The case against teaching virtue for pay: Socrates and the Sophists
Corey, D. (2002). The case against teaching virtue for pay: Socrates and the Sophists. History of Political Thought, 23 (2): 189-210.
Abstract: The practice of teaching virtue (arete) for pay was typical of the
Greek sophists but consistently eschewed by their contemporary
Socrates. Plato and Xenophon offer various explanations for Socrates'
refusal to take pay, explanations intended not only to reflect
favourably upon their teacher but also to reflect negatively upon the
sophists. Indeed, Plato and Xenophon have been so persuasive in this
regard that the mere fact of accepting pay has become a common source
of invective against the sophists. This paper examines and evaluates
these passages of Plato and Xenophon in light of the historical
information we have concerning sophistic and Socratic pedagogy in
general and it reaches two major conclusions: first, that most of the
reasons ascribed to Socrates for refusing to accept pay are
sufficiently problematic to raise serious doubts about their
authenticity and, second, that none of these reasons functions
successfully as a general critique of the sophists.
(Something interesting I found)Posted: Monday, April 1, 2002