Oxford University Press (2008)

David Wolfsdorf
Temple University
Interpretation -- Introduction -- Interpreting Plato -- The political culture of Plato's early dialogues -- Dialogue -- Character and history -- The mouthpiece principle -- Forms of evidence -- Desire -- Socrates and eros -- The subjectivist conception of desire -- Instrumental and terminal desire -- Rational and irrational desires -- Desire in the critique of Akrasia -- Interpreting Lysis -- The deficiency conception of desire -- Inauthentic friendship -- Platonic desire -- Antiphilosophical desires -- Knowledge -- Excellence as wisdom -- The epistemic unity of excellence -- Dunamis and technê -- Goodness and form -- The epistemological priority of definitional knowledge -- Ordinary ethical knowledge -- Method -- The Socratic fallacy -- Socrates' pursuit of definitions -- Hupothesis -- Two postulates -- The geometrical illustration -- Geometrical analysis -- The method of reasoning from a postulate -- Elenchus and hupothesis -- Knowledge and aitia -- F-conditions -- Cognitive security -- Aporia -- Forms of aporia -- Dramatic aporia -- The example of Charmides -- Charmides as autobiography -- The politics of Sôphrosunê -- Critias' Philotimia -- Self-knowledge and the knowledge of knowledge -- Knowledge of knowledge and knowledge of the good -- Philosophy and the polis.
Keywords Philosophy, Ancient
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Call number B395.W8155 2008
ISBN(s) 9780195327328   0195327322
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Chapters BETA

“Aporia” distinguishes two form of aporia among the early dialogues, epistemic, which occurs in all the texts, and dramatic, which occurs only in some. It is argued that the occurrence of dramatic aporia in select dialogues reflects the theme of the difficulty of realizing philosophy as a ... see more


This chapter develops a hermeneutic framework for integrating the philosophical and literary dimensions of Plato's early dialogues. Central problems treated include: the thematic versus chronological unity of the texts, the conception of philosophy as political activity, the function of di... see more


This chapter explains how arguments in Meno, Protagoras, and Lysis present a coherent conception of desire. Furthermore, it is argued that the much discussed passage at Gorgias 466–68 is hermeneutically insignificant for the early dialogues' conception of desire. Finally, the chapter exami... see more


This argues for a strict identification of the putative parts of excellence with the knowledge of the good. Knowledge itself is identified with a kind of psychological power (dunamis), the good is identified with form, and form is identified with order.


“Method” argues against the common view of the Socratic elenchus as adversarial and critical and maintains that Socrates’ contribution in argumentation is largely constructive and cooperative. Further, the method eks hupotheseôs, introduced at Meno 87–88, is not a hypothetical method and d... see more

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Socratic Methods.Eric Brown - forthcoming - In Nicholas D. Smith, Russell E. Jones & Ravi Sharma (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Socrates, 2nd ed. London, UK:
A New Philosophical Tool in the Meno: 86e-87c.David Ebrey - 2013 - Ancient Philosophy 33 (1):75-96.
John Cook Wilson.Mathieu Marion - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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