Socrates / Edition 1

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Overview

Can we learn, through the model of Socrates, practical wisdom that we can apply to our lives? What are we to make of the paradoxical and strange figure who claimed that the unexamined life is not worth living, that only knowledge can save our souls, that love is nothing but the desire for wisdom, and that knowledge can save our souls, that love is nothing but the desire for wisdom, and that knowledge of human excellence is such that only a god can possess it?

Protesting against traditional interpretations that tame the ancient philosopher by observing him through a lens of conventional wisdom, George Rudebusch's Socrates presents a compelling case for taking Socrates' arguments and wild conclusions seriously, not merely as abstract exercises in cross-examining ideas of human excellence, but as a heavenly way for human beings to live.

Original in approach, lovingly crafted with humor, thought-experiments, and literary references (from the Iliad to Harry Potter), and with close readings of key Socratic arguments, the book brings the strange figure of Socrates and his divine mission to life, philosophizing at the center of human concerns.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The book is well and lucidly written, with plentiful tables and diagrams and excerpts . . ..She will have to be a bright student, because some of Rudebusch’s arguments are quite subtle; but I, for one, would have no hesitation in recommending the book to such a student.” (The Heythrop Journal, 4 September 2013)

"This relatively short volume serves as an excellent introduction to Socratic philosophy. Readers who are new to the enigmatic philosopher will learn much about who he was, what his principal doctrines were and why he held them. Remarkably comprehensive in its scope, it is throughout lucid, engaging and provocative. But this is also a book that will benefit even the most seasoned scholars regardless of how they view the author's basic interpretative stance. [The author's] reconstructions of Socrates' arguments for his ‘wild ideas' are invariably rigorous, plausible, faithful to the text and well informed by current scholarly debates. It is a rare book that so well serves such different readerships." (Thomas Brickhouse, The Classical Review, 2011)

"A lucid and engaging account of the philosophy of Socrates. ... The experience of this book will be joyous for many readers, as it was for me. Rudebusch's advocacy of Socrates as a thinker who has much to tell us about the good human life is carried off with passion and grace, as well as an enviable succinctness and clarity. It is a treatment that I expect will succeed, deservedly, in winning over new advocates." (Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, April 2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405150859
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Series: Blackwell Great Minds Series , #19
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

George Rudebusch is Professor of Philosophy at Northern Arizona University. He is the author of Socrates, Pleasure, and Value (1999).

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Table of Contents

acknowledgments ix

translations used xi

introduction xii

the ion 1

1 interpreting socrates 3

the apology 15

2 mission from god 17

3 puzzling notoriety 30

the protagoras 47

4 bravery 49

5 knowledge rules 62

the laches 75

6 bravery again 77

7 puzzling pedagogy 88

the lysis 101

8 love 103

the euthydemus 119

9 luck 121

the meno 129

10 desire 131

book 1 of the republic 141

11 benevolence 143

12 happiness 148

13 freedom 164

the euthyphro 171

14 reverence 173

the crito 185

15 world religion 187

the phaedo 193

16 last words 195

epilogue: Socrates or plato? 203

index of passages cited 208

general index 214

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