David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Phronesis 46 (4):413 - 439 (2001)
In this paper I offer a new interpretation of the philosophical method of the "Meno." In the opening discussion of the dialogue, Plato introduces a restriction on answers in dialectical inquiry, which I call the Dialectical Requirement (DR). The DR is applied twice in the "Meno," in different ways (75d5-7, 79d1-3). In the first section of the paper, I argue that the two applications of the DR represent the beginning and end of dialectic. This shows that dialectical inquiry starts from our linguistic competence with the name of the property we investigate, and ends only when we have an account saying what is common to and explanatory of the bearers of that property. Dialectic begins in our ordinary ability to speak and think about the world, and ends in genuine grasp of the underlying causes of nature. In the second section, I describe the resources of linguistic competence, and their role in dialectical progress. Our linguistic competence with the name of a property enables us to make a wide variety of statements about the property and its bearers in ordinary discourse. In dialectic, these ordinary statements act as a portfolio in which the property under investigation is presented to us writ large, through its instances, types, species, etc. We seek to develop an account that says what is common to, and explanatory of the phenomena in the portfolio. When an account is inconsistent with one of the things we tend to say, this demands revision either in the account, or in the portfolio of statements. In this way, the process by which we develop our account also helps to organize and revise the statements in our portfolio so that they and the account ultimately form a coherent, explanatory body of statements
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Roslyn Weiss (2001). Virtue in the Cave: Moral Inquiry in Plato's Meno. Oxford University Press.
Uwe Petersen (2002). Diagonal Method and Dialectical Logic: Tools, Materials, and Groundworks for a Logical Foundation of Dialectic and Speculative Philosophy. Der Andere Verlag.
Wan-chi Wong (2006). Understanding Dialectical Thinking From a Cultural-Historical Perspective. Philosophical Psychology 19 (2):239 – 260.
Cindy Stern (1978). On the Alleged Extensionality of "Causal Explanatory Contexts". Philosophy of Science 45 (4):614-625.
Henry B. Piper (2004). Kierkegaard's Non-Dialectical Dialectic or That Kierkegaard is Not Hegelian. International Philosophical Quarterly 44 (4):497-517.
D. V. Nikulin (2010). Dialectic and Dialogue. Stanford University Press.
Annamaria Schiaparelli (2009). Plotinus on Dialectic. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 91 (3):253-287.
Lee Franklin (2001). The Structure of Dialectic in the Meno. Phronesis 46 (4):413-439.
Matthew King (2007). The Meno's Metaphilosophical Examples. Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):395-412.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads12 ( #200,376 of 1,725,157 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #268,621 of 1,725,157 )
How can I increase my downloads?