Single Idea 1647

[catalogued under 2. Reason / C. Styles of Reason / 2. Elenchus]

Full Idea

Socrates' rule of "say only what you believe".excluded debate on unasserted premises, thereby distinguishing Socratic from Zenonian and earlier dialectics.


'Zenonian' refers to Zeno of Elea, follower of Parmenides, who was famous for his paradoxes, such as the 'Achilles'

Gist of Idea

In Socratic dialogue you must say what you believe, so unasserted premises are not debated


comment on Socrates (reports of career [c.420 BCE]) by Gregory Vlastos - Socrates: Ironist and Moral Philosopher p.14

Book Reference

Vlastos,Gregory: 'Socrates: Ironist and Moral Philosopher' [CUP 1992], p.14