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Balansard, Anne.

Techne dans les Dialogues de Platon.

2001. 412 pp. 59,00 Euro. 15,5 x 23 cm. Hardcover. 978-3-89665-154-9.
(International Plato Studies Bd. 14)

>


Critics have shown an interest in the subject of techné in the Platonic dialogues, treating it on the one hand as a concept for the history of techniques, and, on the other, as a concept within Plato's philosophy, mainly with regard to Socratic method and moral theory (the craft analogy). Yet both groups of critics confuse the concept of techné with the modern concept of "craft" (or technique), that is, a rational and explicable process resulting in a separate object. This misconception justifies a new analysis of the vocabulary of techné in Plato's dialogues.

Techné means "liberal arts" as well as "crafts". That the structure of the vocabulary bears the mark of its Sophistic use also implies a new approach to the problem at hand. First, the craft-analogy is not constitutive of Socrates' moral theory, for the craft of virtue is part of the elenchos as long as sophistry is refuted. Second, some Platonic features (the techné of politics in the Politicus, the division of labour in the Republic, the Demiurge in the Timaeus) can best be understood as rewritings of Sophistic concepts.

Critics have shown an interest in the subject of techné in the Platonic dialogues, treating it on the one hand as a concept for the history of techniques, and, on the other, as a concept within Plato's philosophy, mainly with regard to Socratic method and moral theory (the craft analogy). Yet both groups of critics confuse the concept of techné with the modern concept of "craft" (or technique), that is, a rational and explicable process resulting in a separate object. This misconception justifies a new analysis of the vocabulary of techné in Plato's dialogues. Techné means "liberal arts" as well as "crafts". That the structure of the vocabulary bears the mark of its Sophistic use also implies a new approach to the problem at hand. First, the craft-analogy is not constitutive of Socrates' moral theory, for the craft of virtue is part of the elenchos as long as sophistry is refuted. Second, some Platonic features (the techné of politics in the Politicus, the division of labour in the Republic, the Demiurge in the Timaeus) can best be understood as rewritings of Sophistic concepts.



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International Plato Studies

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32 · The Painter of Constitutions. Edited by Mario Vegetti, Franco Ferrari and Tosca Lynch.

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30 · Regali, Mario. Il poeta e il demiurgo.

29 · Balansard, Anne. Enquête sur la doxographie platonicienne dans la première partie du Théétète.

28 · Mouroutsou, Georgia. Die Metapher der Mischung in den platonischen Dialogen Sophistes und Philebos.

27 · Kim, Alan. Plato in Germany: Kant – Natorp – Heidegger.

26 · Plato's Philebus. Edited by John Dillon and Luc Brisson.

21 · Eidos-Idea, 2. Edition. Edited by Francesco Fronterotta and Walter Leszl.

5 · Pritchard, Paul. Plato's Philosophy of Mathematics. Second edition.