Argument, Form, and Structure.
RILEY, Michael W.
Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2005, xv, 151 pp.
Value Inquiry Book Series 168
Studies in the History of Western Philosophy
“Among the varied theories and approaches rivaling one another and enlivening Platonic scholarship today, Riley’s entry must be regarded as a significant event. … In the light of Riley’s study, the Cratylus will gain added stature as evidence for the larger identity of Platonic thought.”
Thomas G. Rosenmeyer, University of California, Berkeley
This book explains how the Cratylus, Plato’s apparently meandering and comical dialogue on the correctness of names, makes serious philosophical progress by its notorious etymological digressions. While still a wild ride through a Heraclitean flood of etymologies which threatens to swamp language altogether, the Cratylus emerges as an astonishingly organized evaluation of the power of words.
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations
ONE The Argument in the Cratylus in the Form of a Geometric Demonstration
TWO Enunciation: Knowledge of Names, like Knowledge of Beautiful Things in General, is Difficult 383a-384c
THREE I. Construction: Eikasia, Likeness-Making: The Appearance of Reasoning 384c-393b
FOUR II. Demonstration: Pistis, Belief: Heraclitean Dogmas, Socratic Demands 393b-408d
FIVE III Demonstration: Dianoia, Systematic Reasoning: An Axiomatic Heraclitean Logos: A Phenomenal Philosophical Dictionary 408d-421c
SIX IV. Demonstration: Noesis, Knowing: Knowledge as Identical with Perception 421d-436b
SEVEN Reduction, Recapitulation: 436c-440c
About the Author
Michael Riley is Professor of Classics and Tutor, formerly Director, of the Integral Liberal Arts Program at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California. He has lectured on Homer, Hesiod, and Plato. His other interests include Herman Melville and Mark Twain.