Xenophon on Socrates, Part II


More from Xenophon’s Book IV of The Memorabilia, translated by H. G. Dakyns.

At this point I will endeavour to explain in what way Socrates fostered this greater “dialectic” capacity among his intimates. He held firmly to the opinion that if a man knew what each reality was, he would be able to explain this knowledge to others; but, failing the possession of that knowledge, it did not surprise him that men should stumble themselves and cause others to stumble also. It was for this reason that he never ceased inquiring with those who were with him into the true nature of things that are. It would be a long business certainly to go through in detail all the definitions at which he arrived; I will therefore content myself with such examples as will serve to show his method of procedure. As a first instance I will take the question of piety. The mode of investigation may be fairly represented as follows…

Read all of Book 4 here.

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