Socrates' Education to Virtue: Learning the Love of the Noble

Overview

Socrates' Education to Virtue argues that Plato's account of Socrates offers the fullest account of virtue and of the place of virtue in political life. Focusing on Platonic dramas such as the Symposium, Alcibiades Major and the Republic, Lutz recounts how Socrates came to understand the longing for the "noble" and to believe that this longing is best satisfied by the search for knowledge or wisdom. By scrutinizing how Socrates' conversations allow him to acquire, extend, and confirm his knowledge of eros and of ...
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Overview

Socrates' Education to Virtue argues that Plato's account of Socrates offers the fullest account of virtue and of the place of virtue in political life. Focusing on Platonic dramas such as the Symposium, Alcibiades Major and the Republic, Lutz recounts how Socrates came to understand the longing for the "noble" and to believe that this longing is best satisfied by the search for knowledge or wisdom. By scrutinizing how Socrates' conversations allow him to acquire, extend, and confirm his knowledge of eros and of noble virtue, the book recovers a powerful, concrete, and nondogmatic Platonic reply to ancient critics of philosophy such as Aristophanes and suggests a further Platonic response to modern critics of classical rationalism such as Nietzsche and Rorty. Moreover, it shows how Socrates' education to virtue teaches him that the philosopher must always respect and examine alternative accounts of nobility and excellence. The book argues that the recovery of Socratic education can strengthen liberal democracy not only by broadening and invigorating political, moral, and religious debate but also by serving as an example of virtue in an open society.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Focusing on dramas such as the , , and the , Lutz (government, U. of Notre Dame) argues that Plato's account of Socrates offers the fullest account of virtue and its place in public life. He recounts how Socrates came to understand a longing for the noble and to believe that it is best satisfied by searching for knowledge or wisdom, and reconstructs his reply to ancient critics of philosophy and suggests how they could be applied to such modern critics of rationalism as Nietzsche and Rorty. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791436530
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1998
  • Pages: 214

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 Platonism and Liberalism 19
Ch. 3 The Problematic Foundations of Socratic Virtue 47
Ch. 4 Plato's Aristophanes: The Poet's Challenge to Socrates' Human Wisdom 59
Ch. 5 The Education of Socrates' Erotic Love of the Noble 83
Ch. 6 Alcibiades' Education to Virtue 111
Ch. 7 Socrates and Alcibiades in the Symposium: The Failure and Triumph of Socratic Education 129
Ch. 8 The Civic Understanding of Virtue 151
Ch. 9 Conclusion 181
Notes 185
Bibliography 197
Index 205
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