Arion 15 (1):63-122 (2007)

Joshua Landy
Stanford University
Plato’s character Socrates is clearly a sophisticated logician. Why then does he fall, at times, into the most elementary fallacies? It is, I propose, because the end goal for Plato is not the mere acquisition of superior understanding but instead a well-lived life, a life lived in harmony with oneself. For such an end, accurate opinions are necessary but not sufficient: what we crucially need is a method, a procedure for ridding ourselves of those opinions that are false. Now learning a method is a very different business from learning a set of ideas. It requires not just study but practice, and practice is precisely what Plato’s dialogues, thanks to the layer of irony between author and protagonist, make possible. If we have a predisposition for detecting and are interested in resolving conflicts within a set of beliefs—if, that is, we instinctively posit logical consistency as a desideratum in life—then we stand to learn, when we read the dialogues, not only what to think but also, and far more importantly, how to think.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,579
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Introduction.Robert R. Williams - 2001 - Proceedings of the Hegel Society of America 15:1-20.
Plato.M. A. Stewart - 1975 - Philosophical Quarterly 25 (98):80.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Corruption by Literature.Joshua Landy - 2010 - Republics of Letters: A Journal for the Study of Knowledge, Politics, and the Arts 2 (1).

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Plato on Conversation and Experience.David Robertson - 2009 - Philosophy 84 (3):355-369.
Rhetoric, Drama and Truth in Plato's "Symposium".Anne Sheppard - 2008 - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 2 (1):28-40.
Sophistry In and As Its Course.Kenneth Liberman - 2008 - Argumentation 22 (1):59-70.
Essays on the Philosophy of Socrates.Hugh H. Benson (ed.) - 1992 - Oxford University Press.
The Moral Psychology of the Gorgias.C. J. Rowe - 2007 - In Michael Erler & Luc Brisson (eds.), Gorgias - Menon: Selected Papers From the Seventh Symposium Platonicum. Academia Verlag. pp. 90--101.
Shame and Truth in Plato's Gorgias.Richard McKim - 1988 - In Charles L. Griswold (ed.), Platonic Writings/Platonic Readings. Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 34--48.
Platonism.Paul Elmer More - 1931 - New York: Greenwood Press.
Gorgias.C. Francis Higgins - 2006 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.


Added to PP index

Total views
40 ( #273,555 of 2,461,835 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #448,803 of 2,461,835 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes