Colin C. Smith
Pennsylvania State University
Plato’s Theaetetus, Sophist, and Statesman exhibit several related dialectical methods relevant to Platonic education: maieutic in Theaetetus, bifurcatory division in Sophist and Statesman, and non-bifurcatory division in Statesman, related to the ‘god-given’ method in Philebus. I consider the nature of each method through the letter or element paradigm, used to reflect on each method. At issue are the element’s appearances in given contexts, its fitness for communing with other elements like it in kind, and its own nature defined through its relations to others. These represent stages of inquiry for the Platonic student inquiring into the sources of knowledge.
Keywords method, metaphysics, epistemology, ontology
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DOI 10.14195/2183-4105_19_1
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