Plato and the Method of Analysis

Phronesis 47 (3):193-223 (2002)
Late ancient Platonists and Aristotelians describe the method of reasoning to first principles as "analysis." This is a metaphor from geometrical practice. How far back were philosophers taking geometric analysis as a model for philosophy, and what work did they mean this model to do? After giving a logical description of analysis in geometry, and arguing that the standard (not entirely accurate) late ancient logical description of analysis was already familiar in the time of Plato and Aristotle, I argue that Plato, in the second geometrical passage of the "Meno" (86e4-87b2), is taking analysis as a model for one kind of philosophical reasoning, and I explore the advantages and limits of this model for philosophical discovery, and in particular for how first principles can be discovered, without circularity, by argument
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/15685280260458127
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,422
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
A. Raftopoulos (2003). Cartesian Analysis and Synthesis. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (2):265-308.
Lloyd P. Gerson (2006). Platonic Knowledge and the Standard Analysis. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (4):455 – 474.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

77 ( #63,189 of 1,924,897 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #308,473 of 1,924,897 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.