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  1. The Groundwork for Dialectic in Statesman 277a-287b.Colin C. Smith - 2018 - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 12 (2):132-150.
    In Plato’s Statesman, the Eleatic Stranger leads Socrates the Younger and their audience through an analysis of the statesman in the service of the interlocutors’ becoming “more capable in dialectic regarding all things”. In this way, the dialectical exercise in the text is both intrinsically and instrumentally valuable, as it yields a philosophically rigorous account of statesmanship and exhibits a method of dialectical inquiry. After the series of bifurcatory divisions in the Sophist and early Statesman, the Stranger changes to a (...)
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  • The Method of Bifurcatory Division in Plato’s Sophist.Colin C. Smith - 2021 - Elenchos: Rivista di Studi Sul Pensiero Antico 42 (2):229-260.
    The strange and challenging stretch of dialectic with which Plato’s Sophist begins and ends has confused and frustrated readers for generations, and despite receiving a fair amount of attention, there is no consensus regarding even basic issues concerning this method. Here I offer a new account of bifurcatory division as neither joke nor naïve method, but instead a valuable, propaedeutic method that Plato offers to us readers as a means of embarking upon the kind of mental gymnastics that will stretch (...)
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  • The Puzzle of the Sophist.Justin Vlasits - forthcoming - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie.
    The many definitions of sophistry at the beginning of Plato’s Sophist have puzzled scholars just as much as they puzzled the dialogue’s main speakers: the Visitor from Elea and Theaetetus. The aim of this paper is to give an account of that puzzlement. This puzzlement, it is argued, stems not from a logical or epistemological problem, but from the metaphysical problem that, given the multiplicity of accounts, the interlocutors do not know what the sophist essentially is. It transpires that, in (...)
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