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The Method εξ υποεσεως at Meno 86e1-87d8

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image of Phronesis

Scholars ubiquitously refer to the method εξ υποεσεως, introduced at Meno 86e1-87d8, as a method of hypothesis. In contrast, this paper argues that the method εξ υποεσεως in Meno is not a hypothetical method. On the contrary, in the Meno passage, υποεσις means “postulate”, that is, cognitively secure proposition. Furthermore, the method εξ υποεσεως is derived from the method of geometrical analysis. More precisely, it is derived from the use of geometrical analysis to achieve reduction, that is, reduction of a less tractable problem to a more tractable problem. As such, the method εξ υποεσεως does not by itself serve to solve problems.

Affiliations: 1: Temple University, Humanities Building 022-32, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA;, Email:


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