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    How to write like Socrates spoke?: Wittgenstein and Plato on mutual understanding in philosophy

    Greve, Sebastian (2015) How to write like Socrates spoke?: Wittgenstein and Plato on mutual understanding in philosophy. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    The central questions of this essay all arise from reflections on one particular aspect of philosophy, specifically as it presents itself in the philosophical practice of Socrates, Plato and Wittgenstein: namely, understanding each other in philosophy. The essay is roughly divided into two main parts of equal length. In the first half of the essay, I compare certain characteristics of the philosophical methods of Socrates and Plato on the one hand with those of Ludwig Wittgenstein on the other. In the second half of the essay, I continue my comparison with special regard to questions concerning the teaching, and especially the writing, of a Socratic kind of philosophy that arise from several systematic as well as exegetical considerations. The ‘turning point’ of the text is arrived at in the form of a problem, or paradox, concerning the writing of the kind of Socratic philosophy that is central to the discussion. It follows a brief survey of different possible and historical attempts to overcome this dilemma. The remainder of the essay then proceeds from a comparison of Plato’s and Wittgenstein’s respective dialogical writings to a more detailed analysis of the various techniques employed by Wittgenstein in composing the text of Philosophical Investigations, resulting in a new interpretation of the stretch of remarks on ‘private language’ (§§243 ff.). Finally, in a postscript I offer some concluding remarks and also comment on related issues and the current state of philosophical writing in academia.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2015 11:32
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 12:28


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