The Model of Knowledge in Plato's Early Dialogues
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Author: Hugh H. Benson,Assistant Professor of Philosophy Hugh H Benson
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
While the early Platonic dialogues have often been explored and appreciated for their ethical content, this is the first book devoted solely to the epistemology of Plato's early dialogues. Author Hugh H. Benson argues that the characteristic features of these dialogues--Socrates' method of questions and answers (elenchos), his fascination with definition, his professions of ignorance, and his thesis that virtue is knowledge--are decidedly epistemological. In this thoughtful study, Benson uncovers the model of knowledge that underlies these distinctively Socratic views. What emerges is unfamiliar, yet closer to a contemporary conception of scientific understanding than ordinary knowledge.
Plato's Use of Philosophical Drama
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Author: Rebecca Bensen Cain
Publisher: A&C Black
Explains how Plato's Socrates uses fallacy, irony, ambiguity and other rhetorical strategies to advance the Greek maxim to 'know thyself', as a means of caring for the soul
Love for Wisdom in Four Platonic Dialogues
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Author: Elizabeth S. Belfiore
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
New approach to Plato's characterization of Socrates, through analysis of erôs and philosophy in four dialogues on love and friendship.
Charmides, Laches, Lysis, Meno
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Publisher: OUP Oxford
Meno Charmides Laches Lysis 'Do please try to tell us what courage is...' In these four dialogues Plato considers virtue and its definition. Charmides, Laches, and Lysis investigate the specific virtues of self-control, courage, and friendship; the later Meno discusses the concept of virtue as a whole, and whether it is something that can be taught. In the conversations between Socrates and his interlocutors, moral concepts are debated and shown to be more complex than at first appears, until all the participants in the conversations are reduced to bafflement. The artistry as well as the philosophy of these dialogues has always been widely admired. The introduction to this edition explains the course of the four dialogues and examines the importance of Socrates' questions and arguments, and the notes cover major and minor points in more detail. This is an essential volume for understanding the brilliance of the first Western philosopher. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Six Ways of Life in Ancient Philosophy from Socrates to Plotinus
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Author: John Madison Cooper
Publisher: Princeton University Press
"Since Socrates, philosophy has been concerned with how we ought to live. But the sense in which philosophy must be an ineluctably practical activity has become obscured. How could philosophy have ever conceived of itself as centrally concerned with its own therapeutic value? In Pursuits of Wisdom, John Cooper brings this crucial question back to life. This marvelous book will shape the way we think about and engage with ancient philosophical traditions."--Jonathan Lear, University of Chicago "With unparalleled learning, argumentative depth, and great originality, Cooper presents a thorough rethinking of the major Greek moral philosophers. He revitalizes their visions of philosophy as a way of life and shows how they present a powerful challenge to current moral philosophy. The Greeks will never look the same again."--J. B. Schneewind, author of The Invention of Autonomy: A History of Modern Moral Philosophy "John Cooper has had a profound impact on the scholarly study of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, particularly in its moral dimension. In this new work, he introduces this period to a far wider audience. His sympathy and enthusiasm for the pursuits of wisdom in antiquity, and the subtlety of his understanding of these philosophical schools, will make this book a classic of its kind."--Richard Kraut, author of What Is Good and Why: The Ethics of Well-Being "The product of a lifetime of study and thought, Pursuits of Wisdom is a detailed and rigorous analysis of the foundations of the major schools of ancient ethics in the overall philosophical systems of their authors. John Cooper's masterwork will thus be indispensable for every student of ancient philosophy in general as well as ancient ethics. But Cooper's study is also indispensable for all students of modern ethics since so much of it originates in these ancient schools. In other words, Cooper's book is simply indispensable."--Paul Guyer, University of Pennsylvania "This book not only discusses philosophy as a way of life, but manifests many of the virtues such a life might be hoped to embody. There is scarcely an instance in which Cooper's sureness of grasp, vivacity of expression, or clarity of purpose falters. The book invites a wide readership, and should receive it."--C.D.C. Reeve, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Plato, Pluralism, and the Inconstancy of Truth
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Author: Jeremy Barris
Publisher: Fordham Univ Press
In The Crane's Walk, Jeremy Barris seeks to show that we can conceive and live with a pluralism of standpoints with conflicting standards for truth--with the truth of each being entirely unaffected by the truth of the others. He argues that Plato's work expresses this kind of pluralism, and that this pluralism is important in its own right, whether or not we agree about what Plato's standpoint is. The longest tradition of Plato scholarship identifies crucial faults in Plato's theory of Ideas. Barris argues that Plato deliberately displayed those faults, because he wanted to demonstrate that basic kinds of error or illogic have dimensions that are crucial to the establishing of truth. These dimensions legitimate a paradoxical coordination of logically incompatible conceptions of truth. Connecting this idea with emerging currents of Plato scholarship, he emphasizes, in addition to the dialogues' arguments, the importance of their nonargumentative features, including drama, myths, fictions, anecdotes, and humor. These unanalyzed nonargumentative features function rigorously, as a lever with which to examine the enterprise of rational argument itself, without presupposing its standards or illegitimately assimilating any position to the standards of another. Today, communities are torn apart by conflicts within and between a host of different pluralist and absolutist commitments. The possibility developed in this book-a coordination of absolute and relative truth that allows an understanding of some relativist and some absolutist positions as being fully legitimate and as capable of existing in a relation to their opposites-may contribute to perspectives for resolving these conflicts.
Dialectic in Plato's Meno, Phaedo, and Republic
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Author: Hugh H. Benson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Hugh H. Benson explores Plato's answer to Clitophon's challenge, the question of how one can acquire the knowledge Socrates argues is essential to human flourishing-knowledge we all seem to lack. Plato suggests two methods by which this knowledge may be gained: the first is learning from those who already have the knowledge one seeks, and the second is discovering the knowledge one seeks on one's own. The book begins with a brief look at some of the Socratic dialogues where Plato appears to recommend the former approach while simultaneously indicating various difficulties in pursuing it. The remainder of the book focuses on Plato's recommendation in some of his most important and central dialogues-the Meno, Phaedo, and Republic-for carrying out the second approach: de novo inquiry. The book turns first to the famous paradox concerning the possibility of such an inquiry and explores Plato's apparent solution. Having defended the possibility of de novo inquiry as a response to Clitophon's challenge, Plato explains the method or procedure by which such inquiry is to be carried out. The book defends the controversial thesis that the method of hypothesis, as described and practiced in the Meno, Phaedo, and Republic, is, when practiced correctly, Plato's recommended method of acquiring on one's own the essential knowledge we lack. The method of hypothesis when practiced correctly is, then, Platonic dialectic, and this is Plato's response to Clitophon's challenge. "This is a new book on a critically important topic, methodology, as it is explored in three of the most important works by one of the most important philosophers in the very long history of philosophy, written by a scholar of international stature who is working from many years of experience and currently at the top of his game. It promises to be one of the most important books ever written on this subject."-Nicholas Smith, James F. Miller Professor of Humanities, Lewis and Clark College "The thesis is bold and the results are important for our understanding of some of the most studied and controversial dialogues by and philosophical theses in Plato. In my view, Hugh Benson's examination of the method of hypothesis in the Meno and the Phaedo is a tour de force of subtle and careful scholarship: I think that this part of the book will be adopted as the standard interpretation of this basic notion in Plato. An excellent and important book."-Charles Brittain, Susan Linn Sage Professor of Philosophy and Humane Letters, Cornell University
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Author: Charles E. Bashaw
Rethinking the Elenchus in Plato's Dialogues and Beyond
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Author: Gary Alan Scott
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Although "the Socratic method" is commonly understood as a style of pedagogy involving cross-questioning between teacher and student, there has long been debate among scholars of ancient philosophy about how this method as attributed to Socrates should be defined or, indeed, whether Socrates can be said to have used any single, uniform method at all distinctive to his way of philosophizing. This volume brings together essays by classicists and philosophers examining this controversy anew. The point of departure for many of those engaged in the debate has been the identification of Socratic method with "the elenchus" as a technique of logical argumentation aimed at refuting an interlocutor, which Gregory Vlastos highlighted in an influential article in 1983. The essays in this volume look again at many of the issues to which Vlastos drew attention but also seek to broaden the discussion well beyond the limits of his formulation. Some contributors question the suitability of the elenchus as a general description of how Socrates engages his interlocutors; others trace the historical origins of the kinds of argumentation Socrates employs; others explore methods in addition to the elenchus that Socrates uses; several propose new ways of thinking about Socratic practices. Eight essays focus on specific dialogues, each examining why Plato has Socrates use the particular methods he does in the context defined by the dialogue. Overall, representing a wide range of approaches in Platonic scholarship, the volume aims to enliven and reorient the debate over Socratic method so as to set a new agenda for future research. Contributors are Hayden W. Ausland, Hugh H. Benson, Thomas C. Brickhouse, Michelle Carpenter, John M. Carvalho, Lloyd P. Gerson, Francisco J. Gonzalez, James H. Lesher, Mark McPherran, Ronald M. Polansky, Gerald A. Press, François Renaud, and W. Thomas Schmid, Nicholas D. Smith, P. Christopher Smith, Harold Tarrant, Joanne B. Waugh, and Charles M. Young.