Colotes' Polemic against the Philosophers

Eleni Kechagia

in Plutarch Against Colotes

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199597239
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731495 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Colotes' Polemic against the Philosophers

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This chapter offers a reconstruction, on the basis of Plutarch's testimony in the Adversus Colotem, of the general characteristics and the main line of argument of Colotes' polemical book against the great philosophers of the past. At the heart of Colotes' argumentation lay the claim that all the other philosophers make life impossible to live according to their doctrines. At first sight this punchline may seem to be simply a gambit of Colotes' polemical rhetoric. However, when looking more closely into the title, selection of targets and the pattern of argumentation, it is possible to uncover the underlying philosophical assumptions and the main purpose of Colotes' polemical book: it was a protreptic to the right sort of philosophy, namely philosophy which is consistent with human life and must help human beings live better.

Keywords: Colotes' argumentation; philosophical assumptions; Plutarch's testimony; polemical rhetoric; protreptic; reconstruction

Chapter.  22648 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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