This paper aims to show that Aristotle and his Ancient commentators reacted in a different way to some of the major paradoxes expressed in the Plato’s dialogue Hippias Minor. In fact Aristotle and his Peripatetic exegete, Alexander of Aphrodisia (second-third century A.D.), criticized the paradoxes on making false statements voluntarily. Both adopt only a moral approach, discarding any epistemic element present in the platonic text. On the other hand, the Neoplatonic commentator Asclepius (sixth century A.D.) shows an apologetic attitude towards Plato and interpreters making false statements voluntarily in such a way that Plato intended it only in those cases where the false may have a beneficial effect on the society. Anyhow Aristotle and his Ancient commentators fail to catch Socrates’ irony in the dialogue, to appreciate the force of the paradoxes in pursuing the research as well as to distinguish Socrates as character from Plato as author of the dialogue. In my opinion, this attitude causes an unfounded dogmatism toward the literal sense of the platonic dialogue, this dogmatism appears to be common not only to Ancient commentators, but also to some contemporary, analytical, interpreters of Plato’s works.

I paradossi nell’ Ippia minore di Platone. La critica di Aristotele, Alessandro di Afrodisia e Asclepio, «Humanitas» lxxi.1 (2016), pp. 121-135.

LONGO, ANGELA
2016-01-01

Abstract

This paper aims to show that Aristotle and his Ancient commentators reacted in a different way to some of the major paradoxes expressed in the Plato’s dialogue Hippias Minor. In fact Aristotle and his Peripatetic exegete, Alexander of Aphrodisia (second-third century A.D.), criticized the paradoxes on making false statements voluntarily. Both adopt only a moral approach, discarding any epistemic element present in the platonic text. On the other hand, the Neoplatonic commentator Asclepius (sixth century A.D.) shows an apologetic attitude towards Plato and interpreters making false statements voluntarily in such a way that Plato intended it only in those cases where the false may have a beneficial effect on the society. Anyhow Aristotle and his Ancient commentators fail to catch Socrates’ irony in the dialogue, to appreciate the force of the paradoxes in pursuing the research as well as to distinguish Socrates as character from Plato as author of the dialogue. In my opinion, this attitude causes an unfounded dogmatism toward the literal sense of the platonic dialogue, this dogmatism appears to be common not only to Ancient commentators, but also to some contemporary, analytical, interpreters of Plato’s works.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/106320
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