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  • Author or Editor: Emilia Cucinotta x
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In the Menexenus the dead soldiers’ reference to episteme among goods whose value is positive only if virtue-oriented raises two closely interwoven issues: the question of the possible, albeit not necessary, identity of knowledge with wisdom and, more broadly, the problem of the nature of the knowledge Plato attributes to Athenian citizens of the Menexenus. The episteme the dead refer to does not coincide with the philosopher’s episteme, intended as ultimate achievement of dialectical paideia of philosopher-kings in the Republic, and yet, though originating from a different cause, it produces the same outcomes when informed by virtue. In a city without philosophers, yet molded by the gods, divine education plays the role accorded to philosophical paideia in Kallipolis. In the Menexenus the relationship between arete and episteme is overturned when compared to its Socratic and dialectical treatment in early and middle dialogues, for Plato represents here an ideal Athens whose autochthonous citizens ground their knowledge not on philosophical inquiry but on the first teaching of gods and their inborn virtue.

In: Thinking, Knowing, Acting: Epistemology and Ethics in Plato and Ancient Platonism