Dialectical Epimeleia: Platonic Care of the Soul and Philosophical Cognition
Keywords:dialectic, elenchus, care, affect, soul, wander.
In this paper I argue that Plato’s notion of the care of the self is his remedy to the psychological malady he refers to as ‘wandering’. The wandering self requires care, and a close reading of the Platonic corpus indicates self-cultivation means stabilizing the soul in accordance with its intelligent nature. I then argue that Plato appropriates the ethical injunction to care for the soul and draws from it an important epistemological consequence. Specifically, his view is that a wandering soul’s instability renders it incapable of philosophical cognition. To engender a healthy soul, one must participate in dialectic.
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