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Colin C. Smith
Pennsylvania State University
  1.  25
    The Groundwork for Dialectic in Statesman 277a-287b.Colin C. Smith - 2018 - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 12 (2):132-150.
    In Plato’s Statesman, the Eleatic Stranger leads Socrates the Younger and their audience through an analysis of the statesman in the service of the interlocutors’ becoming “more capable in dialectic regarding all things”. In this way, the dialectical exercise in the text is both intrinsically and instrumentally valuable, as it yields a philosophically rigorous account of statesmanship and exhibits a method of dialectical inquiry. After the series of bifurcatory divisions in the Sophist and early Statesman, the Stranger changes to a (...)
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  2.  6
    Against the Existential Reading of Euthydemus 283e-284c, with Help From the Sophist.Colin C. Smith - 2022 - Ancient Philosophy 42 (1):67-81.
    I argue that the fallacy concerning false speech in Plato’s Euthydemus does not entail conflation of the alleged existential and veridical senses of ‘einai’, but instead confusion regarding predicative statements. I consider this passage by advancing interpretations of nonbeing and the structure of true and false speech in the Sophist. I aim to refute those who hold that this passage demands an ‘existential’ sense of ‘einai ’ by offering a more Platonic interpretation.
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  3.  11
    The Method of Bifurcatory Division in Plato’s Sophist.Colin C. Smith - 2021 - Elenchos: Rivista di Studi Sul Pensiero Antico 42 (2):229-260.
    The strange and challenging stretch of dialectic with which Plato’s Sophist begins and ends has confused and frustrated readers for generations, and despite receiving a fair amount of attention, there is no consensus regarding even basic issues concerning this method. Here I offer a new account of bifurcatory division as neither joke nor naïve method, but instead a valuable, propaedeutic method that Plato offers to us readers as a means of embarking upon the kind of mental gymnastics that will stretch (...)
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  4.  5
    Plato’s Philebus: A Philosophical Discussion Ed. By Panos Dimas, Russell E. Jones and Gabriel R. Lear. [REVIEW]Colin C. Smith - 2022 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 60 (1):155-156.
    Plato’s Philebus is motivated by a question concerning the relationships among pleasure, wisdom, knowledge, and the good human life. Something of a philosophical tour de force, it also contains discussions of numerous important Platonic subjects like cosmic intelligence, distinctions among intellectual capacities, and the method of dialectical inquiry through division and collection. But the riches of the dialogue are obscured by its exceptional difficulty, a frequent grievance from commentators beginning at least with Galen. Plato’s Philebus: A Philosophical Discussion is an (...)
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  5.  15
    Dialectical Methods and the Stoicheia Paradigm in Plato’s Trilogy and Philebus.Colin C. Smith - 2019 - Plato Journal: The Journal of the International Plato Society 19:7-23.
    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 (...)
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  6.  22
    The Emerging Good in Plato’s Philebus. [REVIEW]Colin C. Smith - 2018 - Ancient Philosophy 38 (2):451-454.
    Review of 'The Emerging Good in Plato's' Philebus by John V. Garner (Northwestern University Press, 2017).
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  7. Diairesis_ and _Koinonia_ in _Sophist 253d1-E3.Colin C. Smith - 2020 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 38 (1):1-20.
    Here I interpret a central passage in Plato's Sophist by focusing on understudied elements that provide insight into the fit of the dialogue's parts and the Sophist-Statesman diptych as a whole. I argue that the Eleatic Stranger's account of what the dialectician "adequately views" at Sophist 253d1-e3 involves both division and the communion of ontological kinds, not just one or the other as has been typically argued. I also consider other key passages and the turn throughout the dialogue from imagistic (...)
     
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  8.  5
    Toward a Two-Route Interpretation of Parmenidean Inquiry.Colin C. Smith - 2020 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (2):279-297.
    In this paper I challenge the orthodox view regarding the number of routes of inquiry in Parmenides’s poem. The narrating goddess in Fragment 2 identifies ‘the only routes of inquiry there are for knowing,’ guided by the ‘[...] is [...]’ and guided by ‘what-is-not as such.’ In Fragment 6, the goddess considers taking ‘both to be and not to be’ to be ‘the same and not the same,’ and most modern commentators hold that this constitutes a third route. I argue (...)
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