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Dialectic By Negation In Three Late Dialogues

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Chapter Summary

While little is beyond dispute in Platonic commentary, it seems clear that there are three distinct methods of dialectical inquiry to be found in the middle and late dialogues. One is the method of hypothesis featured in the final arguments of the Phaedo and implicated in the Divided Line of the Republic. Another is the method of collection and division, introduced in the Phaedrus and employed extensively in the Sophist before collection is phased out in the course of the Statesman. And third is the method introduced by Parmenides in his namesake dialogue and meticulously illustrated in the ensuing arguments on Unity. In the field of three, Parmenides? method appears to be the most highly developed. This chapter argues that preliminary versions can be found in both the Sophist and the Statesman.

Keywords: dialectical inquiry; Parmenides; Phaedo; Phaedrus; Platonic commentary; Republic; Sophist; Statesman



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