Search Results

Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Socrates, edited by Christopher Moore, provides almost unbroken coverage, across three-dozen studies, of 2450 years of philosophical and literary engagement with Socrates – the singular Athenian intellectual, paradigm of moral discipline, and inspiration for millennia of philosophical, rhetorical, and dramatic composition. Following an Introduction reflecting on the essentially “receptive” nature of Socrates’ influence (by contrast to Plato’s), chapters address the uptake of Socrates by authors in the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Late Antique (including Latin Christian, Syriac, and Arabic), Medieval (including Byzantine), Renaissance, Early Modern, Late Modern, and Twentieth-Century periods. Together they reveal the continuity of Socrates’ idiosyncratic, polyvalent, and deep imprint on the history of Western thought, and witness the value of further research in the reception of Socrates.

Abstract

This paper investigates Aristotle’s canonical analysis of σωφροσύνη in Nicomachean Ethics 3.10–12 against the background of earlier and subsequent uses, and analyses of the virtue term. It argues that Aristotle’s is an outlier, brilliant but factitious, created to fit a theoretical scheme rather than reflect Greek understanding. Aristotle obscures the creativity of his account, presenting it as an ordinary language conceptual clarification that it is not. Many contemporary readers accept Aristotle’s narrow theory—that σωφροσύνη is moderation with respect to those pleasures of touch related to nutrition and reproduction—as true, which may indicate that they are insufficiently familiar with fifth- and fourth-century literary, intellectual, and philosophical uses of the term. An important problem with this acceptance is that it prevents readers from recognizing the equal plausibility of non-Aristotelian accounts of σωφροσύνη, for example those found in Plato’s Charmides and other dialogues.

In: Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy
In: Plato and Myth
In: Plato and the Power of Images
In: Brill's Companion to the Reception of Socrates
In: Brill's Companion to the Reception of Socrates
In: Brill's Companion to the Reception of Socrates
In: Brill's Companion to the Reception of Socrates