This is the companion volume to Gregory Vlastos' highly acclaimed work Socrates: Ironist and Moral Philosopher. Four ground-breaking papers which laid the basis for his understanding of Socrates are collected here, in revised form: they examine Socrates' elenctic method of investigative argument, his disavowal of knowledge, his concern for definition, and the complications of his relationship with the Athenian democracy. The fifth chapter is a new and provocative discussion of Socrates' arguments in the Protagoras and Laches. The epilogue 'Socrates and Vietnam' suggests that Socrates was not, as Plato claimed, the most just man of his time. The papers have been prepared for publication by Professor Myles Burnyeat with the minimum of editorial intervention.
"Each of these essays is like a polished diamond, hard-edged, multi-faceted, and brilliant...[They] will stand as a remarkable achievement. Reading them is exhilarating and challenging. They are a splendid example of how philology and analytic philosophy can together be used to recover ancient wisdom." Lloyd P. Gerson, Bryn Mawr Classical Review "Vlastos' work is central to any understanding of ancient philosophy so this work will be widely sought out by professors and students." The Reader's Review "Those who wish to argue that this ancient Athenian used irony and other forms of indirect expression in order to enhance his communication of internally consistent and cogent philosophical theories that can endure examination by the contemporary analytic philosopher will enjoy sinking their teeth into Socratic Studies." Naomi Reshotko, Canadian Philsophical Review "Over the last dozen years or so Vlastos has transformed the study of Socrates with missionary zeal. He has produced a picture of Socrates that is amazingly consistent and often satisfying, built upon a series of plausible hypotheses." Ancient Philosophy