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Lewis and Clark College (Portland, OR 97219-8091)
Nicholas D. Smith (Project Director: March 2013 to December 2014)

A five-week seminar for sixteen participants to engage with recent scholarship on Socrates.

The seminar will begin with "the Socrates Problem," which concerns the difficulty in discerning what the historical Socrates was like from inconsistent ancient sources. The remaining four weeks will focus on the main areas that philosophers and scholars generally agree are the most interesting ones from the point of view of contemporary philosophy: Socrates' doctrine of obedience to civil law, which seems to oppose modern liberalism and its conception of individual autonomy; Socrates' profession of ignorance and its implications for human inquiry and for what human knowledge would be, if someone were to achieve it; Socrates' eudaimonism-the doctrine that value is to be understood in terms of human happiness or flourishing; and Socrates' commitment to intellectualism, both in the explanation of human motivation and also in terms of how virtue is to be understood, so that in either case, cognition, rather than emotion or some other desiderative element, will be central to explanation.

Project fields:
History of Philosophy

Seminars for College Teachers

Education Programs

$108,252 (approved)
$98,496 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2013 – 9/30/2014