Download Ancient Coins Were Shaped Like Hams: And Other Freaky Facts by Barbara Seuling, Matthew Skeens PDF

By Barbara Seuling, Matthew Skeens

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Additional info for Ancient Coins Were Shaped Like Hams: And Other Freaky Facts About Coins, Bills, and Counterfeiting (Freaky Facts)

Sample text

If Arcesilaus' sceptical Socrates methodology back into the early Socratic dialogues, then Arcesilaus has failed to show us a sceptical Socrates, but he has shown us a sceptical Plato. But he has shown us a sceptical Plato in just the dialogue where Plato harks back to the Socratic dialogues. And this leaves us with a new twist to the old 'Socratic problem'; but that is another story. 2. Plato and scepticism Cicero in the part of Varro which has been preserved first presents Varro putting forward Antiochus' view of the history of the Old Academy.

Certainly they all display Socrates knocking down an opponent's claim without putting anything positive in its place. Only in a very few cases, however, is the reasoning ad hominem in the sense that all the premisses are supplied by the interlocutor, with Socrates uncommitted. In nearly all arguments Socrates does seem to hold beliefs; indeed he uses them to reject the interlocutor's suggestion. For that is shown to conflict with beliefs which are retained, and which Socrates shares. Laches' suggestion that courage is standing firm, for example, founders because there can be bravery in retreat (I90E-'9'C).

I turn now from trying to make out Arcesilaus' case to raising two 25 1 Couissin, 'The Stoicism of the New Academy', 40. JuliaAnnas Plato the Sceptic questions which we, who are not members of the sceptical Academy, are bound to raise. Antiochus, then, draws the distinction in the strongest possible terms 58 Firstly, all this has served to show how a sceptic might account for the role of Socrates in the Socratic dialogoes and the Theaetetus. None of this applies to the Republic or other middle-period dialogoes, which clearly offer no handle to the form of interpretation I have been laying out.

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