By David Sedley
Oxford reviews in old Philosophy is a quantity of unique articles on all facets of old philosophy. The articles might be of considerable size, and comprise severe notices of significant books. OSAP is released two times every year, in either hardback and paperback. This quantity gains essays on Empedocles, Xenophon, and Socrates, with numerous on each one of Plato and Aristotle.
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Extra info for Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy: Volume XXIX: Winter 2005
41 I am inclined to think that we 38 Perhaps it was Alcmaeon (24 A 5 and 10 DK), before Empedocles, who gave for the ﬁrst time an account of the anatomy of the eye and its function. However, it is still disputed to what degree Empedocles was really inﬂuenced by Alcmaeon’s views on the structure of the eye; cf. Diels, ‘Gorgias’, 353–4; Beare, Greek Theories, 15; Longrigg, ‘Philosophy and Medicine’, 156–7; ‘Roots’, 437; Wright, Extant Fragments, 230 and 243. 39 There is a di·erence of opinion among scholars as to whether the membranes are membranes separating the internal ﬁre from the internal water (Beare, Greek Theories, 16; Wright, Extant Fragments, 241–2) or, as I am inclined to assume, membranes separating the inside of the eye, namely the ﬁre and the water, from the outside (Lloyd, Polarity, 326).
In Plato’s case, consider Nicias on courage, Charmides and Critias on s»ophrosyn»e, and Meno on virtue. 33 hours page 40 40 David M. Johnson Socrates, on the other hand, seems to have beneﬁted rather few of his interlocutors. 4 This is not terribly surprising, given that neither of the two favourite tools of the Platonic Socrates, irony and the elenchus, is obviously and unambiguously beneﬁcial. Socrates’ complex irony may have led some interlocutors to deeper reﬂection, and it has certainly had that e·ect on many readers, but it leaves others irritated and confused.
This is particularly clear in the nature of the interlocutors. Immediately after the programmatic passage, Xenophon introduces Socrates’ companion Aristodemus,9 who does not worship the gods and mocks those who do. Aristodemus seems to be neither simply a companion of Socrates nor simply a know-itall, but both, and Socrates’ conversation with him is both refutative and didactic. Socrates ﬁrst argues that the gods have designed the world and then, when Aristodemus argues that the gods are too important to worry about humans, that they are in fact concerned about us.