False Names, Demonstratives and the Refutation of Linguistic Naturalism in Plato's "Cratylus" 427 d1-431c3

Phronesis 53 (2):125 - 151 (2008)
This paper offers an interpretation of Plato's Cratylus 427d1-431c3 that supports a reading of the dialogue as a whole as concluding in favour of a conventionalist account of naming. While many previous interpretations note the value of this passage as evidence for Platonic investigations of false propositions, this paper argues that its demonstration that there can be false (or incorrect) naming in turn refutes the naturalist account of naming; that is, it shows that a natural relation between name and nominatum is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for reference. Socrates secures this outcome by using demonstratives and their concomitants to show how any putative natural imitative link between name and object may be overridden. Furthermore, Socrates' employment of demonstratives and context-dependent statements in his case-studies of false naming speaks in favour of a reading of this passage as primarily focussing on naming rather than on propositions in general
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,463
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

36 ( #133,710 of 1,925,542 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

10 ( #88,276 of 1,925,542 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.