Noesis and Logos in Plato's Statesman, with a Focus on the Visitor's Jokes at 266a-d

In John Sallis (ed.), Plato's Statesman: Dialectic, Myth, and Politics. pp. 107-136 (2017)
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Abstract
In his “Noesis and Logos in the Eleatic Trilogy, with a Focus on the Visitor’s Jokes at Statesman 266a-d,” Mitchell Miller explores the interplay of intuition and discourse in the Statesman. He prepares by considering the orienting provocations provided by Socrates’ refutations of the proposed definition of knowledge — namely, “true judgment and a logos” — in the closing pages of the Theaetetus, by the Eleatic Visitor’s obscure schematization at Sophist 253d-e of the kinds of eidetic field discerned by dialectic, and by his discussion at Statesman 277a-278e of the use of paradigms. Miller then seeks to show how the Visitor’s odd medley of geometrical and Homeric jokes at Statesman 266a-d aims, in the language of the Seventh Letter, to “spark” an intuition of the nature of statesmanship, an intuition whose “self-nourishing” motivates the subsequent rejection of the initial definition of the statesman as shepherd of the human herd, the turn to the paradigm of the weaver, and the rejection of bifurcatory division in favor of the non-bifurcatory account of the kinds of art that function as the “limbs” of a well-formed city.
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