‘Pushing Through’ in Plato’s Sophist: A New Reading of the Parity Assumption

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At a crucial juncture in Plato’s Sophist, when the interlocutors have reached their deepest confusion about being and not-being, the Eleatic Visitor proclaims that there is yet hope. Insofar as they clarify one, he maintains, they will equally clarify the other. But what justifies the Visitor’s seemingly oracular prediction? A new interpretation explains how the Visitor’s hope is in fact warranted by the peculiar aporia they find themselves in. The passage describes a broader pattern of ‘exploring both sides’ that lends insight into Plato’s aporetic method.
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Archival date: 2019-06-19
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