The author notes a lack of response to the work of J. L. Fischer and, using Fischer’s interpretation of Socrates, shows that Fischer deserves critical attention. He ﬁrst analyses Fischer’s interpretation in terms of content. Fischer’s approach stems from the Scottish school and his analyses can still be productive. However, his idea of a “psychological analysis”, of Socrates proves rather problematic. The author goes on to analyse what Socrates means for Fischer philosophically, noting that fundamental premises of Socrates’ philosophy are exact opposite of the “composable philosophy” Fischer advocates. For Fischer, this means philosophy which can be composed – built up – of discrete observations after the manner of a scientiﬁc theory, at least as positivist thinkers conceived of it. Socrates oﬀers a rationalist defence of autocratic rule. T e measure of all things is not the citizen but the expert. On such presuppositions, a general assembly would make no sense. Tus though his study poses as purely historical, Fischer manages to work his way to his central motif, the crisis contemporary democracy challenged by dogma “scientiﬁ c ma¬terialism” which can be neither analysed nor refuted. Socrates is pre¬sented as democracy’s enemy, in wholly contemporary terms. Fischer’s presentation of Socrates, rather like Popper’s reading of Plato, thus re¬ﬂects the experience of the twentieth century.
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