There is not just a war: recalling the therapeutic metaphor in western metaphilosophy

Sharpe, Matthew 2016, There is not just a war: recalling the therapeutic metaphor in western metaphilosophy, Sophia, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 31-54, doi: 10.1007/s11841-016-0516-2.

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Title There is not just a war: recalling the therapeutic metaphor in western metaphilosophy
Author(s) Sharpe, MatthewORCID iD for Sharpe, Matthew
Journal name Sophia
Volume number 55
Issue number 1
Start page 31
End page 54
Total pages 24
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2016-04
ISSN 0038-1527
Keyword(s) metaphilosophy
medical metaphor
Summary This paper offers a critical response to the claims of Sivin and Lloyd (2002) and Mattice (2014) to the effect that Greek and Roman philosophy was characterised by a predominance of combat metaphors. Drawing on Plato and Plutarch, as well as contemporary studies led by Nussbaum (1993), I argue that a host of different metaphors was demonstrably used in the Greek tradition to describe philosophy and its subjects, led by the therapeutic or medicinal metaphor of philosophy as ‘therapy of desire’ or of desiderative opinion. I propose that it was the sophists like Protagoras, at least as they are depicted by Plato, who sought to conceive of philosophising as a strategic, warlike activity. In conclusion, I reflect on the invisibility of the medicinal metaphor, outside of certain dedicated studies in the history of ideas, in contemporary thinking about Western philosophy and its past.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s11841-016-0516-2
Field of Research 220207 History and Philosophy of The Humanities
2203 Philosophy
2204 Religion And Religious Studies
Socio Economic Objective 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Grant ID DP140101981
Copyright notice ©2016, Springer Science + Business Media Dordrecht
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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