Chapter

<i>Theaetetus, Sophist,</i> and <i>Statesman:</i> The Tragicomedy of Knowledge, Reality, and Responsible Conduct

Jeremy Barris

in The Crane's Walk

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780823229130
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235674 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823229130.003.0014
Theaetetus, Sophist, and Statesman: The Tragicomedy of Knowledge,               Reality, and Responsible Conduct

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This chapter explores some details of the general structure of the arguments presented in the Theaetetus, Sophist, and Statesman. Before looking at these details, the context in which these dialogues place themselves, that of Socrates' trial, is considered. Unsympathetic contempt for fundamentally incompatible views and for culpable foolishness is certainly present in Plato's dialogues. However, the truth of love, like truth in general, is variegated, and a fundamental or rigorous or consistent commitment to love must also be willing to learn to love what love excludes. It must be willing, that is, not to include it, but to love it as what it excludes. In other words, it must also be willing to try to love hate and contempt and indifference. Truth to the rhetorical context is what makes the difference, and where Plato's characters are destructive, a destruction of their destructiveness is a loving act. Consequently, from this standpoint it is not really destructiveness, and so is also true to the principle of the loving position considered simply in its own right.

Keywords: Plato; dialogues; love; truth; Socrates; indifference; destructiveness; Theaetetus; Sophist; Statesman

Chapter.  12295 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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