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Divination and Human NatureA Cognitive History of Intuition in Classical Antiquity$
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Peter T. Struck

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169392

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169392.001.0001

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Plato on Divination and Nondiscursive Knowing

Plato on Divination and Nondiscursive Knowing

(p.37) Chapter 1 Plato on Divination and Nondiscursive Knowing
Divination and Human Nature

Peter T. Struck

Princeton University Press

This chapter attempts to lay out a general sense of how divination functions in Plato's work. It focuses not on how seriously Plato takes divination, but rather on how he takes it. Irrespective of any endorsement he may have hinted at toward the idea of knowledge arriving via traditional divinatory pathways, in what particular ways does he talk about it? The analysis proceeds from a sense that Plato uses divination as an authoritative piece of his cultural context, to specify with greater precision his own ideas about ways of knowing; and as he is doing this, he helps us understand the nature of divination, as it is understood in his time. In general in his corpus, it is argued that Plato treats divination (in a rainbow of tones from irony to seriousness) as being based on a claim about a particular form of cognition, one marked especially for being nondiscursive.

Keywords:   Plato, ancient divination, nondiscursive knowing

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