Chapter

Introduction

Gill Mary Louise

in Philosophos

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199606184
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191741890 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606184.003.0001
Introduction

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The Introduction asks why the final dialogue in the series Theaetetus-Sophist-Statesman-Philosopher is missing and considers the portrait of the philosopher it would have contained. Plato left the final dialogue unwritten to challenge his audience to work out its contents using the resources of the Parmenides and the existing series. The portrait includes two main components: first, the philosopher’s object — being — the subject-matter he studies; and second, the philosopher’s knowledge, his special expertise in dealing with that object. A third topic treated in the Introduction is the philosopher’s product, his discourse, and in particular Plato’s discourse. The Introduction discusses Plato’s written dialogues and their purpose of training students through practice solving philosophical problems. The Introduction ends by setting out the dialectical pattern used to bring the philosopher into view, a pattern matching that in the philosophical exercise in the second part of the Parmenides.

Keywords: Parmenides; Theaetetus; Sophist; Statesman; Philosopher; being; knowledge; expertise; philosophical exercise; Plato's writing

Chapter.  9613 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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