AbstractDespite intensive exegetical work, Plato’s description of dialectic in the Sophist still raises many questions. Through a close reading of this passage that contextualizes it in the general organisation of the Sophist, this paper provides answers to these questions. After presenting the difficult text, I contend that the “vowel-kinds” are necessary (but not individually sufficient) conditions for the blending of kinds. Then, I interpret the “cause of divisions” mentioned by the Stranger as the kinds responsible of the dichotomous division in the first half of the dialogue. In the next part, I show that 235d5-e2 does not describe a procedure of “meta-divison” as some commentators have it, but that it describes the method of division itself. Finally, I connect the difficulty and the obscurity of the passage to the fact that dialectic is the supreme science and I explain why dialectic is the science of free men.
Elenchos – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 1, 2017
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