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The Bleak Political Implications of Socratic Religion
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2017

The Bleak Political Implications of Socratic Religion

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ISBN
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978-3-319-54442-7
9783319544427
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GPE5EKN
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-20.2
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This book poses a radical challenge to the legend of Socrates bequeathed by Plato and echoed by scholars through the ages: that Socrates was an innocent sage convicted and sentenced to death by the democratic mob, for merely questioning the political and religious ideas of his time. This legend conceals an enigma: How could a sage who was pious and good be so closely associated with the treasonous Alcibiades, who betrayed Athens in the Peloponnesian war? How could Critias and Charmides, who launched a reign of terror in Athens after her defeat, have been among his students and closest associates?

The book makes the case for the prosecution, denouncing the religion of Socrates for inciting a radical politics of absolutism and monism that continues to plague Western civilization. It is time to recognize that Socrates was no liberator of the mind, but quite the contrary—he was the architect of a frightful authoritarianism, which continues to manifest itself, not only in Islamic terror, but also in liberal foreign policy. Defending Homer and the tragic poets, the book concludes that the West has imbibed from the wrong Greeks. 

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Stichwörter
Inhaltsverzeichnis
Preface 
I. The Political Case Against Socrates1. Alcibiades and the Defeat of Athens 2. Critias and the Thirty Tyrants3. The Amnesty 4. Oligarchic Radicals5. Socrates and Plato6. Socrates and Critias7. The Gadfly of Athens
II. The Religious Case Against Socrates1. Greek Civil Religion2. Mutilating the Hermae 3. Defeating Euthyphro4. Inventing New Gods5. Perverting Piety6. Aristophanes: The Atheism of Socrates7. The Orphism of Socrates
III. The Defense1. Xenophon’s Denial2. Edict of the Thirty Tyrants3. The Case of Leon of Salamis4. The Case of the Generals at Arginusae5. Unwillingness to Escape6. Plato’s Legend7. Tropes in Plato’s Defense of Socrates8. Socrates and Jesus9. Verdict of the Ages10. Socrates and Heidegger
IV. How Plato Legitimizes the Case for the Prosecution1. The Socratic Paradox2. Resolving the Paradox I: Divine Inspiration3. Resolving the Paradox II: Statesmanship4. The Sunny Side of Plato’s Politics 5. The Dark Side of Plato’s Politics  
V. Plato’s Critique of Homer Repudiated 1. Religion without Lies2. Religion without Asceticism3. Religion without Dualism4. Religion without Cosmic Justice5. The Hubris of Emulating the Gods6. Accepting Responsibility 7. The Manly Virtues8. Savage Moralism Averted
VI. The Tragic Poets Defended1. Tragedy as Innocent Suffering2. Hegel: Was Socrates a Tragic Figure?3. Sophocles: Why True Nobility is not Socratic 4. Nietzsche: Did Socrates Defeat Tragedy?5. Tragedy, the Bible, and Crime Fiction
VII. Socratic Mischief1. The Burden of Guilt2. Authoritarianism Unhinged3. Turning Hubris into Piety 4. Socrates, Enlightenment, and Imperialism5. Postmodern Nihilism6. Debunking the Socratic Legend
Annotated Bibliography
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Autor/-in
Publikation
Schweiz
19.07.2017
Palgrave Macmillan UK
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Sprache
Englisch
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eBook
PDF
271 Seiten
Leserkritik
“This book is a provocative, polemical variation on the Nietzschean themes that Socratic philosophy was the will to power of an ugly man against a culture of beauty and that Christianity was Platonism for the masses. … The book is a helpful reminder to contemporary scholarship that the ironic Plato also had a reformist side to elevate democracy’s apolitical focus on bodily needs. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.” (W. J. Coats, Choice, Vol. 55 (5), January, 2018)

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