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Eveno di Paro fra Protagora, Gorgia e Platone

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Evenus of Parus plays a surprisingly important role in Plato’s account of the life and death of Socrates: in both the Apology and the Phaedo he works as a negative foil for the philosopher at two key moments, namely when he converts, respectively, to the practice of elenchus and to the composition of poetry. Evenus’ importance in Socrates’ life, I argue, reflects Plato’s appropriation of a number of his poems, which Plato reshapes so as to adapt the sophist’s relativism and values, arguably modelled on Protagoras’, to his own truth-oriented agenda. Plato’s Phaedrus echoes Gorgias’ Encomium of Helen along similar lines, that is by replacing doxa with aletheia. A pattern emerges: Plato appropriates the writings of the sophists by placing them in a markedly truth-oriented context. This helps explain a discussed piece of information, according to which Protagoras’ Antilogiai was a major influence on Plato’s Republic.

Affiliations: 1: Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy


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