Edited by William J. Prior
Routledge – 1997 – 1,208 pages
This four volume set is a collection of some of the most significant scholarship published on the philosophy of Socrates in the last half century. The contributors include many of the most prominent scholars in this field. As the growth in Socratic studies in the past three decades is due in large part to the influential work of Gregory Vlastos, articles by him figure prominently in the collection, and works by other authors are generally related to his work (as sources of it, responses to it, or further developments of it).
The volumes deal with different areas of Socratic thought. The first volume begins with the question whether and to what degree we can discern a distinctive philosophy of Socrates in the ancient sources. The second volume deals with the trial of Socrates and the philosophical issues that arise from it. The third volume considers the philosophical methodology of Socrates and the fourth his moral philosophy.
This collection shares some material with earlier collections on the philosophy of Socrates, but it is more extensive and up-to-date. Unlike other collections, which may offer the reader only a single article on a given topic, this collection offers a conversation in-depth. The reader can thus get a sense of the dimensions of the scholarly debate on these central issues in the philosophy of Socrates. No collection can be complete, but this aims at a representative portrait of Socratic studies in the last fifty years.