Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Truth, Language, and HistoryPhilosophical Essays Volume 5$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Donald Davidson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198237570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/019823757X.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 February 2020

The Socratic Concept of Truth

The Socratic Concept of Truth

(p.241) 16 The Socratic Concept of Truth
Truth, Language, and History

Donald Davidson

Oxford University Press

This essay explores the question of why Socrates practiced the elenctic method. It argues that the elenchus is a method that generally leads to truth, and suggests that Socrates was convinced that he himself would gain in wisdom and clarity from elenctic exchanges with others, even if they were not as wise as he. People mean what others can take them to mean; to learn what we mean is to learn what others we talk with mean. The understanding of others, agreeing with them on basic concepts, clarity about what we mean, come — to the extent that they do — together. The elenchus is a model of our only method for promoting these ends.

Keywords:   Socrates, Vlastos, elenchus, elenctic method, truth, communication

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .