starting Point: Putting Aside Interpretation

– Edward Rothstein, "Shelf Life: A Classicist's Starting Point: Putting Aside Interpretation" (Review of The Argument of the ActionThe New York Times, Arts, February 16, 2002.
Confessions of ignorance are not usually in a critic’s best interest. But in this case, perhaps, an exception can be made. Ignorance, after all, is now common when confronting Greek literature. Beginning with ignorance is also an approach recommended by… More

Review of The Argument of the Action

– Steven Berg, Review of The Argument of the ActionThe Review of Metaphysics, Vol 55, no. 1 (2001): 119-21.
The Argument of the Action is a collection of essays by Seth Benardete on Greek poetry and philosophy selected and introduced by Ronna Burger and Michael Davis. We must be grateful to the editors for making these remarkable essays available to readers once… More

Review of The Bow and the Lyre: A Platonic Reading of the Odyssey

– Martin Sitte, Review of The Bow and the Lyre: A Platonic Reading of The OdysseyThe Review of Metaphsysics, Vol. 51, no. 4 (1998): 911-913.
Benardete’s book investigates the possibility that the Socratic turn in philosophy, that which enabled philosophy to inquire into the human and the political, had been anticipated by and perhaps learned from the poets. Benardete asks in particular… More

Review of Seth Benardete, The Rhetoric of Morality and Philosophy

– Abraham Anderson, Review of Seth Benardete's The Rhetoric of Morality and Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy Vol. 17 (1997): 443-447.
Students of moral and political philosophy sometimes seem divided between those who seek truth through arguments without regarding their influence on human beings, and those who think that argument, whether in political life or speculation, is a mere mask for… More

Thirty-nine Reasons for Reading Benardete on the Republic by Will Morrisey

– Will Morrisey, "Thirty-nine Reasons for Reading Benardete on the Republic," Interpretation Vol. 23, no. 1, Fall 1995: 89-100.
Professor Benardete has been around long enough to have established a reputation. His writings are reputed to be hard to understand. This reputation has led to certain worries. “He is so difficult. He commits philology. He gives me a headache; Socrates… More

Review of Socrates’ Second Sailing: on Plato’s Republic

– Arlene Saxonhouse, Review of Socrates' Second Sailing: on Plato's RepublicPolitical Theory, Vol. 18, no. 4 (Nov. 1990): 690-705.
As with much of Benardete’s other work, this is not an easy book to read. To say that it is dense, boldly paradoxical, replete with hellenized English, and abjures the standard expectations of expository writing only hints at the difficulties one must… More

On the Being of The Being of the Beautiful

– Michael Davis, "On the Being of The Being of the Beautiful," Ancient Philosophy, Vol. 7 (1987): 191-200.
Seth Benardete’s The Being of the Beautiful combines a precise translation and a comprehensive analysis of the three Platonic dialogues: Theaetetus, Sophist, and Statesman. The book brings to mind two questions, one specific and one general. As the… More