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Title: How to write like Socrates spoke : Wittgenstein and Plato on mutual understanding in philosophy
Author: Greve, Sebastian
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 0432
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available