On Socrates' Project of Philosophical ConversionSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
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There is a wide consensus among scholars that Plato’s Socrates is wrong to trust in reason and argument as capable of converting people to the life of philosophy. In this paper, I argue for the opposite. I show that Socrates employs a more sophisticated strategy than is typically supposed. Its key component is the use of philosophical argument not to lead an interlocutor to rationally conclude that he must change his way of life but rather to cause a certain affective experience, one that can be effective at changing his beliefs about how best to live.