David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Books V – VII of the Republic we are presented with a picture of knowledge as something entirely distinct from right opinion, and we have described to us a method called dialectic by means of which a suitably endowed person may attain to this knowledge. By knowledge, Plato means knowledge of the forms, although it is far from clear what this really means. And it is also not clear exactly what he means by dialectic, or how it is that dialectic leads to this special sort of knowledge. The key passage, 511b – d, is surely one of the most cryptic passages in philosophical literature, maddening in its suggestiveness. In my talk today I want to risk presenting an interpretation of what Plato might have meant by all of this, and also briefly allude to its broader significance. My key points are these: Dialectic is not just the art of friendly conversation , but a dialogue carried out in a particular way, with a particular end in mind. Plato seemed to want to believe that knowledge of the Forms would allow certain, or necessary analogical reasoning, even though he was uneasy about the obvious impracticability of such a scheme. Problems to be encountered in Plato’s theory of knowledge are indicative of the unresolved tension between the mystical and the rational which existed in Greek thought at this time. Now, the obvious question which strikes the beginner, when he first hears of this notion of dialectic, is, how can mere conversation or debate lead to certain knowledge of the transcendental patterns after which the world is fashioned? It would be very unusual, to say the least, to expect such a remarkable conclusion to any familiar sort of dialectic, such as might, for instance, occur in this seminar room. In fact, it is rare that a philosophical debate (as opposed to a monologue!) comes to any sort of conclusion at all. For instance, we have before us as models..
|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
Sean Sayers (1976). On the Marxist Dialectic. Radical Philosophy 14 (14):9-19.
Annamaria Schiaparelli (2009). Plotinus on Dialectic. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 91 (3):253-287.
Nicholas Rescher (1977). Dialectics: A Controversy-Oriented Approach to the Theory of Knowledge. State University of New York Press.
P. Christopher Smith (2005). Poetry, Socratic Dialectic, and the Desire of the Beautiful in Plato's Symposium. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 9 (2):233-253.
Francisco J. Gonzalez (2009). Plato and Heidegger: A Question of Dialogue. Pennsylvania State University Press.
Richard Robinson (1953/1984). Plato's Earlier Dialectic. Oxford University Press.
Julius Stenzel (1940/1973). Plato's Method of Dialectic. New York,Arno Press.
David Evans (2007). Dialogue and Dialectic. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 10:61-65.
D. V. Nikulin (2010). Dialectic and Dialogue. Stanford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads25 ( #150,152 of 1,792,914 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #207,315 of 1,792,914 )
How can I increase my downloads?