The Choice between the Dialogues and the 'Unwritten Teachings': A Scylla and Charybdis for the Interpreter?

In Francisco Gonzalez (ed.), The Third Way: New Directions in Platonic Studies. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 225-244 (1995)
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Must the interpreter of the Platonic dialogues choose between the so-called "unwritten teachings" reported by Aristotle in Metaphysics A6 and the dialogues? I argue, on the contrary, that a reading of the dialogues that is sensitive to their pedagogical irony will find the "unwritten teachings" exhibited in them. I identify the key teachings in Metaphysics A6, show how the Parmenides and the Philebus point to them, and explicate a full exhibition of them in the Statesman.

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Mitchell Miller
Vassar College


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