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Dialectic in the Phaedrus

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image of Phronesis

This article offers a new interpretation of Plato’s method of collection and division as formulated in the Phaedrus (265c5-266c1), in light of a detailed examination of the surrounding context. It argues that Socrates carefully distinguishes the characteristic operations of the method from its applications. It shows that collection and division are to be construed independently of one another, and that the collection of F-ness is equivalent to the procedure for the definition of F-ness; and it clarifies three kinds of application that are mentioned in the Phaedrus: simple definition, definition supplemented with division, and scientific analysis.

Affiliations: 1: Kyoto University, Graduate School of Letters Yoshida Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501 Japan


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