The Relation Between Knowledge and Inquiry in the Phaedo

History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 23 (1):51-73 (2020)
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What is the relation, in Plato, between the account of knowledge and the account of inquiry? Is the account of knowledge independent of the account of inquiry? These strike me as important, even pressing, questions. While so much work has been done on Plato’s account of knowledge, and quite a lot is being done on his account of inquiry, I know of only the odd critic who has considered the two together. It is remarkable that critics have generally treated of the two topics—Plato’s account of knowledge and his account of inquiry—as if they were separate. This suggests critics have been tacitly supposing that, for Plato, the account of knowledge is independent of the account of inquiry. In this paper, I pose these questions, and take them up for investigation. I argue that Plato’s account of knowledge is not independent of his account of inquiry; on the contrary, Plato’s account of knowledge cannot be understood if separated from his account of inquiry. I do so, in this paper, with reference to the Phaedo exclusively.



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Vasilis Politis
Trinity College, Dublin

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References found in this work

Plato and the art of philosophical writing.Christopher Rowe - 2007 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Plato's Phaedo.David Bostock - 1986 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Structure of Enquiry in Plato's Early Dialogues.Vasilis Politis - 2015 - Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

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