Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (1):pp. 131-132 (2009)

Marina McCoy defends three interrelated claims about the topic mentioned in her title. First, the distinction between philosophy and rhetoric in the dialogues is not as clear as some commentators seem to think. Second, since philosophy as practiced by Socrates includes important rhetorical dimensions, there is no important methodological distinction between philosophy and rhetoric. Third, it is his virtues—and not any particular method—that differentiate Socrates the philosopher from sophists and rhetoricians. McCoy pursues different aspects of her theses through the Apology, Protagoras, Gorgias, Republic, Sophist , and Phaedrus.Her approach coheres with that of a contemporary school of interpretation according to which a proper appreciation of the dramatic setting of each dialogue will show that the content of Socratic conversation is not meant to be a body of substantive philosophical doctrine. Rather, Socrates’ quarry is the souls of his interlocutors. McCoy’s contribution to this line of.
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DOI 10.1353/hph.0.0085
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