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Dialogues of Plato | Glossary

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Aporia: the transliteration of the Greek word for confusion. It is a stage in the Socratic method.

Arête: the transliteration of the Greek word for excellence. In humans, virtue is the arête of the soul.

Elenchus: the process of cross-examination for the purpose of refutation

Eristic: verbal combat and word play associated with one-upping one's opponent in an argument

forms: the realest entities. Forms are what make particular things possible. They are eternal, unchanging, immaterial, and perfect.

Psychagogia: the transliteration of the Greek word for soul-leading. It is the stage at which one can begin to recollect.

Prytaneum: a public building for feasting and official hospitality

Pythagorean: a member of a group professing to follow the Greek philosopher Pythagoras. They tended to see mysticism in numbers and music and used music to produce "virtue," or moods by which they regulated their emotions.

Recollection: the theory that learning is recollecting what one already knows

Socratic method: Socrates's method of question and answer. It is a dialectical process whereby false beliefs are uncovered and discarded, and true beliefs are discovered.

Sophist: early Sophists were teachers of rhetoric or philosophers. Later Sophists prized wordplay and philosophic argument over the truth and were criticized for taking money for their services.

Virtue: the excellence of the soul that allows one to live a good life

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