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From Plato to Platonism$
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Lloyd P. Gerson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452413

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452413.001.0001

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Reading the Dialogues Platonically

Reading the Dialogues Platonically

(p.73) Chapter 3 Reading the Dialogues Platonically
From Plato to Platonism

Lloyd P. Gerson

Cornell University Press

This chapter considers whether Plato's thought had “developed” in any way, paving the way for a discussion on developmentalism and Plato's development. Developmentalism of various sorts is distinguished from unitarianism, the view that there is no change in doctrine across the dialogues. The unitarianism of those who hold that the dialogues are the sole locus of Plato's philosophy is substantially different from the unitarianism of those who hold that the so-called unwritten teachings are the locus of Plato's philosophy and the dialogues serve only a protreptic function in relation to these. The chapter first examines the unitarianism of those who hold that there are no doctrines in the dialogues before next turning to the proponents of the unwritten teachings.

Keywords:   developmentalism, unitarianism, unwritten teachings, Platonic thought, Platonic dialogues

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