Plutarch as a Philosopher in Society
This chapter explores Plutarch's self-presentation and agenda as an author. By using the philosophical, historical, and literary tradition in order to confer authority on himself as a philosopher, Plutarch presents himself in and through his practical ethics as the one and only philosopher his elite readers should need. In this way, he promotes philosophy at the expense of competing cultural agents such as orators or doctors, and he promotes himself as compared to other philosophers. This also nuances his elitism: socially he is of course an elitist, but not in a self-evident or straightforward way. Rather, he opens up a debate about different kinds of intellectual and cultural authority, and offers a distinctive view of what elite culture should be like. This is a view that promotes his own position in society, and that therefore shows him to be a sophistic(ated) social player.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.