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The Unknown Socrates 9780865164987

The Unknown Socrates

ISBN-10: 0865164983
ISBN-13: 9780865164987
PUBLISHER: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers
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Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: Socrates (469-399 BC) is one of history's most enigmatic figures. Our knowledge of him comes to us second-hand, primarily from the philosopher Plato, who was Socrates' most gifted student, and from the historian and sometime-philosopher Xenophon, who counted himself as a member of Socrates' inner circle of friends. We also hear of Socrates in one comic play produced during his lifetime (Aristophanes' Clouds) and in passing from the philosopher Aristotle, a student of Plato.Socrates is a figure of enduring interest. He is often considered the father of Western Philosophy, yet the four most famous accounts we have of him present a contradictory, confusing picture. Just who was Socrates? A brilliant philosopher, at times confounding and infuriating, morally serious and yet ironic; the ever-worldly man, sometime mystic, and uncommon martyr depicted by Plato? Or did Plato conflate Socrates' views with his own startling genius, as Aristotle suggests? Was So rates instead the less impressive, moremundane man whose commonsense impressed the laconic Xenophon? Or was Socrates the charlatan, the long-winded phony of Aristophanes' play?The Socratic works of Diogenes Laertius (3rd century AD), Libanius (AD 314 -- c. 393), Maximus of 'Tyre (2nd century AD), and Apuleius (born c. AD 125) add important dimensions to the portrait of Socrates: Diogenes Laertius' Life of Socrates emphasizes Socrates' deep ethical nature and his extraordinary personality; Libanius' Apology of Socrates is based on sources now lost to us; Maximus of Tyre's Whether Socrates Did the Right Thing When He Did Not Defend Himself makes the star ling claim (against testimony of Plato and Xenophon) that Socrates never spoke athis own trial; from Apuleius' On the God of Socrates we hear at length of Socrates' infamous daimonion: the "divine sign" only mentioned elsewhere, the sign that warned Socrates against certain courses of action. In short, from these four texts we are reintroduced to Soc

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xvi + 312
CATEGORY: Philosophy

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