The Socratic Concept of Truth

Donald Davidson

in Truth, Language, and History

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780198237570
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602610 | DOI:
The Socratic Concept of Truth

Show Summary Details


This essay explores the question of why Socrates practiced the elenctic method. It argues that the elenchus is a method that generally leads to truth, and suggests that Socrates was convinced that he himself would gain in wisdom and clarity from elenctic exchanges with others, even if they were not as wise as he. People mean what others can take them to mean; to learn what we mean is to learn what others we talk with mean. The understanding of others, agreeing with them on basic concepts, clarity about what we mean, come — to the extent that they do — together. The elenchus is a model of our only method for promoting these ends.

Keywords: Socrates; Vlastos; elenchus; elenctic method; truth; communication

Chapter.  4108 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.