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Cratylus Paperback – December 20, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 110 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456363948
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456363949
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews


It is. . . remarkable that Reeve's is the first new English translation since Fowler's Loeb edition of 1926. Fortunately, Reeve has done an excellent job. His version is not slavishly literal but is in general very accurate. It is also very clear and readable. Reeve is particularly to be congratulated for having produced versions of some of the more torturous passages, which are not only faithful to the text but also make good sense in English. The long and detailed introduction is worth reading in its own right. --R. F. Stalley, The Classical Review

The Cratylus, Plato's sole dialogue devoted to the relation between language and reality, is acknowledged to be one of his masterpieces. But owing to its often enigmatic content no more than a handful of passages from it have played a part in the global evaluation of Plato's philosophy. This new English translation by C. D. C. Reeve is the first since 1926, and incomparably the most helpful and accessible now available. It opens up the Cratylus to all philosophically interested readers, as well as to cultural historians and to those whose primary concern is the history of linguistics. The full and lucid Introduction does much to illuminate the internal dynamic of this important text and to explain its place within Plato’s oeuvre. --David Sedley, University of Cambridge

Perhaps no subject matter is more distinctive or more central to twentieth century philosophy than the philosophy of language. The Cratylus, Plato's most sustained investigation of language, may be his least appreciated work, no doubt in large part because of its difficult Greek. At long last, Reeve’s fine translation will make this rich work accessible to students and scholars of Plato. In addition, Reeve’s long introductory essay provides a concise guide to the argument and is itself a significant piece of scholarship. Teachers of Plato (and historical linguistics) are truly in his debt. --Allan Silverman, Ohio State University

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Mease on September 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent introduction, reasonable translation and extensive bibliography make this a great introductory edition of the dialogue. I recommend you accompany this with Sedley's critical commentary.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jane Kang on February 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the explanation(?) at the beginning by whoever did the translation is not helpful at all. it's so thick (about half of the book) so everybody tends to skip. when you start reading the actual argument, it goes a long-long-long way around, and there isn't a central topic.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Marzano on November 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The subject of the book is at least more useful than some of Plato's other dialogues. It talks about the origins and evolution of languages.

Translator B. Jowett felt that Plato and Bacon are the only two philosophers who ever achieved any high degree of literary excellence. He adds however that Plato was not free from tautology and Plato was not aware of certain subtleties about language.

I disagree with some of the statements made by Jowett.

Jowett states:

"Language cannot be explained by metaphysics, for it is prior to them and much more nearly aligned to sense."

There was I believe a time on planet Earth when people, or at least some people, were able to communicate non verbally using a type of radiation. The vast majority of people lost the ability to understand this radiation at the time of the Tower Of Babel event in the bible. However the plants and animals can still understand it.

There's an episode in the bible where Peter is talking to people from many different countries but they all heard what Peter said 'in their own language'. This may not have been any language but rather this radiation.

Mythology uses allegories and metaphors to explain spiritual truths in a symbolic rather than a literal way. In many cases those spiritual truths could not be explained easily if at all using language in a literal way.

The creation account in the Book Of Genesis is mythological. What exactly happened when God created the universe is probably something no mortal mind would ever be able to comprehend.

The limitations of language was a favorite subject of Egyptologist R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz.
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