Pregled bibliografske jedinice broj: 350201
Dialectical Method in the Philebus
Dialectical Method in the Philebus // VIII. Symposium platonicum of the International Plato Society
Dublin, Irska, 2007. (pozvano predavanje, neobjavljeni rad, znanstveni)
Dialectical Method in the Philebus
Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Sažeci sa skupova, neobjavljeni rad, znanstveni
VIII. Symposium platonicum of the International Plato Society
Mjesto i datum
Dublin, Irska, 23-27.07.2007.
(Elenchus; Dialectical Method; Phronesis; Plesure)
A dialectical method in the Philebus? In contrast to the elenchus based dialogues, in which the dialogues on the key problems of philosophy issue in aporias, in the later Platonic dialogues the relevant philosophical contents as well as the significant achievements and discoveries of thought normally lean on proven authorities and divine origins. For instance, in the Philebus Socrates says that dialectical method is ‘ a gift from gods’ (theon dosis, 16 c) comparable to the fire that Prometheus has given to the human race. This contribution aims to demonstrate that one should not see here something mysterious, but, on the contrary, a familiar and verified method of unification (synagoge) of thematic contents within a single and systematic whole that also implies a breaking down (‘ analysis) (dihairesis) of the supreme genera into their kinds and species. Plato’ s late dialectics builds on the assumption that the eidetic structures at the same time represent holistic structures of realities that we grasp and conceptualise through the logos of dialectics. Scholars are divided over the issue of the subject of dialectical method in the Philebus, that is, over the meaning Plato assigns to the phrase ton aei legomenon einai (16c 9). Divisions also run deep over the issue of the nature of the relationship between the One (hen) and the Many (polla), and also over the aim of the conceptual couple consisting of peras and apeiron. In mid-20th century it was Julius Stenzel who proposed the view that, in the Philebus, language as such (die Sprache selbst) forms the subject of the dialectical analysis. “ ... jenes eigentümlich zwischen Kultur- und Naturbezogenheit schwebende Sachgebiet, die Sprache, in der die Diairesis als ‘ Vehikel der Methode’ durchgeführt und dadurch zu dem typischen Organon eines Denkens geformt werden kann” . H.G. Gadamer and D. Davidson will later put forward similar views according to which the Philebus should be interpreted along the premise that a shared language is a precondition of the dialectical exchange of claims as well as of the reaching of an agreement concerning the fundamental questions of the roads leading to both good life and spiritual contentment. Plato recognised that the dialectical method relates to the whole of language, and that it is only within the context of the whole language that one can make sense of the true and false claims, and to debate and discuss both acceptable and unacceptable views. In his late dialogues he focuses on the issue of the truth and the falsity of logos based on the possibility of conceptual blending. Plato views an utterance/statement (logos) as an explication of reality, whilst the dialectical method of conceptual collection and/or division helps him to uncover both the existing and the possible states of affairs articulated through our propositions. Potential interconnectivity of concepts is proposed as a logical context which opens the room to a multitude of both true and false propositions corresponding to a multitude of factual or non-factual states of affairs. It is Plato’ s view that the logically possible and factual state of affairs can be recognised through the totality of our language as a mark of dialectical method. As he recognised, a “ logical” analysis of language reveals the possible interconnections of objects, i.e. the possible interconnections of concepts by the means of proposition. Plato recognised as well that it is only through the language that we can bring an order into our communication. Creative force of both language and the written word restores an order in the chaos of indeterminacy (apeira) and produces significant interconnections filled with both meaning and content that the dialectical method helps us to recognise within the context of either eidetic or epistemic holism. It is precisely in the Philebus that Plato aims to show that the dialectical method helps us to explain and understand all the contents uncovered through the productive or creative arts. As Socrates himself emphasises, such method is characterised by the fact that one can describe it easily, but to apply it is quite hard and challenging (16b).