Authors
Anne-Marie Schultz
Baylor University
Abstract
This paper begins with a brief examination of the contemporary American political landscape. I describe three recent events that illustrate how attempts to control the narrative about events that transpired threaten to undermine our shared reality. I then turn to Book I of Plato’s Republic to explore the potentially tyrannizing effect of Socrates’s narrative voice. I focus on his descriptions of Glaucon, Polemarchus and his slave, and Thrasymachus to show how Plato presents Socrates’s narrative activity as a process that controls how the auditor understands the events that follow. I then turn to an alternate understanding of Socratic narrative which extols its philosophically and politically liberatory possibilities. I use my own previous work on Socratic narrative, Jill Frank’s Poetic Justice, and Rebecca’s LeMoine’s Plato’s Cave as three examples that emphasize the more positive dimensions of Socratic narrative. Finally, I end with a brief exploration of Cornel West’s Democracy Matters, and bell hooks’ works on pedagogy to argue for the possibility a Socratically-informed public space for political discourse.
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DOI 10.5840/epoche2021526179
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