Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch für Antike und Mittelalter: Band 9. 2004
  • ISSN 1384-6663
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9684
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What made Socrates so special that he became the object of mockery, slander and hate? The answer in the Apology is expressed in the formula of the ‘Socratic pragma’. Plato claims that Socrates’ philosophical enterprise was a reaction to the Delphic oracle according to which no living Greek was wiser than Socrates. But does this really explain what it pretends to explain? The paper argues that this explanation tells us more about Plato’s philosophical approach than about this alleged turning point in Socrates’ life. Our understanding of Socrates’ philosophical development should be based on other Platonic dialogues and the Old Comedy as well, for they inform us about the historical shift of philosophical interest from questions of physics to questions of ethics and political anthropology.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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