The Science of Philosophy: Discourse and Deception in Plato’s Sophist

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Abstract
At 252e1 to 253c9 in Plato’s Sophist, the Eleatic Visitor explains why philosophy is a science. Like the art of grammar, philosophical knowledge corresponds to a generic structure of discrete kinds and is acquired by systematic analysis of how these kinds intermingle. In the literature, the Visitor’s science is either understood as an expression of a mature and authentic platonic metaphysics, or as a sophisticated illusion staged to illustrate the seductive lure of sophistic deception. By showing how the Visitor’s account of the science of philosophy is just as comprehensive, phantasmatic and self-concealing as the art of sophistry identified at the dialogue’s outset, this paper argues in favor of the latter view.
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Reprint years
2018
ISBN(s)
1085-1968
PhilPapers/Archive ID
OLOTSO
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Archival date: 2017-03-03
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Plato: Complete Works.Cooper, J. & Hutchinson, D. S.
Plato's Cratylus.Sedley, David

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2017-02-15

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