Definition and Elenchus

  • Nicholas White
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 117)


Early in the 1980s Gregory Vlastos called attention to what he took to be a problem afflicting the thinking of the character Socrates in Plato’s early works.1 Since that thinking is commonly associated with the word “elenchus” (which scholars now treat, thanks to Latin, as an English word, since the translation “refutation” isn’t quite true to the Greek “elenchos”) the problem has come to be called “the problem of the elenchus”—though for reasons that will become clear I think that it isn’t really a problem. Rather it was brought into existence by the particular way of thinking about socratic philosophical activity that Vlastos adopted.2


True Belief Epistemological Status Socratic Dialogue Vexed Question Ordinary Speaker 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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