Apologizing for Socrates

Apologizing for Socrates : How Plato and Xenophon Created Our Socrates

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Apologizing for Socrates examines some of Plato's and Xenophon's Socratic writings, specifically those that address well-known controversiese concerning the life and death of Socrates. Gabriel Danzig argues that the effort to defend Socrates from a variety of contemporary charges helps explain some of the central philosophical arguments and literary features that appear in these works. Concentrating on the two Apologies, Crito, Euthyphro, Xenophon's Symposium and Memorabilia, Lysis, and Oeconommicus, Danzig argues that the apologetic efforts were essential for rebuilding the community of Socratic friends and companions, which was devastated by the trial and death of Socrates. The Socratic writings are not merely literary or philosophical endeavors, but also political acts of great competence.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 286 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 566.99g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 073913244X
  • 9780739132449

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Chapter One. Plato and Xenophon on Socrates' Behavior in Court (The Apologies) Chapter 3 Chapter Two. Building a Community under Fire (Crito) Chapter 4 Chapter Three. Disgracing Meletus (Euthyphro) Chapter 5 Chapter Four. Xenophon's Socratic Seductions (Memorabilia) Chapter 6 Chapter Five. Plato's Socratic Seductions (Lysis) Chapter 7 Chapter Six. Why Socrates was not a farmer: Xenophon's Apology for Socrates in Oeconomicus
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Review quote

Bold in its main hypothesis and both lucid and scholarly in detail, Danzig's book will have to be read by any Hellenist or philosopher with a serious interest in Socrates and Plato. -- Michael C. Stokes, Durham University Gabriel Danzig's Apologizing for Socrates: How Plato and Xenophon Created Our Socrates provides an original and illuminating approach to the puzzle posed by the undeniable inconsistencies in the Platonic corpus as well as by the apparent logical lapses in the Socratic arguments presented in Plato's dialogues. Judiciously consulting Xenophon's portrait of Socrates and comparing it with Plato's, Danzig suggests that both authors engaged in defending Socrates against the suspicions and deprecations of him by his contemporaries. Situating both Plato and Xenophon within their historical milieu, Danzig refreshingly charts a middle course between, on the one hand, judging Plato unduly harshly, and, on the other, going to extreme interpretive lengths to secure his reputation as a literary and philosophical genius. -- Roslyn Weiss, Lehigh University "Exciting, scholarly and partly convincing...the book should be urgent reading for all serious students of Socrates." Bryn Mawr Classical Review Apologizing for Socrates: How Plato and Xenophon Created our Socrates complements such existing approaches as the assumption that Socrates adapts his argumentative style to his interlocutor or the assumption that Plato's thinking changed during his career... Apologizing for Socrates is well worth reading for anyone interested in the historical Socrates or the authorial agendas of Plato and Xenophon. The Journal of Hellenic Studies
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About Gabriel Danzig

Gabriel Danzig is chair of the department of classics and a lecturer in the department of philosophy at Bar Ilan University, Israel. He is also author of the Hebrew translation of Socratic Dialogues: Xenophon's Apology of Socrates, Symposium and Oeconomicus.
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