Download e-book for kindle: Conversation and Self-Sufficiency in Plato by A. G. Long

By A. G. Long

ISBN-10: 0199695350

ISBN-13: 9780199695355

Plato's dialogues have been a part of a physique of fourth-century literature during which Socrates wondered (and often obtained the higher of) associates, affiliates, and meant specialists. A. G. lengthy considers how Plato defined the conversational personality of Socratic philosophy, and the way Plato got here to credits first Socrates after which, extra typically, the thinker with a substitute for conversation--internal discussion or self-questioning. Conversation and self-sufficiency in Plato starts with a learn of the Platonic dialogues the place dialog and its benefits are mentioned, and the purpose of this examine is to spell out accurately why, and for what reasons, Plato treats dialog as invaluable or best. The ebook then strains the emergence of inner discussion instead to dialog. After his advent of inner discussion Plato makes use of discussion shape not just to discover the points of interest of dialog but in addition to teach what's attainable with out dialog, and particularly to teach how a idea might be subjected to a formal critique with no the direct involvement of its proponent. in the course of the ebook lengthy explores Platonic discussions of dialog or unaccompanied proposal in terms of the dialogical exchanges within which they're chanced on.

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Plato does write in order to defend Socrates, but his defence does not consist merely in showing that Socrates should not have been brought to trial and executed and that Socrates’ philosophical legacy has been beneficial. Plato’s defences of Socrates are also attempts to show why Socrates needs defending—that is, to show why Socrates was brought to trial, why Socrates failed to defend himself successfully in court, and why a posthumous defence is still necessary. Consider for example Plato’s Apology.

Why then should we prefer Socrates’ conclusion? Irwin argues that Plato alludes ominously to the subsequent careers of Socrates’ interlocutors and that these allusions provide a moral basis for rejecting the alternatives represented by the interlocutors. For example, a solution defended by Socrates is preferable to an alternative defended by Nicias, given Nicias’ infamous failure in the Sicilian expedition. I suggest that in the Protagoras Plato uses characterization to give a rather different type of support to Socrates’ conclusion; we are shown not that Socrates’ opponents failed in some moral or strategic crisis, but that despite being opponents they can be made to agree with Socrates.

This is not at all what Plato does. Instead he makes Socrates persist in getting a reluctant Protagoras to accept that he was wrong to the point where Protagoras suggests that Socrates is acting ‘contentiously’ or ‘competitively’ in getting an answer from him (çغïíØŒåEí, 360e3). 173 (‘did you execute Socrates the sophist, gentlemen of Athens, because he was shown to have educated Critias, one of the Thirty who put down the democracy . . ’). Given the rhetorical context, the passage may not show what Aeschines really thought about Socrates; on the other hand, Aeschines is counting on his audience to accept without argument that Socrates was a sophist, and that makes the passage all the more significant for our understanding of Athenian attitudes to Socrates shortly after Plato’s death (the speech was delivered in 345 bc).

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Conversation and Self-Sufficiency in Plato by A. G. Long


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