The Way of the Platonic Socrates

S. Montgomery Ewegen
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 09/02/2020
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-04755-7
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Who is Socrates? While most readers know him as the central figure in Plato’s work, he is hard to characterize. In this book, S. Montgomery Ewegen opens this long-standing and difficult question once again. Reading Socrates against a number of Platonic texts, Ewegen sets out to understand the way of Socrates. Taking on the nuances and contours of the Socrates that emerges from the dramatic and philosophical contexts of Plato’s works, Ewegen considers questions of withdrawal, retreat, powerlessness, poverty, concealment, and release and how they construct a new view of Socrates. For Ewegen, Socrates is a powerful but strange and uncanny figure. Ewegen’s withdrawn Socrates forever evades rigid interpretation and must instead remain a deep and insoluble question.

Author Bio

S. Montgomery Ewegen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Trinity College. He is author of Plato’s Cratylus: The Comedy of Language and translator (with Julia Goesser Assaiante) of Martin Heidegger’s Heraclitus.


“Adds to a vital and growing body of work dedicated to rethinking and reinterpreting one of the most, if not the most, important authors in Western philosophy and literature—Plato.”
 — Jeremy Bell, editor of Plato’s Animals

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Table of Contents



Introduction: Wandering (πλάνης): Apology

1. Retreat (ἀναχώρησις): Phaedo / Timaeus

2. Power(lessness) (ἀδυναμία): Gorgias

3. Poverty (πενία): Symposium

4. Indebtedness (ὀφείλεια): Statesman

5. Ignorance (ἀμαθία): Protagoras

6. Releasement (λύσις): Republic