Self-Care, Self-Knowledge, and Politics in the Alcibiades I

In the Alcibiades I, Socrates argues for the importance of self-knowledge. Recent interpreters contend that the self-knowledge at issue here is knowledge of an impersonal and purely rational self. I argue against this interpretation and advance an alternative. First, the passages proponents of this interpretation cite—Socrates’ argument that the self is the soul, and his suggestion that Alcibiades seek self-knowledge by looking for his soul’s reflection in the soul of another—do not unambiguously support their reading. Moreover, other passages, particularly Socrates’ cross-examination of Alcibiades, suggest the contrary reading, that self-knowledge includes knowledge of qualities peculiar to the individual
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DOI 10.5840/epoche201015235
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References found in this work BETA
David M. Johnson (1999). God as the True Self. Ancient Philosophy 19 (1):1-19.
David K. O’Connor (1998). Socrates and Political Ambition. Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy 14:31-51.

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