Abstract
In this paper I argue that in the digression in Plato’s Theaetetus godlikeness may be construed as Socrates’ ethical achievement, part and parcel of his art of mental mid­wifery. Although the philosophical life of contemplation and detachment from earthly affairs exemplifies the human ideal of godlikeness, Socrates’ godlikeness is an inferior but legitimate species of the genus. This is the case because Socratic godlikeness abides by the two requirements for godlikeness that Socrates sets forth in the digression: first, it is a kind of escape from the phenomenal world; and second, it allows Socrates to become just and pious with wisdom. The crucial difference between Socrates and the philosopher that prevents the former from being as godlike as the latter is his epistemic barrenness, on account of which he cannot define the constitutive virtues of godlikeness, i.e., justice, piety, and wisdom. As a barren midwife of the intellect, Socrates practices godlikeness but does not have a philosophical understanding of its nature. Nevertheless, by extolling the life of the philosopher he urges others to aspire to what he can never attain, philosophical godlikeness
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 1053-8364
DOI 10.5840/jpr_2011_7
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References found in this work BETA

Does Socrates Claim to KNow That He Knows Nothing?Gail Fine - 2008 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 35:49-85.
Socrates and Self-Knowledge.Sara L. Rappe - 1995 - Apeiron 28 (1):1 - 24.
Virtue as "Likeness to God" in Plato and Seneca.Daniel C. Russell - 2004 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 42 (3):241-260.
The Philosopher in Flight: The Digression (172C–177C) in the Theaetetus.Rachel Rue - 1993 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 11:71-100.
Philosophy as Performed in Plato's "Theaetetus".Eugenio Benitez & Livia Guimaraes - 1993 - Review of Metaphysics 47 (2):297 - 328.

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