Guided by the bold ambition to reexamine the nature of philosophy, questions about
the foundations and origins of Plato’s dialogues have in recent years gained a new
and important momentum. In the wake of the seminal work of Andrea Nightingale
and especially her book Genres in Dialogue from 1995, Plato’s texts have come to
be reconsidered in terms of their compositional and intergeneric fabric. Supplementing important research on the argumentative structures of the dialogues, it has been argued that Plato’s philosophizing cannot be properly assessed without considering its intellectual debts. By detailed examinations of the practical, generic and textual origins of the dialogues, it has been shown how Plato’s chosen form of philosophical inquiry is deeply influenced by traditional forms of poetry, rhetoric, sophistry, and even medicine...