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Plato's Theaetetus: Part I of The Being of the Beautiful

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0226670317
ISBN-10: 0226670317
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About the Author

Seth Benardete is a professor of classics at New York University. His many books include "The Argument of the Action," published by the Universoty of Chicago Press.

Catalin Partenie is co-editor of Plato's Complete Works in Romanian (2001-2005).


Seth Benardete is a professor of classics at New York University. His many books include "The Argument of the Action," published by the Universoty of Chicago Press.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226670317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226670317
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,293,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Plato's Theaetetus is the first dialogue in a trilogy, (the other two dialogues being the Sophist and the Statesman). The Theaetetus focuses mostly on a conversation between Theaetetus and Socrates about the nature of knowledge. Their discussion goes through a long "immanent critique" of the notion that knowledge is immediate sensory givens, and then looks at the question whether the supplementation of judgment will be sufficient to explain knowledge. This dialogue also contains Socrates famous portrayal of himself as a midwife and much more. It is a quite difficult but essential text for any study of ancient philosophy.
This translation in particular is the one I use when I teach this work. It is quite hard to read, so a first-time student who is approaching this on his or her own might be better off using the translation published by Hackett (Levett/Burnyeat translation) or perhaps Cornford's translation, but the serious student should definitely turn to Benardete's translation. This translation is the one I favour because it is the best at allowing one to see in English what the Greek original is like. Plato's own language is very subtle and much of the value--philosophical and otherwise--of the work is to be found in exploration of the complexities of his language (it's allusions, ambiguities, etc.). Benardete's translation is hard to read because it aims to capture these complexities of the language rather than to make something that flows simply in English. This translation will allow you to get closer to reading Plato than any of the others that I know of.
Benardete also has extremely helpful notes and commentary at the end of his text (which are sometimes rather cryptic, which seems suitable to a Platonic text). As a whole, this book will allow the serious study of Plato an excellent opportunity to *think* about the dialogue. I recommend it very highly.
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Plato's Theaetetus: Part I of The Being of the Beautiful
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