Peter Warnek: Descent of socrates: Self-knowledge & cryptic nature in the platonic dialogues
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Peter Warnek’s Descent of Socrates: Self-Knowledge & Cryptic Nature in the Platonic Dialoguesis, in its own terms, a tragic impossibility. Yet, there it is: 196 pages of written text (not including the many insightful pages of scholarly notes) divided into three parts—“Writing Socrates,” “Dreams, Oracles, and Silenic Affirmations,” and “Kinship of Nature”—and presented “not so much as an exercise in scholarship as an attempt at opening up the future for the experience of descent” (10). The impossibility of this scholarly book that is no mere exercise in scholarship is bound up with the descent with which it is concerned. Because the decent of Socrates is “an appearance that in its very appearing conceals itself” (5), the opening this book attempts to perform too must be said to involve a tragic impossibility insofar as it “finds itself already claimed and sustained by what must remain forever withheld from it” (91). It appears, then, that this book cannot have been written and that...
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