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Plato and the “Internal Dialogue”: An Ancient Answer for a New Model of the Self

  • Alexandru-Ovidiu GaceaEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 139)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Dialogic mind Cognitive sciences Plato Internal dialogue Polyphony Voice Microcommunity Inwardness Selfhood Immaterial thought Inner private space 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire Philosophie, Pratiques & Langages – PPLUniversité Grenoble AlpesGrenobleFrance

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