This book offers an introduction to Socrates, ideal for undergraduate students taking courses in Ancient and Greek Philosophy. Socrates is regarded as the founder of Western philosophical inquiry. Yet he left no writings and claimed to know 'nothing fine or worthy'. He spent his life perplexing those who encountered him and is as important and perplexing now as he was 2500 years ago. Drawing on the various competing sources for Socrates that are available to us, "Socrates: A Guide for the Perplexed" guides the reader through the main themes and ideas of Socrates' thought. Taking into account the puzzles surrounding his trial and death, the philosophical methods and ethical positions associated with Socrates, and his lasting influence, Sara Ahbel-Rappe presents a concise and accessible introduction to this most influential and important of philosophers. She concludes by suggesting that it is in fact the Socratic insistence on self-knowledge that makes Socrates at once so pivotal and so elusive for the student of philosophy. This book is the ideal companion to the study of key thinker in the history of philosophy.
Continuum's "Guides for the Perplexed" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material.
Sara Ahbel-Rappe is Associate Professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan, USA. She is the author of Reading Neoplatonism (CUP, 2000) and co-editor, with Rachana Kamtekar, of A Companion to Socrates (Blackwell, 2006).
1. Socrates: The Man and the Myth; 2. The Life and Death of Socrates; 3. The Sources for Socrates; 4. Plato's Socrates; 5. Socratic Method and Epistemology; 6. Happiness and Virtue; 7. The Socratic Schools; 8. Socrates in the Modern World; 9. Citizen Socrates; 10. Conclusion: Socrates and Self-knowledge; Bibliography; Index.