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Which of Plato's Dialogues should I read to learn about Socrates' views relevant to the philosophy science and epistemology? I'm quite a beginner in these things and the titles of the Dialogues are hardly helpful.

  • Welcome! Is there any chance I might be able to persuade you to give us a bit more here? What else might you be reading or studying that has made Socrates' views on the philosophy of science and epistemology an interesting or urgent concern for you? – Joseph Weissman Jan 27 '12 at 3:34
  • @JosephWeissman: Mostly ignorance. I'm curious whether any ancient views on how knowledge of the world is acquired correspond to the way it actually is. (Not sure why the question is inappropriate though.) – orome Jan 27 '12 at 15:02
  • I don't think it's inappropriate; I'd just like to enhance your chances of getting a great answer. (Telling us a little more about your context and motivations will definitely help.) – Joseph Weissman Jan 27 '12 at 15:14
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    @JosephWeissman: Sorry. I meant the downvote, not your query, which is a good one. I've been reading Popper and Deutsch which made me curious about Socrates. – orome Jan 27 '12 at 15:23
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The Republic is supposed to be Plato's primary work on epistemology.

Also, take a look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platonic_epistemology

As for science, Plato rejected empiricism as a means of gaining knowledge, unlike Aristotle whose ideas contributed greatly to the philosophy of science.

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  • As I say, I'm a beginner but I'd have thought that The Republic is more Plato that Socrates, and that the Socratic method is at the root of the scientific method (though empiricism was historically important as a counter to authoritarianism). – orome Jan 26 '12 at 15:13
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    Hmm, I too am a beginner, but from what I've learned so far, I'm not sure I'd agree with Socrates's philosophy as being the root of the scientific method. Some of his philosophy is very unscientific; for example, he believed in the existence of the soul and talked about it quite a bit, so the soul must have been very important to him, even though it cannot be proven scientifically. I see a very big contrast between Socrates and Aristotle in epistemology, Aristotle being very scientific and empirical while Socrates is more analytical. – Josh1billion Jan 27 '12 at 5:50
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Meno Dialogues is what I read for intro to philosophy. It's a dialogue between Socrates and his friend Meno. It sounds like useless ramble, but Socrates goes into detail about how he believes the soul is immortal and that is where we need to draw out knowledge.

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  • also we should note that in Phaedo, Socrates explicitly try to prove reincarnation of the souls. – mil Oct 16 '15 at 20:13

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