Ancient Philosophy Study Guide

  1. What is the reason for separating Plato’s dialogues into Socratic (early) and Platonic (middle) dialogues?
  2. Why is Socrates’ method primarily negative? Is there anything that Socrates does (at least implicitly) claim to know?
  3. Explain why the Meno is considered a transitional dialogue.
  4. Explain Meno’s Paradox. How does Plato respond?
  5. Although Socrates claims ignorance, he seems to hold some surprising philosophical positions. Explain.
  6. Why did Socrates not plead for his life?
  7. What are the characteristics of the Forms, according to Plato. Why does Plato think that the Forms are the keys to providing Socratic definitions?
  8. Compare and contrast the stories of the Sun, Line, and Cave in the Republic.
  9. Explain the problem of reconciling Plato’s Cave with the overall project in the Republic.
  10. Explain the various accounts of knowledge in the Theaetetus and the objections to those accounts.

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