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The sacrifice of Socrates : Athens, Plato, Girard /
Wm. Blake Tyrrell.
East Lansing : Michigan State University Press, [2012], c2012
xix, 189 p. ; 23 cm.
1611860547 (paperback : alkaline paper), 9781611860542 (paperback : alkaline paper)
More Details
East Lansing : Michigan State University Press, [2012], c2012
1611860547 (paperback : alkaline paper)
9781611860542 (paperback : alkaline paper)
contents note
Mimesis, conflict, and crisis -- Platoʹs victimary culture -- Aristophanic Socrates: ready victim -- Foundation murder.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographic references (p. 175-183) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Wm. Blake Tyrrell is Distinguished Professor of Classics at Michigan State University.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2013-03-01:
Appearing in the "Studies in Violence, Mimesis, and Culture Series"--which is dedicated to the "exploration, criticism and development of Rene Girard's mimetic model"--this book offers a nuanced, specialized analysis of the Platonically substantiated "sacrifice of Socrates." Tyrrell (Michigan State Univ.) uses the methodology and conceptual vocabulary embedded in Girard's lexicon of mimetic theory to explicate the condemnation and execution of Socrates within the social and political context of Athens's defeat in the Peloponnesian War in 404 BCE. Tyrrell is a distinguished classical scholar, and he does an excellent job of anatomizing the operations of the cardinal principles of Girard's hypothesis--the pivotal notions of mimetic desire, mimetic rivalry, acquisitive desire, and the process of victimization, to cite a few--in specific detail with respect to the Socratic milieu depicted primarily and most vividly by Plato and Aristophanes. Socrates is portrayed within this analytical framework as victim and pharmakos, whose condemnation was an exemplary manifestation of a dynamic mimetic mechanism operating within a defeated post-war society in crisis and in search of a sacrificial victim: a scapegoat. This volume offers an excellent introduction to the applicability of Girard's interdisciplinary theories to the study of Greek philosophy, literature, and religion. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. J. S. Louzonis St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 2013
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Main Description
When Athenians suffered the shame of having lost a war from their own greed and foolishness, around 404 BCE the public's blame was directed at Socrates, a man whose unique appearance and behavior, as well as his disapproval of the democracy, made him a ready target. Socrates was subsequently put on trial and sentenced to death. However, as René Girard has pointed out, no individual can be held responsible for a communal crisis. Plato's Apologydepicts Socrates as both the bane and the cure of Greek society, while his Critoshows a sacrificial Socrates, what some might consider a pharmakosfigure, the human drug through whom Plato can dispense his philosophical remedies. With tremendous insight and satisfying complexity, this book analyzes classical texts through the lens of Girard's mimetic mechanism.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. xi
Mimesis, Conflict, and Crisisp. 1
Plato's Victimary Culturep. 41
Aristophanes' Ready Victimp. 73
Foundation Murderp. 91
Notesp. 151
Bibliographyp. 175
Indexp. 185
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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