Socratic Charis: Philosophy without the Agon

Socratic Charis: Philosophy without the Agon

by Lisa Atwood Wilkinson
     
 

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This book explores the possibility that Plato’s philosophia is influenced by non-agonal practices and values that historically and philosophically antedate the agonal practices of the Athenian ekklesia. The author surveys literature concerning the predominance of agonal in ancient Greek culture, the values associated with oral poetic performance as a

Overview

This book explores the possibility that Plato’s philosophia is influenced by non-agonal practices and values that historically and philosophically antedate the agonal practices of the Athenian ekklesia. The author surveys literature concerning the predominance of agonal in ancient Greek culture, the values associated with oral poetic performance as a religious practice, and the ubiquitous character of the gift practice known as xenia in the ancient world. The author compares the structure of the agon to the structure of other ancient practices, and reasons that while agonistic practices are oppositional and binary, poetic and social practices are narrative and plural and exemplify, alternative to the agonal, the value of charis—grace. Reading Socratic speech and Socratic inquiry in terms of charis illuminates the narrative structure of Plato’s portrayal of Socrates and precludes one-dimensional analyses of Plato’s writings as philosophically agonistic and demonstrative. Rather the value of Socratic charis illustrates the value of genuine dialogue, and the author suggests how revaluing Socratic dialogue in light of charis can be relevant to current thinking about philosophy, politics, and the agon.

Editorial Reviews

Marina McCoy
Wilkinson's book challenges traditional accounts of the agonistic nature of Greek society, suggesting thatcharisor "grace" is an equally important concept. Her book is an innovative work that offers new insights and opens up fresh lines of inquiry into the nature of poetic practice, political friendship, and Socratic dialogue. Wilkinson helps us to reconnect Socratic philosophical practice to social relationships and political community.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739167175
Publisher:
Lexington Books
Publication date:
03/01/2013
Pages:
190
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Marina McCoy
Wilkinson's book challenges traditional accounts of the agonistic nature of Greek society, suggesting thatcharisor "grace" is an equally important concept. Her book is an innovative work that offers new insights and opens up fresh lines of inquiry into the nature of poetic practice, political friendship, and Socratic dialogue. Wilkinson helps us to reconnect Socratic philosophical practice to social relationships and political community.

Meet the Author

Lisa A. Wilkinson is associate professor of philosophy at Nebraska Wesleyan University and author of “Parmenides and To Eon: Reconsidering Muthos and Logos”.

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