book cover of Acastos

Acastos

(1986)
Two Platonic Dialogues
A Book by

 
 
Publisher's Weekly
Is art primarily a diversion for the masses, or, as the youth Acastos, friend of Plato, insists, a kind of ''deep wise thinking''? Murdoch, whose novels wrestle with large philosophical questions, here sets forth her views on art, morality, religion and Eros through imaginary dialogues between Plato, Socrates and sundry fictional characters. She clearly believes that good art tells us more about our lives than any other kind of thought; Acastos's vision triumphs over Plato's hostility to art, a cynic's withering comments and the pragmatic outlook of Mantias, a vulgar Marxist of sorts. In the dialogue on religion, Socrates waxes poetic (''Religion is our love of virtue lightening the present moment''); his almost Buddhist reverence (''God is everywhere'') provides counterpoint to Plato's view that religion is a safety valve, a haven of absolutes that keeps us from going crazy and helps us to face life's horrors.

Library Journal
It should not surprise that Murdoch has chosen the Platonic dialogue for her latest foray into morality, art, and religion. It is, after all, a form she has successfully adapted at strategic points in several novels. The first dialogue, ''Art and Eros,'' depicts a conversation between Socrates and several friends (including Plato) about the definition of art. The second, ''Above the Gods,'' asks many searching questions about mythology, morality, and faith in religion. The dialogues are witty and profound, as one would expect from Murdoch, yet the ideas presented in Acastos have been better worked out, in a truly Platonic sense, in her best novels, such as The Black Prince and A Fairly Honourable Defeat, and in her philosophical work, The Sovereignty of Good. For academic and larger public libraries. Laurence Hull, Cannon Memorial Lib., Concord, N.C.

Genre: Literary Fiction

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Used availability for Iris Murdoch's Acastos

Hardback Editions

December 1986 : USA Hardback
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Title: Acastos: Two Platonic Dialogues
Author(s): Iris Murdoch
ISBN: 0-670-80074-0 / 978-0-670-80074-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Viking Adult
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 1986 : UK Hardback
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Title: Acastos: Two Platonic Dialogues
Author(s): Iris Murdoch
ISBN: 0-7011-3032-6 / 978-0-7011-3032-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

November 1987 : UK Paperback
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Title: Acastos: Two Platonic Dialogues - Art And Eros, a Dialogue About Art; Above the Gods, a Dialogue About Religion
Author(s): Iris Murdoch
ISBN: 0-14-008696-X / 978-0-14-008696-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

February 2013 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Acastos: Two Platonic Dialogues
Author(s): Iris Murdoch
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon