This paper deals with the concept of eikos, traditionally translated as “probability” or “likelihood". The aim is to show the complexity and the theoretical worth of this notion and, more specifically, the crucial role it plays in the Platonic attack against Sophists. The starting point is a famous passage of Phaedrus (272d-273a) where Socrates says that the speaker who follows eikos must "say goodbye to the truth”. However, this negative attitude towards eikos is not the only one possible. Indeed, in previous literature, and especially in historiography and rhetoric, eikos does not oppose itself to truth. Instead, despite its fallibility, it is a heuristic device that is extremely useful in conditions of uncertainty. Plato himself shows a less negative attitude when, in Timaeus (29c-d), he says that Timaeus's discourse is a logos eikos. This different attitude is not a contraddiction, but instead is indicative of the complexity of eikos.

Piazza, F. (2012). Dire addio alla verità? Il ruolo dell'eikos nella polemica antisofistica. SPAZIO FILOSOFICO, n. 4, 2012(4), 48-58.

Dire addio alla verità? Il ruolo dell'eikos nella polemica antisofistica.

PIAZZA, Francesca
2012-01-01

Abstract

This paper deals with the concept of eikos, traditionally translated as “probability” or “likelihood". The aim is to show the complexity and the theoretical worth of this notion and, more specifically, the crucial role it plays in the Platonic attack against Sophists. The starting point is a famous passage of Phaedrus (272d-273a) where Socrates says that the speaker who follows eikos must "say goodbye to the truth”. However, this negative attitude towards eikos is not the only one possible. Indeed, in previous literature, and especially in historiography and rhetoric, eikos does not oppose itself to truth. Instead, despite its fallibility, it is a heuristic device that is extremely useful in conditions of uncertainty. Plato himself shows a less negative attitude when, in Timaeus (29c-d), he says that Timaeus's discourse is a logos eikos. This different attitude is not a contraddiction, but instead is indicative of the complexity of eikos.
2012
Settore M-FIL/05 - Filosofia E Teoria Dei Linguaggi
Piazza, F. (2012). Dire addio alla verità? Il ruolo dell'eikos nella polemica antisofistica. SPAZIO FILOSOFICO, n. 4, 2012(4), 48-58.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10447/64764
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