AbstractOne of Plato’s goal in the Phaedo is not only to define what philosophy is, but also to describe what ‘real’ or ‘authentic’ philosophy consists of. This description of ‘authentic’ philosophy reveals a tension. Indeed, if Socrates feels the need to speak of a genuine philosophy, is it not a sign that there is another type of philosophy, which is inauthentic and fake ? If Plato emphasizes the legitimacy of some philosophers, is it not because he believes that there are others, who resemble the former but are a mere imitation of them ? In fact, there is in the Phaedo an implicit description of ‘false’ philosophers, which culminates with the presentation of a precise case: the antilogician. Sometimes called a sophist, often described as an eristic, the antilogician is a perfect example of philosophy gone wrong. Criticised more than once in his dialogues, Plato condemns vivaciously the antilogician as he diverts real philosophical inquiry and immerses people in absolute relativism.
Elenchos – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 1, 2017
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