Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Despite intensive exegetical work, Plato�s description of dialectic in the Sophist still raises many questions. Through a close reading of this passage that contextualizes it in the general organisation of the Sophist, this paper provides answers to these questions. After presenting the difficult text, I contend that the �vowel-kinds� are necessary (but not individually sufficient) conditions for the blending of kinds. Then, I interpret the �cause of divisions� mentioned by the Stranger as the kinds responsible of the dichotomous division in the first half of the dialogue. In the next part, I show that 235d5-e2 does not describe a procedure of �meta-divison� as some commentators have it, but that it describes the method of division itself. Finally, I connect the difficulty and the obscurity of the passage to the fact that dialectic is the supreme science and I explain why dialectic is the science of free men.