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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 21, Issue 2, Spring 2017

Andy German
Pages 289-305
DOI: 10.5840/epoche201722676

Chronos, Psuchē, and Logos in Plato’s Euthydemus

Can the Euthydemus illuminate the philosophical significance of sophistry? In answering this question, I ask why the most direct and sustained confrontations between Socrates and the two brothers should all center on time and the soul. The Euthydemus, I argue, is a not primarily a polemic against eristic manipulation of language, but a diagnosis of the soul’s ambiguous unity. It shows that sophistic speech emerges from the soul’s way of relating to its own temporal character and to logos. Stated differently, a central theme of this dialogue is one which, we are repeatedly told, the Greeks had not yet thematized--the nature of interiority.