Semantics, Predication, Truth and Falsehood in Plato's Sophist


"The Sophist seems to be concerned with two things: being and nonbeing, on the one hand, and true and false speech, on the other. If speech is either true or false speech, it seems not even plausible for being to be either being or nonbeing, since we would then be compelled to say that nonbeing is as much being as false speech is speech. If nonbeing, however, is being, then nonbeing cannot be nonbeing, for otherwise the falseness of false speech would not consist in its saying 'nonbeing.' And, in turn, if nonbeing is nonbeing, the falseness of' false speech again cannot consist in its saying 'nonbeing,' for it would then not be saying anything. If we then say that nonbeing is appearing, and appearing is not unqualified nonbeing, being is being and appearing, and we want to distinguish between the strict identity which belongs to being and the likeness of' nonbeing to the strict identity of being. We say, then, 'Here is Socrates himself' and 'Here is a likeness of Socrates.' Everything in the likeness of Socrates that is a likeness of' Socrates himself will generate a true speech of Socrates identical to another speech true of Socrates himself. Everything, how ever, in the likeness of Socrates that is not a likeness of Socrates himself yields a false speech of Socrates. Among the false speeches of Socrates would be, for example, the paint on Socrates' portrait but not the color of the paint that is true of Socrates himself. The paint, then, without the color (per impossibile), is not true of Socrates, but it certainly is not a likeness of Socrates either. The paint must be together with its color in order for it to be both a likeness of Socrates and nonbeing, but it seems to be utterly mysterious how by being together it can be that and by being apart it ceases to be anything of the sort. If every thing then is just what it is and nothing else, it is impossible for there to be any speech, either true or false, for speech is impossible unless something can be put together with something else..



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,953

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

  • Only published works are available at libraries.

Similar books and articles

Starting Philosophic Problem.Nathan M. Solodukho - 1998 - The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 13:71-73.
Knowledge of Beauty in Plato's Symposium.Ludwig C. H. Chen - 1983 - Classical Quarterly 33 (01):66-.
Socrates on Punishment and the Law:Apology 25c5-26b2.Thomas C. Brickhouse & Nicholas D. Smith - 2018 - In Marcelo D. Boeri, Yasuhira Y. Kanayama & Jorge Mittelmann (eds.), Soul and Mind in Greek Thought. Psychologial Issues in Plato and Aristotle. Cham: Springer. pp. 37-53.
On Plato's Sophist.Seth Benardete - 1993 - Review of Metaphysics 46 (4):747 - 780.
The Philosophical Thought of Ji Kang.Liu Kangde - 1987 - Chinese Studies in Philosophy 19 (1):64.


Added to PP

86 (#201,191)

6 months
8 (#415,825)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references