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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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Deliberate Defiance in the Apology

Deliberate Defiance in the Apology

(p.145) Chapter Eight Deliberate Defiance in the Apology
Socrates Founding Political Philosophy in Xenophon's "Economist", "Symposium", and "Apology"

Thomas L. Pangle

University of Chicago Press

Xenophon’s Apology of Socrates to the Jurors spotlights the “greatness of soul” (megalopsychia), or self-consciousness of superiority, and hence of worthiness of being honored, that distinguishes Socrates, in comparison and contrast with the greatness of soul of the conventional gentleman—who is here exemplified by a peculiarly unorthodox outlier, one Hermogenes. Xenophon brings to light Socrates’s distinctively philosophic self-esteem through an account, reported by and through this Hermogenes, of a crucial conversation prior to the trial, discussing Socrates’s intentions in his planned defense; and then of selections, as recalled by this Hermogenes, from Socrates’s defiantly offensive courtroom speech, in which he provocatively proclaimed the excellences that made him superior to his fellowmen. Unlike the defense or apology on behalf of Socrates that Xenophon presents in his own name in the first part of his Memorabilia, the courtroom appearance and speech of Socrates, as reported by Xenophon’s character Hermogenes, goes on the offensive—to a degree rarely if ever equaled in recorded forensic history.

Keywords:   Socratic pride, Apology, Hermogenes

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