Belief and Investigation in the <i>Republic</i>

Katja Maria Vogt

in Belief and Truth

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199916818
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980291 | DOI:
Belief and Investigation in the Republic

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In Plato's Republic, knowledge and doxa have their own respective domains: “what is” in the case of knowledge, and “what participates in what is and in what is not” in the case of doxa. This division should be recognized as a central part of Plato's proposal in the Republic. At the same time it cannot be quite as clear-cut as it might initially appear. Otherwise it should be impossible to begin to investigate justice by thinking through someone's beliefs about justice—and that is precisely what the interlocutors do in Book I. Notably, Socrates is not prepared to put forward his beliefs about justice. Staying true to the intuition that mere doxa is “shameful and ugly,” he prefers hypotheses and similes as methods of investigation. But others are less cautious. An interpretation of the Republic's epistemology must account for an, albeit deficient, way in which mere doxa can relate to objects of knowledge.

Keywords: belief; investigation; Republic; Forms; particulars; hypothesis; similes; knowledge; Two Worlds Doctrine

Chapter.  9725 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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