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Socrates Founding Political Philosophy in Xenophon's "Economist", "Symposium", and "Apology"$
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Thomas L. Pangle

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226642475

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226642505.001.0001

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The Case for Farming

The Case for Farming

Chapter:
(p.30) Chapter Two The Case for Farming
Source:
Socrates Founding Political Philosophy in Xenophon's "Economist", "Symposium", and "Apology"
Author(s):

Thomas L. Pangle

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226642505.003.0003

Socrates limns the pros and cons of the economic life at the base of each of the two most fundamental, adversarial, political alternatives—republican freedom from domination, vs. ambition for empire over others. What is most remarkable about Socrates’s praise of the life of free Greek farmers is his speaking in such a way as to bring out not the civic liberty, but what we may call the an-archic vector within the life of the “free human being,” in contrast to the “free real man.” Socrates portrays in the yeoman farmer a vector of liberation from civic life, with its contentious assemblies and courts, toward a rural or extra-urban, private, familial, and rather sensually hedonistic, even while hard working and pious, life. Does not Socrates imply, among other things, that it is in the citizenry's republican ruling and being ruled that the ambition to rule, the drive toward imperialism, grows, or can start to pick up steam?

Keywords:   freedom, imperialism, republicanism, monarchy, yeoman farmer

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