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(2019) Psychology and ontology in Plato, Dordrecht, Springer.

Plato and the "internal dialogue"

an ancient answer for a new model of the self

Alexandru-Ovidiu Gacea

pp. 33-54

The Theaetetus and the Sophist depict one of Plato's most well-known ideas about thought, namely, the dialogue of the soul with itself. Unfortunately, what Plato means by this has been obscured by three habits in the scholarship: (1) to consider the notion as being self-evident, (2) to treat it as being about the immaterial and universal language of thought, and (3) to understand it through the distorting lens of the Christian-modern idea of inwardness and inner private space. I argue for a more tentative reading of "inner dialogue," where its localization is understood in terms of "physical distinction" and its meaning is construed around Plato's ideas of polyphony and "microcommunity." We thereby learn that thinking is a psychophysical process associated with breathing and that it consists of a "coming-together" of multiple "voices." "Inner dialogue" is mirrored in the overall structure of Plato's works, and it represents the very way philosophical debate ought to be conducted.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-04654-5_4

Full citation:

Gacea, A. (2019)., Plato and the "internal dialogue": an ancient answer for a new model of the self, in L. Pitteloud & E. Keeling (eds.), Psychology and ontology in Plato, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 33-54.

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