Απόπειρα δικαιολόγησης της Σκεπτικής ερμηνείας του πλατωνικού στοχασμού
Kalas , Andrej
Skurnda , Frantisek
The paper offers a new approach for reading Plato's dialogues. As it is well known, traditional reading of the dialogues presupposes as a fact that Plato insisted on the theory of ideas and believed that human knowledge is possible and attainable. This traditional view therefore considers Plato as a dogmatist and rejects legitimacy of Arcesilaus' «sceptical turn» of the middle Academy. However, evidence for the disavowal of Arcesilaus claim of returning philosophy back to its roots (to Socrates and Plato) is not that straightforward and unproblematic. In this paper it is argued that Arcesilaus' «sceptical turn» might be in agreement not only with the aporetic dialogues but also with middle «dogmatic» dialogues of Plato, namely the Republic and Meno. The first part concerns the overall character of platonic writings as well as the intelectual atmosphere in the Academy. Its aim is to suggest that no rigid metaphysical doctrine seems to be implied. The main argument for this position is the absence of a consistent Platonic doctrine in the dialogues and the absence of a systematical order of the dialogues. It is also considerable that the philosophy of Plato's successor, Speusippus, differs from Plato's metaphysical position. Plato's Academy hosted many different thinkers, ranging from Aristotle to Eudoxus of Cnidus and this variety indicates that Plato was liberal towards different, «non-platonic» opinions. The second part focuses on passages concerning sceptical moments. Firstly in Plato's Meno, then in the Republic. The common feature of these dialogues is the frequent occurrence of doxastic expressions used by Socrates and the sceptical worries, which precede epistemically strong expressions. The third part offers a brief overview of the possible variations of Arcesilaus philosophy due to the lack of primary textual evidence. There are three main versions: (1) negative dogmatism, (2) scepticism, and (3) the so called «esoteric» dogmatism. The main thesis is that each one of these positions can be deduced from the middle Platonic dialogues.