Les trois vies philosophiques de socrate

Translated title of the contribution: The three philosophical lives of Socrates

George Rudebusch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As Plato presents him, Socrates became notorious afier he "changed direction so as to investigate the god"-that is, to test the oracular pronouncement that no one was wiser. This raises questions: What was his direction before he tested the oracle? And what did Socrates do that gave Chaerephon a reason to ask the oracle whether anyone was wiser? Evidently, Chaerephon must have known somethingextraordinary about Socrates before the oracle spoke. But Socrates' testimony in the Apology is that his extraordinary notoriety came to him only after the oracle spoke. There seems to be a contradiction in the testimony. I propose a solution to this puzzle. I explain why his conversations before that time, in thefirst stage of his life, did not make him notorious yet gave Chaerephon reason to go to the oracle. My account distinguishes two later stages of his life: Socrates'actions while trying to solve the riddle of the oracle and his actions after solving that riddle.

Translated title of the contributionThe three philosophical lives of Socrates
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)49-74
Number of pages26
JournalPhilosophie Antique
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Philosophy


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