Plato's Socrates / Edition 1

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Socrates, as he is portrayed in Plato's early dialogues, remains one of the most controversial figures in the history of philosophy. This book concerns six of the most vexing and often discussed features of Plato's portrayal: Socrates' methodology, epistemology, psychology, ethics, politics, and religion. Brickhouse and Smith cast new light on Plato's early dialogues by providing novel analyses of many of the doctrines and practices for which Socrates is best known. Included are discussions of Socrates' moral method, his profession of ignorance, his denial of akrasia, as well as his views about the relationship between virtue and happiness, the authority of the State, and the epistemic status of his daimonion. By revealing the many interconnections among Socrates' views on a wide variety of topics, this book demonstrates both the richness and the remarkable coherence of the philosophy of Plato's Socrates.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195101119
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,483,020
  • Lexile: 1480L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.06 (w) x 6.13 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynchburg College

Michigan State University

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Table of Contents

1 Socratic Method
1.1 Did Socrates Have a Method? 3
1.2 Socrates' Elenctic Mission 10
1.3 Deriving the Benefits of the Elenchos 16
2 Socratic Epistemology
2.1 The Paradox of Socrates' "Ignorance" 30
2.2 Knowing How Something Is 38
2.3 The Epistemological Priority of Definition 45
2.4 The Procedural Priority of Definition 55
2.5 Defining the Virtues and Being Virtuous 60
3 Socratic Psychology
3.1 What One Really Believes 73
3.2 What Everyone Believes 79
3.3 What We Really Hold in High Regard 83
3.4 What Everyone Desires 85
3.5 The Denial of Akrasia 92
3.6 The Self 101
4 Socratic Ethics
4.1 Some Problems in Socratic Ethics 103
4.2 Goods 106
4.3 Virtue and Sufficiency 112
4.4 Relative and Absolute Good and Evil, Benefit and Harm 120
4.5 The Case of Socrates 123
5 Socratic Politics
5.1 "The True Political Craft" 137
5.2 The Socratic Doctrine of "Persuade or Obey" 141
5.3 Socrates and Political Theory 155
5.4 Socrates' Personal Associates and the Trial 166
6 Socratic Religion
6.1 Socratic Piety 176
6.2 Socratic Theology 179
6.3 Socrates and His Daimonion 189
6.4 Other Forms of Divination 195
6.5 Socrates on Death and the Afterlife 201
Bibliography 213
Index of Passages 221
General Index 233
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