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Plato's Socrateslocked

  • C. C. W. Taylor

Abstract

‘Plato's Socrates’ shows that Socrates is predominantly characterized, not as a teacher, but as an enquirer. He disclaims wisdom, and seeks, normally in vain, elucidation of problematic questions from his interlocutors, by the method of elenchus — that is, by critically examining their beliefs. All the dialogues are concerned with ethics in the broad sense of how one should live. Many focus on the attempt to define a virtue or other ethically significant concept. The discussion invariably ends in apparent failure. Others take the form of a confrontation between Socrates and various sophists and/or their pupils and associates over the aims of education and the proper qualifications of the educator.

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