This book traces the development of Plato's analogy between craft and virtue from Euthydemus and Gorgias through the central books of the Republic. It shows that Plato's middle dialogues develop and extend, rather than reject, philosophical positions taken in the early dialogues.
In Republic ix, Socrates begins his argument that deceptive pleasure causes insatiable desire by citing the error that cessation of pain is the greatest pleasure. Some interpret this error as an illusion, experiencing pleasure when there is no pleasure; but illusion cannot explain insatiable desire. Our interpretation explains insatiable desire—and Socrates’ restatement of wisdom and justice to include pleasures, which links the knowledge of unchanging reality with these virtues.
In this article, I argue that, in showing inconsistency of beliefs, Socratic elenchus is showing incompatibility of the desires those beliefs express. This thesis explains Socrates’ claim that, in refuting Callicles, he is also restraining his desires. The beliefs in question are about the best kind of life to lead; such beliefs express the second order desire to lead a life in which certain sorts of first order desires are satisfied. Socrates’ elenchus shows that Callicles is caught between two incompatible (...) second order desires: a desire to lead of life of enormous pleasure and a desire to lead a life in which his love of honor is satisfied. Socrates does not succeed with Callicles because the way out of this dilemma depends on a type of desire not found in the moral psychology of the Gorgias, i.e., a desire whose satisfaction is pleasure unmixed with pain, described in Republic 583c-585e and Philebus 50e-52b. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Peter Abelard (1079–1142 ce) was the most wide‐ranging philosopher of the twelfth century. He quickly established himself as a leading teacher of logic in and near Paris shortly after 1100. After his affair with Heloise, and his subsequent castration, Abelard became a monk, but he returned to teaching in the Paris schools until 1140, when his work was condemned by a Church Council at Sens. His logical writings were based around discussion of the “Old Logic”: Porphyry's Isagoge, aristotle'S Categories and (...) On Interpretation and boethius'S textbook on topical inference. They comprise a freestanding Dialectica (“Logic”; probably c.1116), a set of commentaries (known as the Logica [Ingredientibus], c. 1119) and a later (c. 1125) commentary on the Isagoge (Logica Nostrorum Petititoni Sociorum or Glossulae). In a work Abelard called his Theologia, issued in three main versions (between 1120 and c.1134), he attempted a logical analysis of trinitarian relations and explored the philosophical problems surrounding God's claims to omnipotence and omniscience. The Collationes (“Debates,” also known as “Dialogue between a Christian, a Philosopher and a Jew”; probably c.1130) present a rational investigation into the nature of the highest good, in which the Christian and the Philosopher (who seems to be modeled on a philosopher of pagan antiquity) are remarkably in agreement. The unfinished Scito teipsum (“Know thyself,” also known as the “Ethics”; c.1138) analyses moral action. (shrink)