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Products for grant FT-270635-20

Rivals or Relatives? Tracking Truth and Ways of Knowing among Plato and the Sophists in Classical Greece
Evan Rodriguez, Idaho State University

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Structure and Aim in Socratic and Sophistic Method (Article)
Title: Structure and Aim in Socratic and Sophistic Method
Author: Evan Rodriguez
Abstract: I begin this paper with a puzzle: why is Plato’s Parmenides replete with references to Gorgias? While the Eleatic heritage and themes in the dialogue are clear, it is less clear what the point would be of alluding to a well-known sophist. I suggest that the answer has to do with the similarities in the underlying methods employed by both Plato and Gorgias. These similarities, as well as Plato’s recognition of them, suggest that he owes a more significant philosophical and methodological debt to sophists like Gorgias than is often assumed. Further evidence from Plato and Xenophon suggest that Socrates used this very same method, which I call ‘exploring both sides’. I distinguish this Socratic method and its sophistic counterpart in terms of structure, internal aim, and external aim. Doing so allows for a more nuanced understanding of their similarities and differences. It also challenges the outsized role that popular caricatures of philo- sophical and sophistic method have had on our understanding of their relationship.
Year: 2020
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Access Model: Subscription only
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis
Publisher: Brill