Necessity of Conversational Style in Philosophy of Plato

Document Type : Original Article



Most of Plato’s works have conversational style. The present article deals with the question of why Plato chooses this style and format? This subject will be examined from three perspectives by posing three questions: Can we attribute a role to the historical Socrates in this regard? Has Plato a critical approach towards the written logos in his works and if it is the case, has this critical approach led him to choose the style that bears close resemblance to the verbal logos? Is it possible to obtain evidences indicating an essential connection between the themes of Plato's philosophical thought and this style? From the first perspective, an examination is done on the role of the historical Socrates’ method in creating an atmosphere which impressed not only Plato, but also a group of his followers and disciples, prompting them to write works in conversational form. From the second perspective, Plato's criticisms of written logos are examined and the way Plato avoids them himself. From the third perspective, the necessary relation between the conversational style and the themes of Plato's philosophical thought is examined in detail. Of course, this necessity has also been pointed out in the first two perspectives.