Ideas from 'The Sophist' by Plato [359 BCE], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Complete Works' by Plato (ed/tr Cooper,John M.) [Hackett 1997,0-87220-349-2]].

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1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 2. Invocation to Philosophy
We must fight fiercely for knowledge, understanding and intelligence
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 7. Limitations of Analysis
The desire to split everything into its parts is unpleasant and unphilosophical
2. Reason / C. Styles of Reason / 1. Dialectic
Good analysis involves dividing things into appropriate forms without confusion
Dialectic should only be taught to those who already philosophise well
2. Reason / C. Styles of Reason / 2. Elenchus
In discussion a person's opinions are shown to be in conflict, leading to calm self-criticism
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / d. Non-being
What does 'that which is not' refer to?
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / e. Being and nothing
If statements about non-existence are logically puzzling, so are statements about existence
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Criterion for Existence
To be is to have a capacity, to act on other things, or to receive actions
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 5. Physicalism
Some alarming thinkers think that only things which you can touch exist
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / a. Ontological commitment
Whenever there's speech it has to be about something
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / a. Platonic Forms
Good thinkers spot forms spread through things, or included within some larger form
The not-beautiful is part of the beautiful, though opposed to it, and is just as real
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 6. Nihilism about Objects
If we see everything as separate, we can then give no account of it
12. Knowledge Sources / C. Rationalism / 1. Rationalism
A soul without understanding is ugly
23. Ethics / A. Egoism / 1. Ethical Egoism
Wickedness is an illness of the soul
25. Society / E. State Functions / 4. Education / c. Teaching
Didactic education is hard work and achieves little