Diagnosis and Inconsistency in the Axiochus

Albert Joosse*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The Socrates of the dialogue Axiochus seems to advance incompatible arguments in his attempt to cure Axiochus of his fear of death. Is this incompatibility a foreseen and accepted consequence of the author’s therapeutic strategy? This paper argues that it is rather an intended and functional inconsistency: it serves to stimulate critical thinking in order to anchor philosophical conviction more deeply in the reader’s soul. The paper musters support for this reading by drawing attention to the different levels of inconsistency in the dialogue; the multiple ways in which the text thematizes inconsistency; the importance of exercising judgement in the text; and the motivating concern of superficial persuasion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalThe International Journal of the Platonic Tradition
Issue number1
Early online date1-Dec-2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2023
Externally publishedYes

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