More than a Reductio: Plato's Method in the Parmenides and Lysis

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Plato’s Parmenides and Lysis have a surprising amount in common from a methodological standpoint. Both systematically employ a method that I call ‘exploring both sides’, a philosophical method for encouraging further inquiry and comprehensively understanding the truth. Both have also been held in suspicion by interpreters for containing what looks uncomfortably similar to sophistic methodology. I argue that the methodological connections across these and other dialogues relieve those suspicions and push back against a standard developmentalist story about Plato’s method. This allows for a better understanding of why exploring both sides is explicitly recommended in the Parmenides and its role within Plato’s broader methodological repertoire.
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Archival date: 2019-06-19
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