Falsity Puzzles

David Sedley

in The Midwife of Platonism

Published in print May 2004 | ISBN: 9780199267033
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601828 | DOI:
Falsity Puzzles

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I examine Part 2 of the Theaetetus, on the puzzles of false belief (or false judgement) and Socrates’ attempted solutions. I argue that these bring him close to Plato’s definitive solution in the Sophist but fail for lack of an adequate grounding in metaphysics. We are shown, in the process, just what insights Socrates contributed to that eventual solution. Socrates’ progress from an empirical to a more versatile model of judgement (from the wax tablet to the Aviary, that is) is emblematic of his contributions in the field of cognitive psychology, already celebrated in chapter 4 with the empirical/a priori distinction. His diagnosis of thought as internal interrogation and response, unveiled in this part of the dialogue, once again displays a fundamentally Socratic insight that Plato is developing for use in later dialogues.

Keywords: a priori; aviary; belief; cognitive psychology; empirical; falsity; judgement; wax tablet

Chapter.  14787 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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