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Hypotetisk metode

Hypothetical method in Socrates' dialectical practice

Hayden Ausland, professor ved Universitetet i Montana, holder gjesteforelesning om sammenhengen mellom Sokrates' dialektiske praksis og hypotetisk metode.

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Bilde av Hayden Ausland ved Bodleian Library i Oxford
Hayden Ausland ved Bodleian Library i Oxford

For the past seven or eight decades, Socrates' dialectical method, as depicted in what are held Plato's early dialogues, has been identified with "the elenchus" (refutatio), from which various hypothetical methods found in some supposedly transitional or middle Platonic dialogues have been held importantly distinct. But Plato's Socrates can be seen to appeal argumentatively to hypotheses in dialogues of both these modern groupings, and in a way that reflects their use even in something as "late" as Plato's Parmenides. What is more, the terminology and manner with which hypotheses are discussed or employed throughout Plato's works not only have parallels in Xenophon's and Aristophanes' depictions of the same Socrates, but all three authors' uses can be seen to adapt more generalized technical applications of hypothesis. Suspending conventional assumptions about a Socratic-Platonic "development" yields a more adequate understanding of the beginnings of the hypothetical method as found in Classical philosophy.