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Plato's Theory of Knowledge: The Theaetetus and the Sophist (Dover Philosophical Classics) Kindle Edition
About the Author
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.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
From the Publisher
- ASIN : B00ILRCCPA
- Publisher : Dover Publications (February 22, 2013)
- Publication date : February 22, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 7854 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 354 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,876,160 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I am not a Platonist by any stretch of the imagination. When it comes to any of the subject matter of philosophy, I am constantly led to the simple conclusion that Plato was wrong - he wasn't right about anything! But Plato's importance in the history of philosophy is another matter, entirely. Where Cornford's books shine is in placing and interpreting Plato in his historical context, and showing how, in that context, Plato's ideas were insightful, even brilliant, and represented huge conceptual advances over what had gone before.
The three dialogs in these two books (the Parmenides, Theaetetus, and Sophist) show Plato acknowledging the immense debt he owed to two philosophers who had gone before - Heraclitus and Parmenides (the influence of the other great pre-Socratic, Pythagoras, in these dialogs is more subtle, but still detectable). The ideas of Heraclitus and Parmenides - both of whom still had followers in Plato's day - were ground breaking, but taken alone, either system had major problems. The relentless logic of Parmenides seemed to show that the perceptible world with its movement and diversity - all that we know - could be nothing but illusion. On the other hand, Heraclitus' insistence on the ubiquity of change seemed to deny the possibility of stable objects of knowledge, and hence, of knowledge itself. Cornford presents Plato's theory of Forms as a rich and flexible alternative to these prior views. It becomes clear that, whatever its ultimate failings as ontology or even epistemology (my analysis, not Cornford's), the theory of Forms was a much better way of thinking about the world than any that had arisen before, in the Greek world.
As an added benefit, Cornford, in numerous asides, throws much light on the differences between Plato's Forms and the Categories and logic of Aristotle, which the distance of time, and the incorporation of elements of both into Christian theology in the middle ages, might otherwise cause to be conflated.
I strongly recommend these books to anyone interested in Greek thought, or the history of philosophical ideas.
Top reviews from other countries
I'd say this book is probably good for someone who is already familiar with both dialogues but I'd advise something else if you are reading the dialogue for the first time. I ended up reading the Sophist online and went back to the commentary after because most of the original dialogue is cut out of this version and replaced with commentary