Plato's Theory of Knowledge: The Theaetetus and the Sophist

Front Cover
Dover Publications, Apr 25, 2003 - Philosophy - 352 pages
1 Review
Translated by the noted classical scholar Francis M. Cornford, this edition of two masterpieces of Plato's later period features extensive ongoing commentaries by Cornford that provide helpful background information and valuable insights. Both works pose eternal questions that keep these dialogs ever-relevant not only for students of philosophy but also for every reader and thinker. The Theatetus offers a systematic treatment of the question, "What is knowledge?" Most of the dialog takes place between Socrates and the student Theatetus. Among the answers they explore: knowledge as perception; knowledge as true belief; knowledge as true belief plus an account (i.e., a justified true belief); as well as variations on each of these answers. Like most Socratic dialogs, the Theatetus ends without a definitive answer — leaving the subject open for the reader's further consideration. In the Sophist, a related dialog, Plato redefines the term "sophist," which hitherto had connoted one who gives sophia (wisdom) to his disciples. Plato depreciated the term, and ever since, in philosophy, sophistry indicates the deceptive exploitation of linguistic ambiguities. The dialog follows Socrates' cross-examination of a self-proclaimed true philosopher, The Stranger, on the distinction between philosophers, statesmen, and sophists.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Plato's Theory of Knowledge: The Theatetus and the Sophist (Philosophical Classics)

User Review  - Goodreads

Plato's most technical work.... In this work, apparently Plato intends on giving us a theory of perception and knowledge that weaves some of the predeceasing theories of his time into his modified ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2003)

Plato ranks among the most familiar ancient philosophers, along with his teacher, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle. In addition to writing philosophical dialogues — used to teach logic, ethics, rhetoric, religion, and mathematics as well as philosophy — he founded Athens' Academy, the Western world's first institution of higher learning.

Bibliographic information