Focusing on Karl Jaspers' important reading of Plato, I make the case for the re-conceptualization of Plato as a non-doctrinal philosopher, by means of phenomenological-existential readings of his dialogues related to contemporary Continental thought. The essay builds upon Jaspers' largely overlooked phenomenological-existential readings of both Plato and Socrates in relation to Platonic scholarship emerging from the contemporary phenomenological tradition. I focus on a speculative interpretation of Jaspers' non-doctrinal Plato by analyzing four components of his prescient reading, which is an invaluable historical and philosophical document of Platonic scholarship that precedes contemporary Continental phenomenological approaches to Platonic interpretation by a span of more than three decades. The unacknowledged presence of Jaspers' phenomenological understanding of Plato reverberates in the contemporary phenomenological and hermeneutic scholarship focused on understanding Plato's non-doctrinal philosophical project. Ultimately, I read Jaspers' unique analysis of Plato in its relation to the contemporary non-doctrinal Platonic scholarship that is focused on questioning traditional analytic and doctrinal readings of Plato in order to learn how Jaspers' work might contribute to future phenomenological analyses of Plato while upholding Jaspers' deserved recognition as a philosophical pioneer in the field of phenomenological Plato scholarship.
Magrini, James, "Interpreting Karl Jaspers' "Phenomenological" Plato Transcending the Bounds of the Doctrinal Scholarly Tradition" (2017). Philosophy Scholarship. 45.