Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 19, 2015

Plato on Geometrical Hypothesis in the Meno

Naoya Iwata
From the journal Apeiron


This paper examines the second geometrical problem in the Meno. Its purpose is to explore the implication of Cook Wilson’s interpretation, which has been most widely accepted by scholars, in relation to the nature of hypothesis. I argue that (a) the geometrical hypothesis in question is a tentative answer to a more basic problem, which could not be solved by available methods at that time, and that (b) despite the temporary nature of a hypothesis, there is a rational process for formulating it. The paper also contains discussion of the method of analysis, problem reduction and a diorism, which have often been ambiguously explained in relation to the geometrical problem in question.

Published Online: 2015-1-19
Published in Print: 2015-1-1

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