The Science of Philosophy: Discourse and Deception in Plato’s Sophist

Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (2):221-237 (2018)
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Abstract

At 252e1 to 253c9 in Plato’s Sophist, the Eleatic Visitor explains why philosophy is a science. Like the art of grammar, philosophical knowledge corresponds to a generic structure of discrete kinds and is acquired by systematic analysis of how these kinds intermingle. In the literature, the Visitor’s science is either understood as an expression of a mature and authentic platonic metaphysics, or as a sophisticated illusion staged to illustrate the seductive lure of sophistic deception. By showing how the Visitor’s account of the science of philosophy is just as comprehensive, phantasmatic and self-concealing as the art of sophistry identified at the dialogue’s outset, this paper argues in favor of the latter view.

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Olof Pettersson
Uppsala University

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References found in this work

Plato: Complete Works.J. Cooper (ed.) - 1997 - Hackett.
Plato: Complete Works.J. Cooper & D. S. Hutchinson - 1998 - Phronesis 43 (2):197-206.
Plato's Cratylus.David Sedley - 2003 - Cambridge University Press.

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