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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 9, Issue 2, Spring 2005

Special Issue: The Ancient Philosophy Society

Corinne Painter
Pages 317-333

In Defense of Socrates
The Stranger’s Role in Plato’s Sophist

In this essay I argue that the Stranger’s interest in keeping the philosopher and the sophist distinct is connected, primarily, to his assessment of the charges of sophistry advanced against Socrates, which compels him to defend Socrates from these unduly advanced accusations. On this basis, I establish that the Stranger’s task in the Sophist, namely to keep philosophy distinct from sophistry, is intimately tied to the project of securing justice and is therefore not merely of theoretical importance but is also—and essentially—of political and ethical significance.

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