Plato's Philosopher

Donald Davidson

in Truth, Language, and History

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780198237570
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602610 | DOI:
Plato's Philosopher

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This essay discusses Plato’s embrace of the Socratic elenchus, the inconclusive dialectic of conversational give and take wherein Socrates elicits a statement from his interlocutor, then sets out to show the statement’s inconsistency with other things the interlocutor believes. Someone who practices the elenchus can claim that he does not know what is true; it is enough that he has a method that leads to truth. It is only in the context of frank discussion, communication, and mutual exchange that trustworthy truths emerge.

Keywords: Plato; Socrates; Socratic elenchus

Chapter.  7333 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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