Download Clitophon's Challenge: Dialectic in Plato's Meno, Phaedo, by Hugh H. Benson PDF

By Hugh H. Benson

Hugh H. Benson explores Plato's solution to Clitophon's problem, the query of the way you may collect the information Socrates argues is vital to human flourishing-knowledge all of us appear to lack. Plato indicates equipment through which this information can be received: the 1st is studying from those that have already got the data one seeks, and the second one is researching the information one seeks on one's personal.

The ebook starts with a short examine a number of the Socratic dialogues the place Plato seems to suggest the previous technique whereas concurrently indicating numerous problems in pursuing it. the rest of the booklet specializes in Plato's suggestion in a few of his most crucial and primary dialogues-the Meno, Phaedo, and Republic-for engaging in the second one technique: de novo inquiry. The publication turns first to the recognized paradox in regards to the danger of such an inquiry and explores Plato's obvious answer. Having defended the opportunity of de novo inquiry as a reaction to Clitophon's problem, Plato explains the strategy or approach wherein such inquiry is to be performed. The publication defends the arguable thesis that the strategy of speculation, as defined and practiced within the Meno, Phaedo, and Republic, is, whilst practiced thoroughly, Plato's prompt approach to buying on one's personal the fundamental wisdom we lack. the tactic of speculation whilst practiced properly is, then, Platonic dialectic, and this is often Plato's reaction to Clitophon's challenge.

"This is a brand new ebook on a severely vital subject, technique, because it is explored in 3 of an important works via the most vital philosophers within the very lengthy background of philosophy, written through a student of foreign stature who's operating from decades of expertise and at the moment on the most sensible of his video game. It provides to be essentially the most very important books ever written in this subject."-Nicholas Smith, James F. Miller Professor of Humanities, Lewis and Clark College

"The thesis is daring and the consequences are very important for our realizing of a few of the main studied and arguable dialogues via and philosophical theses in Plato. in my opinion, Hugh Benson's exam of the strategy of speculation within the Meno and the Phaedo is a journey de strength of refined and cautious scholarship: i believe that this a part of the booklet can be followed because the general interpretation of this simple inspiration in Plato. a superb and significant book."-Charles Brittain, Susan Linn Sage Professor of Philosophy and Humane Letters, Cornell University

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Extra info for Clitophon's Challenge: Dialectic in Plato's Meno, Phaedo, and Republic

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For their more recent view about the relationship between virtue and eudaemonia, see Brickhouse and Smith (2010,185n24). 11 Apparently, Socrates is advocating epistemic improvement, not the actual acquisition of robust knowledge. Nevertheless, it is clear that in non-elenctic dialogues Plato thinks robust virtue-knowledge can be acquired. Whatever else we are to make of Meno’s paradox, the theory of recollection, and the conversation with the slave, Socrates takes himself to have shown that we will be better men, braver and less idle, if we believe that one must search for the things one does not know, rather than if we believe that it is not possible to find out what we do not know and that we must not look for it.

Schofield (1992, 126–27) rightly notes that I failed to account for this passage in an earlier attempt to make a similar point. Schofield thinks that the Protagoras indicates that following the recognition of ignorance the next stage is a protreptic and cooperative exercise hinted at in the conversation between Socrates and Hippocrates on the way to Callias’ house. ” If this is an example of what Plato recommends for acquiring the knowledge one recognizes one lacks, as Schofield believes, what that process or method is unfortunately remains hidden from the reader.

Socratic Descriptions Consider first, Socrates’ own descriptions of his practice. While there are various passages throughout the elenctic dialogues in which Socrates describes his practice, few of them make any reference to his method for acquiring the virtue-knowledge he lacks. 40 In a few of these passages, however, Socrates explicitly connects this practice of examining the knowledge claims of others with his learning strategy. 38. For some reason to doubt that in the elenctic dialogues what Socrates does is what Socrates would recommend that his interlocutors do see Doyle (2012).

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