9780199695294

Plato's Theaetetus as a Second Apology

  • ISBN 13:

    9780199695294

  • ISBN 10:

    0199695296

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 08/24/2013
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.)

Extend Your Rental at Any Time

Need to keep your rental past your due date? At any time before your due date you can extend or purchase your rental through your account.

Rental Options

List Price $65.07 Save

Free Shipping Free Shipping On Every Order
Usually Ships in 3-5 Business Days

Summary

Zina Giannopoulou argues that Theaetetus--Plato's most systematic examination of knowledge--is a philosophically sophisticated elaboration of Apology that successfully differentiates Socrates from the sophists. In Apology Socrates defends his philosophical activity partly by distinguishing it from sophistic practices, and in Theaetetus he enacts this distinction: the self-proclaimed ignorant and pious Socrates of Apology poses as the barren practitioner of midwifery, an art that enjoys divine support, and helps his pregnant interlocutor to engender his ideas. Whereas sophistic expertise fills others' souls with items of dubious epistemic quality, Socratic midwifery removes, tests, and discards falsities. In Theaetetus Plato drapes the Socrates of Apology with obstetric garb and stages a philosophical contest between him and the seemingly wise men with whose definitions Theaetetus' soul teems, chief among whom is Protagoras. By proving the indefensibility of these definitions, Socrates challenges their authors' wisdom--since for him no one can justifiably be said to have knowledge if he cannot give an account of knowledge. On the other hand, his own inability to procure the definition he seeks confirms his assertion that he lacks wisdom. Giannopoulou goes on to explore how in Apology Socrates claims that his wisdom consists in his awareness of his lack of wisdom, and in Theaetetus he validates this claim: his attempt to discover what knowledge is, coupled with his intellectual barrenness, shows both that he does not have what he is looking for and why this is the case.

Author Biography

Read more

Write a Review