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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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Teaching Socrates the Activities of a Gentleman

Teaching Socrates the Activities of a Gentleman

(p.77) Chapter Four Teaching Socrates the Activities of a Gentleman
Socrates Founding Political Philosophy in Xenophon's "Economist", "Symposium", and "Apology"

Thomas L. Pangle

University of Chicago Press

This chapter exposes and focuses upon something scandalous about Socrates that one would never guess from reading the Memorabilia: well into his maturity, the philosopher by his own confession neither practiced nor understood “virtue” (aretē). Xenophon presents Socrates telling of the great day on which he underwent a radical transformation—when he became the moral and political citizen-philosopher famous to posterity, from having previously been a pre-Socratic thinker lost in the clouds, “reputed to engage in idle chatter and to measure the air,” who confessed to having no clue as to the meaning of the “noble/beautiful” (kalon), or as to what “gentlemen"—the “noble-and-good"—are and do.

Keywords:   virtue, nobility, beauty, gentleman

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