Chapter

The Philosopher’s Object

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/9780199606184.003.0008
The Philosopher’s Object

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Chapter 7 reconstructs Plato’s portrait of the philosopher, starting with the problematic fourth step in the dialectical exercise in the Sophist, which undermines the constructive proposal about being in the Battle of the Gods and Giants; and then turning to the analysis of dialectic (with the aid of the Philebus). The chapter argues that the fourth step rests on Socrates’ mistaken assumption in the Parmenides that forms cannot partake of their own opposite. To solve the puzzle about being, one must accept that change and rest partake of each other. With that correction, one can define being in terms of rest and change, and the philosopher as having expertise directed toward being. The major hurdle has been crossed, but the philosopher still has competitors who vie for the title “philosopher.” The chapter ends by appealing to further criteria in the Statesman to mark off the philosopher from his closest rivals.

Keywords: Sophist; Philebus; Statesman; dialectic; being; change; rest; philosopher

Chapter.  24912 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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