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Weiner, Sebastian Florian

Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte, Bd. 54 (2013), Iss. 0: S. 8–21

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Weiner, Sebastian Florian


It is a commonplace to sum up Plato’s dialectical method under the formula logon didonai, which means to account for one’s belief. The expression along withits genuine meaning (that of a plea) seems to have originated at Greek courtsof law, and Plato’s Socrates, having adopted this formula to describe his philosophical method, seems to be the best advocate of the idea that to know meansto be able to render an account. This paper aims to give a critical discussion ofthese traditional views. First, there is no hint of any offspring of the expressionlogon didonai at Greek courts of law. Second, in pre-Socratic contexts the expression had not one but several meanings. And third, Plato, through the voiceof Socrates, criticizes the unclear meaning of this expression in epistemologicalcontexts.


Section Title Page Action Price
Abhandlungen 7
Sebastian Weiner: Platons LOGON DIDONAI 7