Hermeneutics of Aristotle and Hermeneutics of Sophists in Terms of Dialogue Philosophy. Part 1

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The article considers the logical and philosophical doctrine of sophists, which, according to some modern researchers, was more philosophical than their ancient critics recognized. A comparison of the provisions of Aristotle's hermeneutics with preserved fragments of Protagoras and Gorgias shows that the doctrine of sophists was a kind of holistic philosophy, which anticipated the philosophy of dialogue of the XX century. Despite the fact that the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle tried to overcome the relativism and anti-ontologism of the doctrine of sophists, some elements of its dialogueism were preserved in subsequent philosophy in dialectics and rhetoric. The first thing you should pay attention to is the difference between the dialogical form of the presentation of philosophy in Plato and dialogue as the fundamental basis of thinking that we find among sophists. The dialogueism preserved in the dialectic of Plato and the rhetoric of Aristotle is more a technical method of convincing the interlocutor than a hermeneutical basis, which it is in the philosophy of dialogue and in the method of Socratic discussion. The linguistic turn that occurred in the philosophy of the 20th century includes not only an increased interest in language and accuracy of expression. No less important is the new formulation of the question of the nature of the language. Is language a tool for the formulation of thought as Aristotle believed and followed by representatives of modern analytical philosophy, or does it have its own fundamental status, as representatives of the philosophy of dialogue believe? In this context, it is very important for the philosophy of dialogue to find in the thinking of the pre-Socratics those predecessors who already two and a half thousand years ago charted the paths for modern thought. The first part of the article analyzes the relationship between Aristotle’s hermeneutics and hermeneutics of sophists.

About the authors

Ilya Dvorkin

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Author for correspondence.
Email: idvorkin@mail.ru

Director of the Educational Programs at International Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization

Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel, 9190501


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