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Warum hat Plato die ‚ungeschriebene Lehre‛ nicht geschrieben? - Einige vorläufige Bemerkungen


Ferber, Rafael (1992). Warum hat Plato die ‚ungeschriebene Lehre‛ nicht geschrieben? - Einige vorläufige Bemerkungen. In: Rossetti, Livio. Understanding the Phaedrus, Proceedings of the II Symposium Platonicum, International Plato Studies 1. St. Augustin: Academia Verlag, 138-155.

Abstract

The article asks the question, "Why did Plato not write his 'unwritten doctrines'?", and finds the answer in the combination of two obstacles. The first derives from the limitations of the episteme available to an embodied soul about such subjects as the essence of the good. Even if the dialectician has access to a kind of knowledge, the lack of fit between the unchanging essences and the precarious logoi which aim to identify them (and allow others some measure of access to them) could never be fully overcome. At most, Socrates (or Plato] can lead souls only to an incomplete account of them: even to the most expert dialectician, only a claim to knowledge but no unsurpassable certainty may be available. An even greater obstacle lies in the audience or readership itself: no short cut to understanding is possible, and yet a mere written presentation, which is all they have, is just a short cut, and so holds out an empty promise.

The article asks the question, "Why did Plato not write his 'unwritten doctrines'?", and finds the answer in the combination of two obstacles. The first derives from the limitations of the episteme available to an embodied soul about such subjects as the essence of the good. Even if the dialectician has access to a kind of knowledge, the lack of fit between the unchanging essences and the precarious logoi which aim to identify them (and allow others some measure of access to them) could never be fully overcome. At most, Socrates (or Plato] can lead souls only to an incomplete account of them: even to the most expert dialectician, only a claim to knowledge but no unsurpassable certainty may be available. An even greater obstacle lies in the audience or readership itself: no short cut to understanding is possible, and yet a mere written presentation, which is all they have, is just a short cut, and so holds out an empty promise.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:German
Date:1992
Deposited On:26 Aug 2016 09:18
Last Modified:02 Sep 2016 06:30
Publisher:Academia Verlag
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-125713

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