Exhortations to Philosophy: The Protreptics of Plato, Isocrates, and Aristotle
This book is a study of the literary strategies which the first professional philosophers used to market their respective disciplines. Philosophers of fourth-century BCE Athens developed the emerging genre of the "protreptic" (literally, "turning" or "converting"). Simply put, protreptic discourse uses a rhetoric of conversion that urges a young person to adopt a specific philosophy in order to live a good life. The author argues that the fourth-century philosophers used protreptic discourses to market philosophical practices and to define and legitimize a new cultural institution: the school of higher learning (the first in Western history). Specifically, the book investigates how competing educators in the fourth century produced protreptic discourses by borrowing and transforming traditional and contemporary "voices" in the cultural marketplace. They aimed to introduce and promote their new schools and define the new professionalized discipline of "philosophy." While scholars have typically examined the discourses and practices of Plato, Isocrates, and Aristotle in isolation from one another, this study rather combines philosophy, narratology, genre theory, and new historicism to focus on the discursive interaction between the three philosophers: each incorporates the discourse of his competitors into his protreptics. Appropriating and transforming the discourses of their competition, these intellectuals created literary texts that introduced their respective disciplines to potential students.
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advertise Alcibiades Alcidamas Antid Antidosis apotreptic argues argument Aristotle Aristotle’s Protrepticus Athenian Athens audience Bakhtin Cambridge character claims Cleinias Cleinias’s Clitophon competing competition competitors contest conversation counsel critic Crito Ctesippus deliberative demonstration dialectic dialogue Dionysodorus discipline dramatic Düring elenchus encomium engage epideictic epideixis eristic eristic duo eristic sophists Euthydemus Evagoras examine exhortation forensic fourth-century genre Gorgias Hawtrey Hesiod Hippocrates hybrid Iamblichus imitation injunctions interlocutor intradiegetic level Isocratean Isocrates knowledge literary living marketplace narrative narrator Nicoclem Nicocles Nightingale occasion orator paraenetic Parmenides performance persuaded Phaedrus philosophical philosophical protreptic Plato poetic poets political practical prose Protagoras protreptic discourse Protrepticus provides questions reader rhetoric rivals Slings Socrates Socrates’s someone soul speak spectacle speech suggests texts things traditional turn University Press virtue voice wisdom young ἂν δὲ ἐν καὶ λόγος παράδειγµα περὶ τὰ τὰς τε τὴν τῆς τὸ τοῖς τὸν τοῦ τοὺς τῶν ὑποθῆκαι