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In this book, the first systematic study of Socrates's reflections on self-knowledge, Christopher Moore examines the ancient precept 'Know yourself' and, drawing on Plato, Aristophanes, Xenophon, and others, reconstructs and reassesses the arguments about self-examination, personal ideals, and moral maturity at the heart of the Socratic project. What has been thought to be a purely epistemological or metaphysical inquiry turns out to be deeply ethical, intellectual, and social. Knowing yourself is more than attending to your beliefs, discerning the structure of your soul, or recognizing your ignorance - it is constituting yourself as a self who can be guided by knowledge toward the good life. This is neither a wholly introspective nor a completely isolated pursuit: we know and constitute ourselves best through dialogue with friends and critics. This rich and original study will be of interest to researchers in the philosophy of Socrates, selfhood, and ancient thought.Read more
- The first systematic study of Socrates's interest in self-knowledge
- Connects epistemic and metaphysical concerns to ancient ethics and moral psychology
- Offers new interpretations of both familiar and overlooked texts on self-knowledge in ancient philosophy
Reviews & endorsements
"Christopher Moore presents a new and insightful perspective on [an] old philosophical theme. He invites his readers to rethink the Socratic concept of self-knowledge and the Delphic oracle to know thyself. The upshot of his analysis is an original and important interpretation of the ancient philosophical and literary sources on these topics, especially the Platonic dialogues."
Paul Schollmeier, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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- Date Published: October 2015
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107123304
- length: 294 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 152 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.56kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Socrates and the precept 'Know yourself'
2. Charmides: on impossibility and uselessness
3. Alcibiades: mirrors of the soul
4. Phaedrus: less conceited than Typhon
5. Philebus: pleasure and unification
6. Xenophon's Memorabilia 4.2: owning yourself
7. Conclusion: challenges and a defense
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