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Self-knowledge, Elenchus, and Authority in Early Plato

Leigh, F; (2020) Self-knowledge, Elenchus, and Authority in Early Plato. Phronesis , 65 (3) pp. 247-280. 10.1163/15685284-BJA10020. Green open access

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Abstract

In some of Plato’s early dialogues we find a concern with correctly ascertaining the contents of a particular kind of one’s own psychological states, cognitive states. Indeed, one of the achievements of the elenctic method is to facilitate cognitive self-knowledge. In the Alcibiades, moreover, Plato interprets the Delphic injunction, ‘know yourself’, as crucially requiring cognitive self-knowledge, and ending in knowing oneself as subject to particular epistemic norms. Epistemic authority for self-knowledge is, for Plato, conferred on the basis of correct application of norms to cognitive self-ascriptions, and not confined to the first-personal perspective. This implies first-personal plural epistemic authority for self-knowledge.

Type: Article
Title: Self-knowledge, Elenchus, and Authority in Early Plato
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1163/15685284-BJA10020
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1163/15685284-BJA10020
Language: English
Additional information: © Fiona Leigh, 2020. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: self-knowledge; elenchus; epistemic authority; dialogue; Alcibiades; Apology; Laches; Gorgias
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100708
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