Workshop in Ancient Philosophy (Thursday - Week 5, MT22)

Workshop in Ancient Philosophy

Plato’s Parmenides states that by denying Forms one would entirely destroy tên tou dialegesthai dunamin. By scrutinizing the few other Platonic occurrences of this peculiar phrase and giving a philosophical account of it, I argue that it does not indicate, as often claimed, the power or possibility of ordinary discourse or conversation or thought, but the power of dialectic, i.e. the highest form of knowledge identified by Plato. The Parmenides’ argument urges, as I also argue, that Forms are a necessary condition of this power. The proposed reading bolsters an ‘objects-based’ or ‘realist’ interpretation of Plato’s epistemology.

Chair: Hermann Koerner

Workshop in Ancient Philosophy Convenors: Ursula Coope, Simon Shogry and Alexander Bown