Socrates and Divine Revelation

Socrates and Divine Revelation

Lewis Fallis

An account of Socrates' encounter with divine revelation
The philosopher Socrates was guided in his investigations by nothing other than his own reason. But did Socrates address adequately the possibility of guidance from a different and higher source -- the possibility of divine revelation?

In this book, Lewis Fallis examines Socrates' study of divine revelation. Giving interpretations of two of Plato's dialogues, the Euthyphro and the Ion -- which each depict Socrates conversing with a believer in revelation -- Fallis argues that in each dialogue Socrates explores the connection between knowledge of justice or nobility on the one hand and divine wisdom on the other. By doing so, Socrates searches for common ground between reason and revelation. Shedding new light on Socratic dialectics, Fallis uncovers the justification for understanding political philosophy to be the necessary starting point for an adequate inquiry into divine revelation.

Lewis Fallis is an independent scholar of political theory.

Table of Contents

The Contemporary Dismissal of Piety and the Platonic Alternative
Euthyphro's Character
Defining the Pious
Artfulness and Mindlessness in Plato's "Ion"
Ion's Knowledge
Dialectics and Divinity
Works Cited


As the provocative title of Lewis Fallis's book suggests, he seeks to uncover what Plato may have to teach us here and now about the conflict between reason and revelation or between philosophy and faith. To this end, the book offers careful interpretations of two Platonic dialogues not usually considered in tandem, and it ably demonstrates that the concerns of Plato's Socrates do relate to our own. Among the many virtues of this fine study are the clarity of prose, the gravity of the question that remains front and center, and the impeccable scholarship on display. --Robert C. Bartlett, Boston College

Socrates and Divine Revelation will take its place among the finest scholarly analyses of Plato and the most illuminating theoretical investigations of the problem of religion and political philosophy. The study will be of great interest not only to students and scholars of Plato, classical philosophy, and religion but to anyone interested in the timely and timeless question of reason and faith. --Peter Ahrensdorf, Davidson College