Animal Sacrifice in Plato's Later Methodology

In Jeremy Bell, Michael Naas & Thomas Patrick Oates (eds.), Plato's Animals: Gadflies, Horses, Swans, and Other Philosophical Beasts. Indianapolis, IN, USA: pp. 179-192 (2015)

Holly Moore
Luther College
In both the Phaedrus and Statesman dialogues, the dialectician's method of division is likened to the butchery of sacrificial animals. Interpreting the significance of this metaphor by analyzing ancient Greek sacrificial practice, this essay argues that, despite the ubiquity of the method of division in these later dialogues, Plato is there stressing the logical priority of the method of collection, division's dialectical twin. Although Plato prioritizes the method of collection, the author further argues that, through a kind of 'domestication' of natural kinds, collection renders natural kinds knowable only by constructing them as implicitly divisible. As a result, the method of collection reflects not the wholeness of being but a constructed unity, the internal multiplicity of which makes possible each subsequent division.
Keywords Animal Sacrifice  Plato  Dialectic  Method  Division
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
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: 65,784
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Endoxa and Epistemology in Aristotle's Topics.Joseph Bjelde - 2021 - In Joseph Bjelde, David Merry & Christopher Roser (eds.), Essays on Argumentation in Antiquity. Cham: pp. 201-214.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Sharp Eye for Kinds: Collection and Division in Plato's Late Dialogues.Devin Henry - 2011 - In Michael Frede, James V. Allen, Eyjólfur Kjalar Emilsson, Wolfgang-Rainer Mann & Benjamin Morison (eds.), Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 229-55.
Platonic Epogoge and the “Purification” of the Method of Collection in Advance.Holly G. Moore - forthcoming - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy.
Dialectic in the Phaedrus.Atsushi Hayase - 2016 - Phronesis 61 (2):111-141.
Plato's Method of Division.Laura Wedner Grams - 2002 - Dissertation, Emory University
Plato's Method of Division.S. Marc Cohen - 1973 - In J. M. E. Moravcsik (ed.), Patterns in Plato's Thought. Reidel. pp. 181--191.
Collecting the Letters.Stephen Menn - 1998 - Phronesis 43 (4):291 - 305.


Added to PP index

Total views

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes