Aristippus and Xenophon as Plato’s contemporary literary rivals and the role of gymnastikè (γυμναστική)

E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 22:4-11 (2015)
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Plato was a Socrates’ friend and disciple, but he wasn’t the only one. No doubt, Socrates had many followers, however, the majority of their work is lost. Was there any antagonism among his followers? Who succeeded in interpreting Socrates? Who could be considered as his successor? Of course, we don’t know if these questions emerged after the death of Socrates, but the Greek doxography suggests that there was a literary rivalry. As we underlined earlier, most unfortunately, we can’t examine all of them thoroughly due to the lack of their work, but we can scrutinize Xenophon’s and Aristippus’ work. All of them, Plato, Xenophon and Aristippus, presented to a certain extent their ideas concerning education. Furthermore, they have not neglected the matter of gymnastikè, but what is exactly the role of physical education in their work? Are there any similarities or any differences between them? Since, Xenophon and Aristippus (as well as Plato) seem to be in favor of gymnastikè, it is necessary to understand its role.

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Konstantinos Gkaleas
Université Paris-Sorbonne


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