Cross-Examining Socrates: A Defense of the Interlocutors in Plato's Early Dialogues

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This book is a rereading of the early dialogues of Plato from the point of view of the people with whom Socrates engages in debate. Existing studies are thoroughly dismissive of the interlocutors and reduce them to the status of mere mouthpieces for views that are hopelessly confused or demonstrably false. This book takes interlocutors seriously and treats them as genuine intellectual opponents whose views are often more defensible than commentators have generally thought.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...this book is highly original, well-written, and worth reading not only for specialists in Platonic studies but also for anyone interested in relationships among argumentation, education, conviction and character. Overall, this is a substantial, intelligently argued, and well-written book, which will no doubt stimulate valuable and intense debates for several decades. Even if one disagrees with Cross-Examining Socrates, one will not regret having taken the time to read it." Carol Poster, English Department, Montana State University/Tanner Humanities Center, University of Utah

"This is an absolutely spendid book. Beautifully written, very original, entertaining, considerate, compassionate." Myles Burnyeat

"Through a careful examination of nearly every turn in every Socratic conversation represented in Plato's early dialogues, Beversluis helps us to look again at the characters we have learned to dismiss." Philosophical Review

" of the best books on Socrates to appear in many years." David Sedley

"...the careful analysis of a multitude of arguments this book treats makes it a very important contribution to the literature in Socratic studies." Ancient Philosophy

"Beversluis has helpfully set out the early dialogues from the point of view of the interlocutors." The Review of Metaphysics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521607599
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 948,416
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The Socratic interlocutor; 2. Elenchus and sincere assent; 3. Crito; 4. Ion; 5. Hippias; 6. Laches and Nicias; 7. Charmides and Critias; 8. Euthyphro; 9. Cephalus; 10. Polemarchus; 11. Thrasymachus; 12. Hippocrates; 13. Protagoras; 14. Gorgias; 15. Polus; 16. Callicles; 17. The last days of the Socratic interlocutor.

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