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By Raphael Arteau McNeil

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Extra info for An approach to the ''Laws'': The problem of the harmony of the goods in Plato's political philosophy

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The aporia and the search for the political art Somehow, the discussion has now gone full circle. If the good is to be the science of the right use of everything, this suggests that it is known by the political art, for that art governs the use of the works of all the other arts. The problem with that specification is that the work of statesmanship, especially if that work is understood in itself as the handing down of a science, is not as easy to identify as the works of all the subordinate arts are.

30. xii. 31. Cf. Sophist, 218c1-3. 32. Cf. Sophist, 232d5-e4 and 268b3-5. 28 possessor of a true knowledge about everything. , a superior knower in any matter whatsoever. He accomplishes this by making anyone with whom he discusses in private, whatever his own trade or virtue might be, contradict himself. , wiser, than the man he converses with by making that man contradict himself on the very matter he professes to know. In other words, the work of the sophist is to produce an image of himself as a superior knower by producing contradictions in his interlocutor’s speech.

1. Knowledge and multiplicity The Statesman is the last dialogue of a trilogy which begins with the Theaetetus. ”25 Yet, Theaetetus, to whom the question is put, is unable to provide a solid answer to it. The only firm knowledge Theaetetus gains from his discussion with Socrates seems to be the knowledge of his own ignorance of what knowledge is. 26 The dialogue thus ends on the promise of meeting again the following day to pursue, as one may assume, the same investigation. The following day, a stranger from Elea, introduced as a philosopher, joins them.

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