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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

Chapter:
(p.77) Chapter Four Teaching Socrates the Activities of a Gentleman
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/9780226642505.003.0005

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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