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Socrates and Sophist Platos Sophist is one of the only dialogues in which Socrates isnt the main character This makes for an interesting question why Why would Plato stray from the norm of making his teacher the main focus of this dialogue As Ive thought about this Ive come up with three possible explanations that may explain Platos decision It is impossible to come up with a definitive answer but using my skills as an English major I hope to shed some light on the subject My first thought was that perhaps Plato thought that Socrates wouldnt agree with the argument being made in Sophist this means that Socrates wouldnt admit to the possibility of false knowledge I find this possibility hard to believe since Socrates was around and encountered people who made their living by arguing for others Also this theory doesnt explain why he would be encouraging the visitor to make the argument in the first place Another issue with this first theory is the fact that Plato has pretty much always agreed with Socrates teachings before this dialogue why would he start to contradict him here I have no answer to that question but it seems a little absurd to me It would also make more sense for him to be more vocal about disagreeing with his teacher He makes sure that we know when he disputes someone else Parmenides for example Plato makes it perfectly clear even announces the fact that he is disagreeing with Parmenides in Sophist On page 31 Plato states through the visitor that In order to defend ourselves were going to have to subject father Parmenides saying to further examination and insist by brute force both that that which is not somehow is and then again that that which is somehow is not Plato has always defended Parmenides and in Sophist he makes absolutely sure at least twice that everyone knows
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