Download Descent of Socrates: Self-Knowledge and Cryptic Nature in by Peter Warnek PDF

By Peter Warnek

Because the visual appeal of Plato’s Dialogues, philosophers were preoccupied with the id of Socrates and feature maintained that profitable interpretation of the paintings hinges upon a transparent realizing of what strategies and concepts could be attributed to him. In Descent of Socrates, Peter Warnek bargains a brand new interpretation of Plato through contemplating the looks of Socrates inside of Plato’s paintings as a philosophical query. Warnek reads the Dialogues as an inquiry into the character of Socrates and in doing so opens up the connection among humankind and the wildlife. right here, Socrates appears to be like as a demonic and tragic determine whose obsession with the duty of self-knowledge transforms the background of philosophy. during this uncompromising paintings, Warnek unearths the significance of the idea that of nature within the Platonic Dialogues in mild of Socratic perform and the traditional rules that motivate modern philosophy.

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Extra info for Descent of Socrates: Self-Knowledge and Cryptic Nature in the Platonic Dialogues

Sample text

Yet this other, proposed now as the true author, is also not simply or completely himself; the Socrates who thus writes for Plato, or through Plato, also comes to be transformed or translated, through this descent into the writing that Plato himself enacts or mimes on behalf of this other, who now, as the same Socrates, becomes other than himself, becomes beautiful and new. It is, of course, a perfect irony of history that this text has at times been disputed as spurious. What is debated is the ownership of a text in which it is stated that there is no Platonic writing.

But it is also the case that his absence within his own text is not at all a pure absence, precisely because the absence itself comes to presence; the absence as such is made thematic, takes place in such a way that one cannot overlook it. Strictly speaking, Plato appears in his Phaedo at the death scene of Socrates—thus, in the same dialogue in which Socrates most explicitly addresses the danger of misology and the necessity of the second sailing—appearing, however, as one who does not appear, as one whose appearance is said to be withheld or refused through his own sickness.

Do we understand what this designation entails? The difficulty here in one sense concerns simply what is at stake in this name, “Socrates,” as it appears as the same name throughout Plato’s text. ” But once it is acknowledged that such a work is no longer simply a fiction—that it is already straining, even to the point of collapse, the strict opposition between the true and fictive, the literal and figurative—we are at a loss as to how to proceed. If we are to read Plato’s work as it takes place in the descent of Socrates, the text must be liberated from the obsessions of historiography.

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