Chapter

Human Wisdom

C. D. C. Reeve

in Blindness and Reorientation

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199934430
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980659 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199934430.003.0001
Human Wisdom

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As part of his defense against the charge of impiety brought against him by Meletus in 399 BC, Socrates represents himself as the servant of Apollo, the possessor of a divine sign (daimonion), and as having elenchus-based human wisdom rather than the craftlike ethical wisdom that the Sophists claim but the gods alone possess. This chapter discusses this Socratic self-portrait, showing how the various elements in it get transformed by Plato. Reason becomes the divine element in all of us, the largely negative elenchus becomes positive dialectic, and ethical craft-knowledge become accessible to properly educated philosophers.

Keywords: Socrates; Socratic ethics; daimonion; Elenchus; Delphi; human wisdom

Chapter.  7437 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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