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The Neoplatonic Socrates
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Today the name Socrates invokes a powerful idealization of wisdom and nobility that would surprise many of his contemporaries, who excoriated the philosopher for corrupting youth. The problem of who Socrates "really" was—the true history of his activities and beliefs—has long been thought insoluble, and most recent Socratic studies have instead focused on reconstructing his legacy and tracing his ideas through other philosophical traditions. But this scholarship has neglected to examine closely a period of philosophy that has much to reveal about what Socrates stood for and how he taught: the Neoplatonic tradition of the first six centuries C.E., which at times decried or denied his importance yet relied on his methods.

In The Neoplatonic Socrates, leading scholars in classics and philosophy address this gap by examining Neoplatonic attitudes toward the Socratic method, Socratic love, Socrates's divine mission and moral example, and the much-debated issue of moral rectitude. Collectively, they demonstrate the importance of Socrates for the majority of Neoplatonists, a point that has often been questioned owing to the comparative neglect of surviving commentaries on the Alcibiades, Gorgias, Phaedo, and Phaedrus, in favor of dialogues dealing explicitly with metaphysical issues. Supplemented with a contextualizing introduction and a substantial appendix detailing where evidence for Socrates can be found in the extant literature, The Neoplatonic Socrates makes a clear case for the significant place Socrates held in the education and philosophy of late antiquity.

Contributors: Crystal Addey, James M. Ambury, John F. Finamore, Michael Griffin, Marilynn Lawrence, Danielle A. Layne, Christina-Panagiota Manolea, François Renaud, Geert Roskam, Harold Tarrant.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Introduction
  2. Danielle A. Layne and Harold Tarrant
  3. pp. 1-20
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  1. Chapter 1. Socratic Love in Neoplatonism
  2. Geert Roskam
  3. pp. 21-35
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  1. Chapter 2. Plutarch and Apuleius on Socrates’ Daimonion
  2. John F. Finamore
  3. pp. 36-50
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  1. Chapter 3. The Daimonion of Socrates: Daimones and Divination in Neoplatonism
  2. Crystal Addey
  3. pp. 51-72
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  1. Chapter 4. Socrates in the Neoplatonic Psychology of Hermias
  2. Christina-Panagiota Manolea
  3. pp. 73-79
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  1. Chapter 5. The Character of Socrates and the Good of Dialogue Form: Neoplatonic Hermeneutics
  2. Danielle A. Layne
  3. pp. 80-96
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  1. Chapter 6. Hypostasizing Socrates
  2. Michael Griffin
  3. pp. 97-108
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  1. Chapter 7. Socratic Character: Proclus on the Function of Erotic Intellect
  2. James M. Ambury
  3. pp. 109-117
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  1. Chapter 8. The Elenctic Strategies of Socrates: The Alcibiades I and the Commentary of Olympiodorus
  2. Fran├žois Renaud
  3. pp. 118-126
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  1. Chapter 9. Akrasia and Enkrateia in Simplicius’s Commentary on Epictetus’s Encheiridion
  2. Marilynn Lawrence
  3. pp. 127-142
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  1. Chapter 10. The Many-Voiced Socrates: Neoplatonist Sensitivity to Socrates’ Change of Register
  2. Harold Tarrant
  3. pp. 143-162
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  1. Conclusion
  2. Danielle A. Layne and Harold Tarrant
  3. pp. 163-166
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  1. Appendix: The Reception of Socrates in Late Antiquity: Authors, Texts, and Notable References
  2. pp. 167-178
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 179-228
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 229-244
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  1. List of Contributors
  2. pp. 245-248
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 249-254
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 255-258
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