Drew A. Hyland

This paper examines Plato’s Sophist with particular attention to the cast of characters and the most curious and complicated dramatic situation in which Plato places this dialogue: the dramatic proximity of surrounding dialogues and the impending trial, conviction, and death of Socrates. I use these considerations as a propaedeutic to the raising of questions about how these features of the dialogue might affect our interpretation of the actual positions espoused in the Sophist. One clear effect of these considerations will be to destabilize the commonly held view that in this dialogue Plato is “replacing” Socrates and Socratic aporia and questioning with the more didactic, formalistic, and doctrinal conception of philosophy espoused by the Eleatic Stranger. 


Drew A. Hyland

Taking my cue from the richly dramatic character of the Platonic dialogues and how that dramatic character informs the thought therein, I attempt a reading of Heidegger’s dialogue on a country path that takes similar account of the dramatic themes of that dialogue. Accordingly, I address such themes as the fact that the characters of the dialogue are not given personal names, the fact that it is and must be a dialogue that occurs on a country path, and the strange interactions of the three characters. The paper culminates in a discussion of the role of “night,” which, I argue, functions as our guiding image of Ereignis.

Drew A. Hyland