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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The portrayal of Socrates in the early dialogues of Plato is the most vivid picture of any ancient philosopher. Prominent in that depiction is the story Socrates tells in the Apology about his reaction to being told that, according to the oracle at Delphi, no one was wiser than he (21a). It is a memorably coherent portrait of a philosopher whose views deserve careful interpretation, analysis, and criticism. This chapter discusses the epistemology and metaphysics, if any, of the figure that emerges from that portrait. In discussing the epistemology of Socrates, it focuses on these three topics: Socratic Ignorance, the Priority of Definitional Knowledge, and the Problem of the Elenchus.

Keywords: Plato, Socrates, dialogues, philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics, Socratic ignorance, definitional knowledge, elenchus

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