This paper examines socrates' method for determining whether virtue is taught, And discusses some of the opposing interpretations that have been offered (e.G., By robinson and hackforth). Some major conclusions are: that hypotheses that have been deduced from other hypotheses can still be called hypotheses; that it is false that there can be only one hypothesis per argument; and that the several hypotheses in a given argument need not all be hypothesized with the same degree of confidence.
A distressing number of philosophers and classicists think that the deuteros plous or “second best” mentioned at Phaedo 99c9-dl is the hypothetical method. Many of them will even tell you that Plato says the hypothetical method is the deuteros plous, and that they are not merely interpreting his meaning. They usually back off, however, when challenged on this point, for there jus isn’t any such statement by Plato. Nor, I think, does Plato give us any justification at all for taking (...) the deuteros plous as the hypothetical method. I will argue in this paper that he is referring rather to the explanation of things in terms of their formal causes, and that this sort of explanation is “second best” when compared to a teleological explanation in terms of final causes. The hypothetical method of the dialectician is simply the logical device or apparatus by means of which the theory of ideas and the attendant notion of formal causation are introduced into the discussion; it is not a “second best” method and is not inferior to anything else. (shrink)
This paper suggests that the appearance of circularity in descartes' arguments is due to a lack of precision in his statements of them, Rather than to any flaw in his reasoning. The clear and distinct perceptions presupposed in the demonstrations of the existence of God are not the same as those whose reliability depends upon the existence of god. He is presupposing the reliability only of those clear and distinct perceptions which are known through the light of nature and have (...) metaphysical certainty in that they cannot be imagined false even on the demon hypothesis. And the only clear and distinct perceptions whose reliability he is demonstrating are those which are not known through the light of nature with metaphysical certainty but are subject to metaphysical doubt on the demon hypothesis, Even though they have moral or psychological certainty. (shrink)
In this philosophy classic, which was first published in 1951, E. R. Dodds takes on the traditional view of Greek culture as a triumph of rationalism. Using the analytical tools of modern anthropology and psychology, Dodds asks, "Why should we attribute to the ancient Greeks an immunity from 'primitive' modes of thought which we do not find in any society open to our direct observation?" Praised by reviewers as "an event in modern Greek scholarship" and "a book which it would (...) be difficult to over-praise," _The Greeks and the Irrational _was Volume 25 of the Sather Classical Lectures series. (shrink)