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Title: How to deal with the philosophical tradition?: some general rules in Plutarch’s anti-epicurean treatises
Authors: Roskam, Geert
Leuven, K.U.
Keywords: Plutarch;Moralia;Colotes;Philosophical polemics
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: International Plutarch Society
Abstract: In this contribution, Plutarch’s rules for a good philosophical polemic, and the way in which he himself uses them in his anti-Epicurean treatises, are examined. First of all, a good philosophical discussion presupposes in Plutarch’s view the fulfi lment of several intellectual conditions, such as basic respect for the rules of logical reasoning and thorough knowledge of the matter under discussion. Secondly, these intellectual rules are completed by a set of moral demands: the whole discussion should be entirely free from the pernicious infl uence of the passions. In his anti-Epicurean polemics, Plutarch shows how Colotes, and his master Epicurus, often break these intellectual and moral rules. The question remains, however, whether Plutarch himself observes his own rules in his attack on Epicurean philosophy. A thorough analysis shows that he often indeed faithfully observes his own intellectual and moral demands, but that, in spite of his attempt to set a good example, his polemical attacks are occasionally also at odds with his own rules.
ISSN: 0258-655X
DOI: 10.14195/0258-655X_8_11
Rights: open access
Appears in Collections:Ploutarchos

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