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The Sacrifice of Socrates: Athens, Plato, Girard
by Wm. Blake Tyrrell
Michigan State University Press, 2012
eISBN: 978-1-60917-338-8 | Paper: 978-1-61186-054-2
Library of Congress Classification B316.T97 2012
Dewey Decimal Classification 183.2

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

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 Apology depicts Socrates as both the bane and the cure of Greek society, while his Crito shows a sacrificial Socrates, what some might consider a pharmakos figure, 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.



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