Miriam Byrd
University of Texas at Arlington
In this paper I focus on the problem of accounting for apparent inconsistencies between Plato’s early and middle works. Developmentalism seeks to account for these variances by differentiating a Socratic philosophy in the early dialogues from a Platonic philosophy in the middle. In opposition to this position, I propose an alternative explanation: differences between these two groups are due to Plato’s depiction and use of middle period epistemology. I argue that, in the early dialogues, Plato depicts Socrates’ use of the “summoners” described in Book 7 of the Republic, and that Plato uses Socrates’ failed attempts to summon interlocutors for the purpose of summoning readers. In conclusion, I suggest that the hypothesis that Plato uses summoners provides a framework for addressing the wider problem of inconsistencies within the Platonic corpus.
Keywords Socrates  unitarianism  developmentalism  summoners  early dialogues  Plato
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DOI 10.1163/22134417-90000017
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The Socratic Elenchus.Gregory Vlastos - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (11):711-714.

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