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

By Hugh H. Benson

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

The e-book starts off with a quick examine the various Socratic dialogues the place Plato seems to suggest the previous process whereas at the same time indicating numerous problems in pursuing it. the rest of the publication specializes in Plato's advice in a few of his most crucial and vital dialogues-the Meno, Phaedo, and Republic-for engaging in the second one technique: de novo inquiry. The ebook turns first to the well-known paradox in regards to the threat of such an inquiry and explores Plato's obvious resolution. Having defended the opportunity of de novo inquiry as a reaction to Clitophon's problem, Plato explains the tactic or approach through which such inquiry is to be performed. The ebook defends the arguable thesis that the tactic of speculation, as defined and practiced within the Meno, Phaedo, and Republic, is, while practiced appropriately, Plato's steered approach to buying on one's personal the basic wisdom we lack. the strategy of speculation whilst practiced competently is, then, Platonic dialectic, and this is often Plato's reaction to Clitophon's challenge.

"This is a brand new booklet on a significantly vital subject, method, because it is explored in 3 of crucial works by means of some of the most vital philosophers within the very lengthy background of philosophy, written through a student of overseas stature who's operating from decades of expertise and at present on the best of his online game. It gives you to be the most vital 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 figuring out of a few of the main studied and debatable dialogues via and philosophical theses in Plato. for my part, Hugh Benson's exam of the tactic of speculation within the Meno and the Phaedo is a journey de strength of sophisticated and cautious scholarship: i feel that this a part of the booklet might be followed because the general interpretation of this simple proposal in Plato. a superb and critical 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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Whether for the sake of epistemic improvement or actual acquisition of knowledge. See pp. 21–24. 30 • c l i t ophon’s chal l enge wiser than he. Once Socrates discovered that the politician did not have the wisdom he thought he had (and so failed as counter-example to the oracle), Socrates tried to show him that he did not have the wisdom he thought he had, thereby incurring the politician’s and the bystanders’ wrath. 26 He goes to this trouble not to anger the politician but to encourage him to seek the knowledge he lacks.

Lysimachus, Melesias, and perhaps Hippocrates and Crito). Insofar as Socrates has any recommendation for acquiring the virtue-knowledge one lacks, it appears to be to find someone who knows and learn from him or her. 37. That the teacher should be someone with the knowledge one lacks is indicated by Socrates’ position that since he too lacks the relevant knowledge he is in no position to replace Laches and Nicias as a teacher. See Nehamas (1992, 286–87) and note 22, this chapter. 36 • c l i t ophon’s chal l enge Socratic Practice Of course, one might object that this is very slim evidence on the basis of which to build an interpretation of Socratic learning.

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. For a slightly more detailed description of the episode leading up to the undescribed (or at least under-described) conversation on the way to Callias’, see pp.

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