Who May Live the Examined Life? Plato's Rejection of Socratic Practices in Republic VII


Abstract
In Republic VII Plato has Socrates make a curious argument: dialectic as currently practiced causes lawlessness, and thus the practice of dialectic should be restricted to those of a certain age who have been properly trained and selected (537e-539e). I argue that the warning in Republic VII points to a disagreement between the views expressed by the character `Socrates' in the Republic, and the views expressed by the character `Socrates' in the Apology. I do so by showing that Republic's description of the problem as well as Plato's prescriptions for solving it can only be understood under the assumption that `dialectic' in this passage refers to questioning or refutation in general, and as such must include Socratic practices within its scope. This disagreement represents a more general disagreement about the path to the good life and the role of philosophy in living life well, and raises questions concerning Plato's opinion of the trial of Socrates
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DOI 10.1080/09608788.2011.533009
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References found in this work BETA

Plato: Complete Works.J. M. Cooper (ed.) - 1997 - Hackett.
An Introduction to Plato's Republic.Julia Annas - 1981 - Oxford University Press.
Socratic Studies.Gregory Vlastos - 1994 - Cambridge University Press.

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Cephalus, the Myth of Er, and Remaining Virtuous in Unvirtuous Times.Paul Joseph DiRado - 2014 - Plato: The Internet Journal of the International Plato Society 14:63-83.

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