The Secret Doctrine and the Gigantomachia: Interpreting Plato’s Theaetetus-Sophist

Plato Journal 14:53-62 (2014)


The Theaetetus’ ‘secret doctrine’ and the Sophist ’s ‘battle between gods and giants’ have long fascinated Plato scholars. I show that the passages systematically parallel one another. Each presents two substantive positions that are advanced on behalf of two separate parties, related to one another by their comparative sophistication or refinement. Further, those parties and their respective positions are characterized in substantially similar terms. On the basis of these sustained parallels, I argue that the two passages should be read together, with each informing and constraining an interpretation of the other.

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Brad Berman
Portland State University

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