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A Companion to Socrates

ISBN: 978-1-4051-0863-8
560 pages
January 2006, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Socrates (1405108630) cover image
Written by an outstanding international team of scholars, this Companion explores the profound influence of Socrates on the history of Western philosophy.
  • Discusses the life of Socrates and key philosophical doctrines associated with him
  • Covers the whole range of Socratic studies from the ancient world to contemporary European philosophy
  • Examines Socrates’ place in the larger philosophical traditions of the Hellenistic world, the Roman Empire, the Arabic world, the Renaissance, and contemporary Europe
  • Addresses interdisciplinary subjects such as Socrates and Nietzsche, Socrates and psychoanalysis, and representations of Socrates in art
  • Helps readers to understand the meaning and significance of Socrates across the ages
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Notes on Contributors x

Preface xiv

Acknowledgments xxiv

PART ONE: SOCRATES IN ANTIQUITY

Section I: Biography and Sources

1 The Trial and Death of Socrates 5
Debra Nails

2 Socrates and Euripides 21
Christian Wildberg

3 Socrates Among the Sophists 36
Paul Woodruff

4 Socrates the Freethinker 48
Richard Janko

5 How Does Socrates’ Divine Sign Communicate with Him? 63
A. A. Long

6 Socrates, Antisthenes, and the Cynics 75
Susan Prince

7 Xenophon’s Socrates 93
Louis-André Dorion

8 Picturing Socrates 110
Kenneth Lapatin

Section II: Plato

9 Socrates in Plato’s Dialogues 159
Christopher Rowe

10 No One Errs Willingly: The Meaning of Socratic Intellectualism 171
Heda Segvic

11 Socratic Love 186
George Rudebusch

12 Socrates and Religious Experience 200
John Bussanich

13 The Politics of Plato’s Socrates 214
Rachana Kamtekar

14 The Examined Life 228
Richard Kraut

15 Socrates: Seeker or Preacher? 243
Roslyn Weiss

16 Socratic Method and Socratic Truth 254
Harold Tarrant

Section III: Hellenistic Philosophy

17 Socrates in the Stoa 275
Eric Brown

18 Socrates and Epictetus 285
Tad Brennan

19 Socrates and Skepticism 299
Richard Bett

PART TWO: SOCRATES AFTER ANTIQUITY

Section IV: From the Medieval Period to Modernity

20 Socrates in Arabic Philosophy 317
Ilai Alon

21 Socrates in the Italian Renaissance 337
James Hankins

22 The Private Life of Socrates in Early Modern France 353
Daniel R. McLean

23 Socrates in Hegel and Others 368
Nicholas White

Section V: The Modern Period

24 Kierkegaard’s Socratic Point of View 389
Paul Muench

25 Nietzsche and “The Problem of Socrates” 406
James I. Porter

26 The Socratic Hermeneutics of Heidegger and Gadamer 426
Francisco J. Gonzalez

27 The Socratic Method and Psychoanalysis 442
Jonathan Lear

28 Lacan and Socrates 463
Mark Buchan

29 From Grade School to Law School: Socrates’ Legacy in Education 476
Avi Mintz

30 Socrates’ Definitional Inquiries and the History of Philosophy 493
Hayden W. Ausland

Index 511

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Sara Ahbel-Rappe is Associate Professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Reading Neoplatonism (2000) and a translation of Damascius’ Doubts and Solutions Concerning First Principles (forthcoming).


Rachana Kamtekar is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona.

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  • A survey exploring the profound influence of Socrates on the history of Western philosophy
  • Discusses the life of Socrates and key philosophical doctrines associated with him
  • Covers the whole range of Socratic studies from the ancient world to contemporary European philosophy
  • Examines Socrates’ place in the larger philosophical traditions of the Hellenistic world, the Roman Empire, the Arabic world, the Renaissance, and contemporary Europe
  • Addresses interdisciplinary subjects such as Socrates and Nietzsche, Socrates and psychoanalysis, and representations of Socrates in art
  • Helps readers to understand the meaning and significance of Socrates across the ages
  • Written by an outstanding international team of scholars, all of whom are recognized experts in their particular field
See More
“Those willing to have their study of Socrates stretched beyond the typical boundaries of philosophical and classical scholarship may regard this volume as something of a treasure.” (Philosophy In Review)

"Everyone interested in Socrates and his legacy will find something valuable in this book..." (Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews)

"Technical issues are treated thoroughly and comprehensibly and the state of knowledge on Socrates is comprehensively presented both for today and its historical contexts. Its subject matter will be of interest to non-specialists with a penchant for philosophy, or for the history of thoght, since there is as much of interest here about the influence of Socrates on later periods as there is on the thought of the philosopher himself." (Reference Reviews)

"A remarkably rich and imaginative collection. Socrates was a philosopher who became a cultural icon; this book, with its massive historical range and its great variety of scholarly approach, does unique justice to his complexity."
–G.R.F. Ferrari, University of California, Berkeley

"This is a stimulating collection that succeeds admirably in conveying the enormous range of responses that the ever puzzling Socrates has inspired through the ages, and continues to inspire. The essays on Plato's Socrates are fresh and vigorous, and the attention paid to later perspectives (from antiquity to the present, and especially recent centuries) helps make this volume a distinctive and unusually illuminating addition to Socratic studies. It should be a welcome companion to a figure who attracted devoted companions in his lifetime, and legions more ever since."
Stephen White, University of Texas at Austin

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