Argumentation in Plato
In the Phaedrus, Plato puts intertextuality to thematic use, showing how the absorption, scrutiny, and revision of others’ logoi is tantamount to the never-ending process of philosophy itself (Nightingale 1995: 133-71). In this paper, I examine the particular role that two authors, Parmenides and Stesichorus, play in this program. While scholars have discussed allusions to one or the other, no one has closely examined the two sets of references together (on Parmenides, see Slaveva-Griffin 2003; on Stesichorus, see Demos 1997, Capra 2014: 27-55).
In this paper I show how Socrates’ discovery of the genus, mania, as a preliminary step in the intellectual procedure of collection and division in the Phaedrus is presented in two distinct ways. The art of collection and division is employed in order to define erôs and is described by Socrates as a technê, and related both to rhetoric and to medicine (e.g. 270b).
This paper examines the extensiveness and intricacy of the reception of a Hesiodic image in Xenophon and Plato, and particularly its elaborate repurposing in the latter’s presentation of philosophical methodologies. The Works and Days famously contrasts a choice of paths: one leads towards base laziness, a smooth and easy path to choose (ἑλέσθαι / ῥῃδίως· λείη μὲν ὁδός, 287-288); and another towards excellence, sweat-laden (ἱδρῶτα, 289), long, and rough at first (μακρὸς δὲ καὶ…/ τρηχὺς τὸ πρῶτον, 290-291).
Plato’s readers cannot describe his method of argumentation with much consistency. Vlastos asserted that the “Socratic elenchus is a search for moral truth by adversary argument”, with certain other conditions (1991: 39 and 44ff). Benson called it an examination of “doxastic coherence.” (2011: 198). Vogt (2012) has suggested that Socrates exposes the blameworthy ignorance of interlocutors so as to induce investigation in place of knowledge claims. In response to the lack of consensus, Brickhouse and Smith claimed Socrates had no methodology (1994: 5).