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A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science

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Was Plato an Eristic according to Isocrates?

Geneviève Lachance
Published Online: 2019-02-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron-2018-0090


The article examines the passages in Isocrates’ Corpus containing a description and a critique of a new type of sophistic called “eristic”. Based on the chronology of Isocrates’ discourses and the description he gave, the author shows that the majority of these passages could not have aimed at Plato as its sole or principal target. However, it should not be excluded that Isocrates’ criticism of eristics was directed against various members of the Socratic circle, a heterogeneous group in which Plato was comprised. The article shows that although a feud between Plato and Isocrates is not an acceptable premise, a possible rivalry between both men may have been possible. Nonetheless, such a rivalry does not allow one to assimilate Plato with an eristic.

Keywords: Isocrates; eristic; Plato; sophistic; Socratics


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About the article

Published Online: 2019-02-08

Citation Information: Apeiron, ISSN (Online) 2156-7093, ISSN (Print) 0003-6390, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/apeiron-2018-0090.

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