Topoi 31 (2):151-166 (2012)

Authors
Catherine Joanna Rowett
University of East Anglia
Abstract
In this paper I explore a famous part of Plato’s Theaetetus where Socrates develops various models of the mind (picturing it first as a wax tablet and then as an aviary full of specimen birds). These are to solve some puzzles about how it is possible to make a mistake. On my interpretation, defended here, the discussion of mistakes is no digression, but is part of the refutation of Theaetetus’s thesis that knowledge is “true doxa”. It reveals that false doxa is possible only if there is a certain stock of abstract knowledge, conceptual knowledge, that is not awareness of the particular individual that is being described. The individual must be identified under some description, or seen as something of a certain kind. Error can only occur if the description applied misdescribes the situation, but then if it is to be applied falsely it must first have been known from somewhere else. So knowledge cannot be reduced to the application of descriptions to particulars, but is to be found in the prior possession of abstract descriptions that can be deployed in identifying particular individuals on the ground.
Keywords Plato  Theaetetus  Epistemology  false belief  knowledge
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11245-012-9126-y
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,436
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

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Linguistics in Philosophy.Zeno Vendler - 2019 - Cornell University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Linguistics in Philosophy.Zeno Vendler - 1967 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

View all 36 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Puzzle of False Judgement in the Theaetetus.Nathanael Stein - 2016 - Phronesis: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy 61 (3):260–283.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-06-26

Total views
110 ( #108,040 of 2,520,399 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #116,935 of 2,520,399 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes