Hugh H. Benson's A Companion to Plato PDF

By Hugh H. Benson

ISBN-10: 1405115211

ISBN-13: 9781405115216

This broad-ranging better half includes unique contributions from top Platonic students and displays the various ways that they're facing Plato’s legacy. Covers a really large diversity of topics from diversified perspectivesContributions are dedicated to themes, starting from conception and data to politics and cosmologyAllows readers to work out how a place encouraged in a single of Plato’s dialogues compares with positions endorsed in othersPermits readers to interact the controversy bearing on Plato’s philosophical improvement on specific topicsAlso contains overviews of Plato’s lifestyles, works and philosophical strategy

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Here I shall focus on two. First, he confirms Plato’s picture of Socrates as one who professed ignorance (SE 183b6–7). Second, he tells us that, although Socrates sought definitions and focused attention on universals, he did not “make the universals . . exist apart” as Plato did (Metaph. 4, 1078b29–30). Scholars have taken this passage to provide a crucial distinction between Plato, with his doctrine of separate Forms, and Socrates. They have used the distinction to divide the dialogues into developmental stages: a Socratic group that does not contain the doctrine of separate Forms, and a later Platonic group that does.

Plato became a follower of Socrates in the last decade of Socrates’ life, and was one of his closest associates. Unlike Xenophon, Plato was a philosopher; his works emphasize Socrates’ philosophical activity. Like Xenophon, he was concerned to show that Socrates was not guilty of the charges raised against him by his accusers; unlike him, he does not downplay the controversial elements of his character and method. Plato’s Socrates is a relentless questioner, bent on revealing the interlocutor’s ignorance to him.

8) – all aspects of Socrates that Plato emphasizes. Xenophon’s Socrates does not insist on his ignorance, as does Plato’s, but he points out to his interlocutors their ignorance, as a preliminary stage of their education. (Hippias does mention Socrates’ refusal to answer the questions he asks of others at Mem. ) Xenophon’s portrait of Socrates is valuable for two reasons. First, it corroborates several aspects of Plato’s portrait. Second, it emphasizes an aspect of Socrates’ life that Plato does not concentrate on: his relations with his disciples.

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A Companion to Plato by Hugh H. Benson


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