Authors
Jessy Jordan
Mount St. Mary's University
Abstract
In this paper I argue that narratives concerning Periclean Athens have mistakenly imposed modern conceptions of enlightenment onto the Greek world,and have therefore been blinded to crucial aspects of Socrates’s practice of moral reason giving. In contrast to the Kantian conception of enlightenment, which puts forth an image of the ideally enlightened person as an autonomous reasoner, one who refuses to be guided by another and who has the courage to throw off the chains of tradition and “think for oneself,” I argue that Socrates provides us with a much different picture of the enlightened individual. Socrates’s practice of moral reasoning does not take the form of autonomous rationality that is antithetical to tradition, but rather his practice recognizes the rightful authority of tradition and custom in moral reason giving. Thus, rather than characterizing Socrates through a Kantian enlightenment reading, this paper argues that we should study Socrates through the lens of the sensus communis, a humanist concept articulated well by Giambattista Vico and Hans Georg-Gadamer
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Conference Proceedings  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 0065-7638
DOI 10.5840/acpaproc20108418
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