By Hugh H. Benson

This broad-ranging significant other contains unique contributions from major Platonic students and displays the several ways that they're facing Plato’s legacy. Covers a really extensive diversity of topics from different perspectivesContributions are dedicated to subject matters, starting from conception and information to politics and cosmologyAllows readers to work out how a place encouraged in a single of Plato’s dialogues compares with positions endorsed in othersPermits readers to interact the talk relating Plato’s philosophical improvement on specific topicsAlso contains overviews of Plato’s existence, works and philosophical process

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Timaeus and Critias belong together in the same way as the TheaeteusSophist-Statesman group, and Timaeus seems to refer back to a conversation very like that represented in the Republic, though the interlocutors – apart from Socrates – are different. ) These, however, are the exceptions: the general rule, over the other thirty or so genuine dialogues, is that each starts afresh, and usually with a different interlocutor or set of interlocutors; sometimes Socrates is himself supplanted in the role of main speaker.

As noted above, Aristotle was a member of Plato’s Academy during the last twenty years of Plato’s life. He would have been able to discuss Socrates with Plato, had he desired, and he would have had access to the Socratic works of other philosophers that are now lost. Though he was not born when Socrates died, his intellectual world was much closer to Socrates’ than is ours. Nonetheless, scholars have questioned Aristotle’s general credibility as a historian of philosophy (for a negative assessment, see Kahn 1996: 79–87; for more positive evaluations, see Guthrie 1971: 35–9, and Lacey 1971: 44–8).

Aristotle’s comments on Socrates are confined to his philosophy, and he gives us several very important pieces of information about it. Here I shall focus on two. First, he confirms Plato’s picture of Socrates as one who professed ignorance (SE 183b6–7). Second, he tells us that, although Socrates sought definitions and focused attention on universals, he did not “make the universals . . exist apart” as Plato did (Metaph. 4, 1078b29–30). Scholars have taken this passage to provide a crucial distinction between Plato, with his doctrine of separate Forms, and Socrates.

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