Clitophon's Challenge: Dialectic in Plato's Meno, Phaedo, by Hugh H. Benson

By Hugh H. Benson

Hugh H. Benson explores Plato's solution to Clitophon's problem, the query of ways you'll collect the data Socrates argues is vital to human flourishing-knowledge all of us appear to lack. Plato indicates tools wherein this data will be won: the 1st is studying from those that have already got the information one seeks, and the second one is gaining knowledge of the data one seeks on one's personal.

The ebook starts off with a short examine the various Socratic dialogues the place Plato seems to suggest the previous technique whereas concurrently indicating a variety of problems in pursuing it. the rest of the e-book makes a speciality of Plato's advice in a few of his most crucial and critical dialogues-the Meno, Phaedo, and Republic-for engaging in the second one strategy: de novo inquiry. The publication turns first to the recognized paradox about the threat of such an inquiry and explores Plato's obvious resolution. Having defended the potential of de novo inquiry as a reaction to Clitophon's problem, Plato explains the tactic or method during which such inquiry is to be performed. The booklet defends the debatable thesis that the tactic of speculation, as defined and practiced within the Meno, Phaedo, and Republic, is, whilst practiced competently, Plato's advised approach to buying on one's personal the basic wisdom we lack. the strategy of speculation whilst practiced competently is, then, Platonic dialectic, and this is often Plato's reaction to Clitophon's challenge.

"This is a brand new publication on a seriously vital subject, method, because it is explored in 3 of crucial works by way of the most very important philosophers within the very lengthy background of philosophy, written via a pupil of foreign stature who's operating from decades of expertise and presently on the best of his online game. It delivers to be essentially the most very important books ever written in this subject."-Nicholas Smith, James F. Miller Professor of Humanities, Lewis and Clark College

"The thesis is daring and the implications are vital for our knowing of a few of the main studied and arguable dialogues by means of and philosophical theses in Plato. in my opinion, Hugh Benson's exam of the tactic of speculation within the Meno and the Phaedo is a journey de strength of refined and cautious scholarship: i believe that this a part of the ebook should be followed because the common interpretation of this simple proposal in Plato. an exceptional and significant book."-Charles Brittain, Susan Linn Sage Professor of Philosophy and Humane Letters, Cornell University

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Extra info for Clitophon's Challenge: Dialectic in Plato's Meno, Phaedo, and Republic

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Constructs an elenchos with them. But in any case, apart from Melesias and Lysimachus, with whom we will meet again later, they add nothing to the argument. Either they too fail to recognize their ignorance or they recognize it and Socrates turns to examine others who continue to profess their knowledge. I also do not count Meno, the slave, or Anytus from the Meno, for reasons that will become apparent in the next chapter. Of the 18 elenctic interlocutors who do not recognize their ignorance, some may be thought to come closer than others.

I have no way of telling you what I know (oὐκ ἔχω ἔγωγε ὅπως σoι εἴπω ὃ νoῶ); for whatever proposition we put forward goes around and refuses to stay put where we establish it. (Euthyphro 11B6–8)28 26. Apology 21C7–D1; see also Apology 23B6–C1. 27. See Woolf (2002, 243); see also Scolnicov (1988, 17), Sedley (2003, 63), and R. Smith (1997, xviii). ” One or two exposures of inconsistency may suffice to show that the interlocutor lacks knowledge, but it may not suffice to persuade the interlocutor of this lack of knowledge.

337D3–5, Phaedo 72E–78B, the elaborate description of “the greatest mathema” in Republic 6–7, Theaetetus 172C–177B, and Timaeus 51E and 90A–D. 4. 1086a32–b13. Indeed, the commitment to the possibility of knowledge is one of the ten theses that distinguish the elenctic Socrates from the Platonic Socrates, according to Vlastos (1991, 48, 77–79); see also McPherran (1996, 292–302) and Annas (1999, 52–71). 13. An additional worry for the moderate constructivist is the relatively radical break of the Socrates of the elenctic dialogues with the Socrates of the middle dialogues.

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