Authors
Sepehr Ehsani
University College London
Abstract
This paper is about interpreting the aim of Plato's Sophist in a linguistic framework and arguing that in its attempt at resolving the conundrum of what the true meaning and essence of the word "sophist" could be, it resembles a number of themes encountered in contemporary linguistics. I think it is important to put our findings from the Sophist in a broader Platonic context: in other words, I assume—I think not too unreasonably—that Plato pursued (or at least had in mind) a number of overall projects ('OP' for short) throughout some or most of the dialogues, while each one of the dialogues would in addition have more specific projects ('SP') as part of its individual blueprint. To be sure, the OPs, if they actually existed, might have evolved from the earlier-written to later dialogues, but their foundational premises should have remained intact. In Section A, I provide evidence for reading the Sophist on a linguistic basis. In Section B, I focus on two OPs that I think are relevant to our discussion, one having to do with language and meaning acquisition, and the second concerning the "mind" or a "thought faculty". Ultimately, in Section C, I will use the OPs to contextualise two (related) SPs in the Sophist: (i) identifying cases of intentional referrals for names versus (ii) identifying internal references when searching for word meanings without particular referable instances. At the end of this section, I will draw close parallels between this interpretation of the dialogue and a congruous project of modern 'generative' linguistics.
Keywords Plato  Sophist  Reference  Generative linguistics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Principles of Mathematics.Bertrand Russell - 1903 - Cambridge, England: Allen & Unwin.
The Principles of Mathematics.Bertrand Russell - 1903 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 11 (4):11-12.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Plato's "Theaetetus" and "Sophist": What False Sentences Are Not.George Hilding Rudebusch - 1982 - Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
The Sophist on Statements, Predication, and Falsehood.Lesley Brown - 2008 - In Gail Fine (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Plato. Oxford University Press. pp. 437--62.
Plato: Theaetetus and Sophist.Christopher Rowe (ed.) - 2015 - Cambridge University Press.
Difference in Kind: Observations on the Distinction of the Megista Gene.David Ambuel - 2013 - In Beatriz Bossi & Thomas M. Robinson (eds.), Plato's Sophist Revisited. de Gruyter. pp. 247-268.
Parmenides and Plato's Parmenides.J. M. Rist - 1970 - Classical Quarterly 20 (2):221-229.
Plato on Truth and the Problem of Falsehood.Blake Edward Hestir - 1998 - Dissertation, The Florida State University

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-10-30

Total views
177 ( #66,347 of 2,507,713 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #56,641 of 2,507,713 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes