Volume 21, Issue 2, Spring 2017
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.