Socratic Studies

Socratic Studies

Gregory Vlastos

Language: English

Pages: 168

ISBN: 0521447356

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This is the companion volume to Gregory Vlastos' highly acclaimed Socrates: Ironist and Moral Philosopher. Four ground-breaking papers that laid the basis for his understanding of Socrates are collected here, together with a fifth chapter that is a new and provocative discussion of Socrates' arguments in the Protagoras and Laches. The Epilogue, "Socrates and Vietnam," suggests that Socrates was not, as Plato claimed, the most just man of his time.

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picture of Socrates in my earlier work was very much of a minority view, it did not put me in bad company, and its foundation in Plato's depiction of elenctic argument in his earlier dialogues seemed secure: how could Plato be telling us, I used to ask myself, that his Socrates undertakes to prove that his interlocutors' theses were false and his own true, if all he shows Socrates doing is proving the inconsistency of his interlocutors' theses with other, unargued-for, concessions of theirs? But

their debate is about to start: T12 G. 486E5-6: "I know well that if you will agree with me on those things which my soul believes, those things will be the very truth."16 To grasp the import of this text for the hypothesis that Socrates is claiming to have knowledge of moral truth we must take account of what he aims to achieve in elenctic argument and how he goes about achieving it within the framework of a standard elenchus.17 His aim, he says, is to compel his interlocutors to "witness

opponent unskilled in that craft. (6) An expert swimmer dives into a cistern more steadfastly than others who lack that expertise. What is Socrates aiming to prove by these counter-examples to the proposal that courage is "wise endurance"? Is he welshing on the most famous of his moral doctrines which makes wisdom the hallmark of all the virtues, hence of courage no less than the rest? So some scholars have been tempted to think. That this is not what he intends is made immediately clear at the

Cambridge and Ithaca Woodruff, Paul (1982). Plato, "Hippias Major" translated, with commentary and essay, Indianapolis and Oxford (1983). Review of R. E. Allen, Socrates and Legal Obligation, in Journal of the History of Philosophy 21: 9 3 - 5 Zeller, E. (1885). Socrates and the Socratic Schools, translated from the third German edn. by Oswald J. Reichel, London INDEX OF PASSAGES CITED AESCHINES Against Timarchus (173) 87 On the Embassy (78) 88n AESCHINES SOCRATICUS [HERODES] Peri

1311 Politics (12 78a8-13) 99-100 Posterior Analytics (71^5-16) 53; (7253-4) 53 Prior Analytics (64b34ff.) 1311, 52; (74D5-12) 5311 Sophistici Elenchi (165^-5) i6n, 139; (i83a39ff.) 4011; (i83b7~8) i6n, 40, 5811 Topics (iooa27~bi9) 13; (iooa29~b23) 13; (ioobi8-i9) 52; (i6obi9~22) 136 ARETHAS Scholion on Plato Ap. (I8B) 108 DEMOCRITUS (B155) 4511 fr. B9 (Diels-Kranz) 55, 6on fr. BI 17 (Diels-Kranz) 55 DIOGENES LAERTIUS (2.65) 6in; (9.25) 8n; (9.29) 8n EUCLID Elements (1.14) 8n EURIPIDES

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