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 again. The collection encompasses the greater part of the most significant authors of Greek antiquity: Homer and Hesiod, the tragedians, and Plato and Aristotle. Each essay opens up the work under consideration and illuminates central concers in such a new and yet convincing way that the reader is forced to experience simultaneously a shock of surprise and a sense of recognition. In interpreting these works, Bendardete never repeats himself, never foists and alien schema upon the texts, and never merely rests upon the laurels of an insight previously won. Yet, and this is one of the most admirable aspects of the book, despite the range of their topics and the individuality of each interpretation, the essays exhibit a rare unity of intellectual purpose.