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The Quest for Character

What the Story of Socrates and Alcibiades Teaches Us about Our Search for Good Leaders

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 27, 2022. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

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Sep 27, 2022

ISBN-13

9781668612200

Description

What Socrates’s greatest failure reveals about an ancient question: Can we teach our leaders to be better people?  

Is good character something that can be taught? In 430 BCE, Socrates set out to teach the vain, power-seeking Athenian statesman Alcibiades how to be a good person—and failed spectacularly. Alcibiades went on to beguile his city into a hopeless war with Syracuse, and all of Athens paid the price.  

In The Quest for Character, philosophy professor Massimo Pigliucci tells this famous story and asks what we can learn from it. He blends ancient sources with modern interpretations to give a full picture of the philosophy and cultivation of character, virtue, and personal excellence—what the Greeks called arete. At heart, The Quest for Character isn’t simply about what makes a good leader. Drawing on Socrates as well as his followers among the Stoics, this book gives us lessons perhaps even more crucial: how we can each lead an excellent life.