By Peter Warnek

Since the looks of Plato’s Dialogues, philosophers were preoccupied with the identification of Socrates and feature maintained that winning interpretation of the paintings hinges upon a transparent figuring out of what suggestions and ideas will be attributed to him. In Descent of Socrates, Peter Warnek deals a brand new interpretation of Plato by means of contemplating the looks of Socrates inside of Plato’s paintings as a philosophical query. Warnek reads the Dialogues as an inquiry into the character of Socrates and in doing so opens up the connection among humankind and the wildlife. right here, Socrates appears to be like as a demonic and tragic determine whose obsession with the duty of self-knowledge transforms the background of philosophy. during this uncompromising paintings, Warnek finds the significance of the concept that of nature within the Platonic Dialogues in gentle of Socratic perform and the traditional principles that motivate modern philosophy.

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Additional resources for Descent of Socrates : self-knowledge and cryptic nature in the Platonic dialogues

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My reading is thus concerned with taking up the peculiar way in which the Platonic text is able to make manifest (or to let become manifest) an urgency or a movement that proves to be excessive or prior to its own production and mastery, as Socrates surpasses or resists what otherwise is to be taken as simply the effects of the author’s making, his poetic production, his poºhsiq. This is only to say that it is a matter of experiencing the descensional event of Socrates as Plato’s ownmost dispossession, the expropriating movement of his own text.

We have to enter into a different order of questioning at this point, and begin by admitting that the measure is lacking for assessing the descent. To introduce and to repeat the Socrates who both establishes and is established by the philosophical tradition is also already to concede that he asserts himself with a certain necessity. And it is this necessity itself that must be questioned.

With certain attendant risks, therefore, a preliminary formulation of the traditional interpretation of Socrates can and must be offered, so that it might serve as a guide for this inquiry and open up its topic. Yet it would be unfair to say that I am seeking to test the validity of such an interpretation, as if it were something like a tentative hypothesis, in need of evidence, critique, or supporting arguments. Such a goal would have to assume in advance a certain transparency (or self-knowledge) with regard to the matter that is at issue in the interpretation, a transparency that has never been achieved.

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