The Bloomsbury Companion to Socrates by John Bussanich, Nicholas D. Smith

By John Bussanich, Nicholas D. Smith

Socrates, the mostly enigmatic Greek philosopher, is universally thought of to have laid the rules of western philosophy. His philosophy, to be had to us in the course of the early dialogues of Plato and the writings of his contemporaries, has had a remarkably enduring impact on nearly each region of philosophical company .

This complete and available consultant to Socrates lifestyles and loss of life, personality and philosophical issues, beneficial properties 13 in particular commissioned sections, written by way of a workforce of best specialists within the box of historical philosophy, masking each element of Socratic proposal. The better half provides a finished assessment of some of the positive aspects, issues and subject matters obvious in Socrates' notion, together with Socratic irony, metaphysics, epistemology, happiness, advantage, ethical psychology, philosophy of affection, political philosophy, and spiritual trust. It concludes with a completely entire bibliography of fundamental and secondary resources. this can be a necessary reference device for somebody operating within the box of old philosophy.

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E. philosophers], and put you in jail, claiming you were doing wrong when you were not [ . . ] you’d go into court to face some very base and vile accuser, and you’d be put to death if he wanted the death penalty for you’ (486a–b). So, similar to Greek tragedy in which the audience is only too aware of what will happen while the characters themselves are not, dramatic irony is clearly part of how Plato has constructed the dialogues, when he decides not only what the characters will say, but who will be present, what the setting is, what the dramatic date will be and so on.

But he has suggested that he has not quite meant what he said. By being ironic, he has left his meaning and intention concealed’ (Nehamas 1998: 61). An advantage of Vlastos’s understanding of irony, however, comes to the fore when Vlastos introduces ‘complex’ irony – irony in which Socrates in one sense means what he says but in another sense means the opposite of what he says. 23 According to Vlastos when Socrates says ‘I do not have knowledge’, in one sense of ‘knowledge’ he means it: he disavows what Vlastos calls ‘knowledge-c’ (‘certain knowledge’).

This is the way Plato presents Socrates, in Ferrari’s view. But, as with the ‘traditional account’ of irony, there is more to the ordinary view that the irony is (primarily) for the readers of the dialogues to catch. While Ferrari and Griswold are correct that the character Socrates cannot speak to an audience that is not within the fiction, it is equally correct that Plato can put things in the mouth of Socrates for the sake of his readers, just as he puts in elements of dramatic irony that are ‘above the heads’ of all the characters, including Socrates.

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