Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2015

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Committee Chair

Dr. Marek Steedman

Committee Chair Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Committee Member 2

Dr. Troy Gibson

Committee Member 2 Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Committee Member 3

Dr. Miles Doleac

Committee Member 3 Department

Foreign Languages and Literature

Abstract

This thesis explores Socrates as the paradigmatic citizen through Eric Voegelin’s theory of consciousness. While scholars tend to ground the source of Socrates’ civic behavior in the self, I maintain that his daimonion is the very essence of his citizenship. Illustrating that spiritual openness endows him with the highest level of consciousness within the polis, I argue that Socrates’ efforts to democratize truth are the direct result of his adherence to divine authority. In doing so, I assert that he is neither a self-interested civic actor nor an atheist. By examining Platonic philosophy through the lens of Voegelinian thought I offer a new perspective of Socrates that addresses spiritual openness as the crux of his citizenship. Most importantly, however, this project illustrates the public philosopher’s contributive and participatory citizenship within the polis.

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