By Edited by Godfrey Vesey
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Additional resources for Human values (Royal Institute of Philosophy lectures, 1976-1977)
There are many more wonderful things to find to praise in Socrates. But although there would probably be as much to say about any other of his activities and habits, this I consider the greatest miracle, that he is not like any other man, neither of the ancients nor of those now alive’ (220c). 38 4. PLATO’S MOTIVATION IN REPRESENTING THE ‘SOCRATICS’: SUGGESTIONS AND REMARKS To conclude, I wish to say something general about Plato’s picture of his ‘Socratics,’ and also propose a tentative explanation of the disparity between that picture and the historical reconstructions of the Socratic circle.
3. There is no doubt that the Platonic Critias is deeply committed to this latter position. And moreover he has the dialectical training required in order to follow Socrates through the vertiginous twists and turns of the investigation of two major issues: the conceivability 14 Voula Tsouna of knowledge of knowledge; and, assuming that it is conceivable, its usefulness. Here is not the place to discuss the details of this most controversial argument, which lasts almost to the very end of the dialogue.
Equally important is the fact that Socrates appears to reciprocate. Recall his sincere and intimate encomium of his friend’s forebears (cf. ô file Critia: 156a):25: given the preeminence of his ancestors, it is likely (cf. 27 Around 432 BC then, the Platonic Socrates appears to believe that Critias and especially Charmides represent a great opportunity for Athens. But he also indicates that the realization of that opportunity depends on one, important thing: the presence of sôphrosynê in the soul, ‘from which every good and bad derives for the body and the whole of a man’ (156e).
Human values (Royal Institute of Philosophy lectures, 1976-1977) by Edited by Godfrey Vesey